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14:02 28th March 2010


A controversial penalty converted by David Dunn was enough for Blackburn Rovers to complete the double and inflict a damaging blow to Burnley's survival hopes.

Martin Olsson's dive earned Dunn the chance to repeat his Ewood Park strike as he scored the 20th-minute winner.

But in truth the Clarets didn't do enough to earn a result as they missed the opportunity to capitalise on the demise of West Ham 24 hours earlier and stayed second from bottom of the table.

Burnley's failure to beat their derby rivals for 31 years was therefore extended for at least another 12 months and Brian Laws' men will probably have to find three wins from their remaining six games to have a chance of playing the fixture again next season.

A third defeat in four home games means they may now have to save themselves on the road and with a trip to Hull among their remaining away fixtures the fight will go on.

It looks a tough one but with effectively a four-point gap to make up the Clarets can ill afford to lick their wounds and must bounce back quickly from arguably their most disappointing result of the season to find an escape route.

Laws had gone with an unchanged side for the first time this season as the Clarets looked to re-write recent history.

But it was Blackburn who drew first blood with 20 minutes gone.

Olsson was unfortunate when an incorrect off-side decision denied him an early chance as he fired home after referee Mike Dean's whistle had gone.

But the young Swede then got a massive of luck when he deceived Dean when going to ground as Brian Jensen came out to try and intercept another well timed run from deep.

Olsson goes down for the decisive penalty

There was no contact as Olsson threw himself to the floor but Dean pointed to the spot and top-scorer and tormentor-in-chief Dunn got another derby goal as he drilled the ball high into the centre of the net.

Having not won a game when conceding the first goal all season, the Clarets were immediately up and against it and struggled to impose themselves against a Blackburn side for whom winning away from home had been a rarity.

In a scrappy game Burnley found it difficult to build up any sort of momentum as the visitors looked comfortable at the back until Graham Alexander and Martin Paterson managed to work an opening for Wade Elliott who was tripped just inches outside the box by Chris Samba.

The big defender was booked but then headed away the free-kick to confirm Blackburn's aerial superiority.

That also made them a threat from set-pieces and Michel Salgado shot just wide when the ball dropped from him in the Clarets' penalty area.

But Burnley then master-minded a decent free-kick of their own to go close to levelling a couple of minutes before the break.

Alexander picked out Leon Cort and the big defender showed fine control to take the ball on his chest before volleying just past the far post.

David Nugent and Michel Salgado exchange views

Laws resisted the option to make changes at half-time and Burnley at least started the second half with a higher tempo and forced Blackburn back into their own half.

A couple of tackles from David Nugent and Kevin McDonald stirred the crowd but with chances continuing to prove elusive, Laws sent on Robbie Blake to try and unlock Rovers' muscular defence.

Blackburn refused to budge an inch, though, and it was the visitors who went closest to adding to their lead through the lively Olsson.

He had proved an elusive figure all afternoon and after thumping a volley against the underside of the bar with the ball all but crossing the line, despite apparently starting from another off-side position, he got free again to force Jensen into a smart save.

The introduction of Chris Eagles with 20 minutes to go was a final throw if the dice for the Clarets, while Rovers also made changes with Franco Di Santo heading just wide with his first touch.

Brown handles outside the box.

Burnley had few such sights of goal - and didn't even get the chance to threaten from a free-kick when goalkeeper Jason Brown slid out of the box with the ball in his hands - but with nine minutes to go they almost chiselled out an equaliser.

Danny Fox's low cross looked like a certain tap-in for either Elliott or Fletcher but Samba's touch took it away from the pair, which was not spotted by Dean or his assistant who should have flagged the Clarets' pair off-side.

So near!

It was a day neither the officials or Burnley were at their best.

Burnley: Jensen, Mears, Jordan (Fox 43), Duff, Cort, Alexander (Eagles 71), McDonald, Paterson (Blake 59), Nugent, Fletcher, Elliott. Subs: Carlisle, Thompson, Cork, Weaver.

Blackburn: Brown, Salgado (Chimbonda 85), Samba, Jones, Givet, Nzonzi, Olsson, Dunn, Pedersen, Roberts (Di Santo 74), Diouf (Emerton 66). Subs: Grella, Kalinic, Hoilett, Bunn.

Referee: Mike Dean

Booked: Samba 38, Alexander 66, Fox 90, Duff 90

Attendance: 20,481

    Data provided by Press Association