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Rovers fall fowl of Premier League drop after chicken protest

Date

Henry Winter

Blackburn 0 Wigan 1

Chicken run ... Blackburn striker Yakubu tries to catch the bird.

Chicken run ... Blackburn striker Yakubu tries to catch the bird. Photo: AFP

Blackburn Rovers were relegated last night with rain, tennis balls and relentless derision falling on their beleaguered manager Steve Kean. Whatever Kean's limitations, it was a disgrace that Rovers' owners, the Venky's, did not turn up for this brutal denouement. This fine club has been left bereft by poor management on and off the pitch.

It was like the coliseum at times, Kean even requiring a bodyguard as Blackburn's 11 years in the Premier League ended. A chicken invaded the pitch in the first half, a fan threw his season ticket at the dugouts in the second half and 30 Rovers fans protested on the pitch at the final whistle. Kean had made a sharp exit. In the background, the giant screen read "Thank you for your support this season".

For Wigan, there was nothing but celebration. Antolin Alcaraz's late header guaranteeing survival for their jubilant fans, who had sung "I'm a believer" for much of this game.

Heartbreak ... Morten Gamst Pedersen reacts after Rovers are relegated.

Heartbreak ... Morten Gamst Pedersen reacts after Rovers are relegated. Photo: AFP

The first half had been notable mainly for the chicken run.

Inevitably the rooster became a darling on the social-media scene, having seven Twitter accounts by half-time. Yakubu took charge of the chicken situation, trying to usher the fans' feathered friend off the pitch but it ended up in the back of the net. Cue much hilarity and gags about the chicken being a target for Dinamo Kiev.

The chicken was in Rovers' colours, the home fans making a point about their anger with the Venky's regime. Blackburn's owners specialise in chicken meat processing. The owners had elected to stay away, a shame as they would have realised the strength of feeling against them. The anger was detectable outside the ground, and brutally inside.

Caustic echoes abounded of the Bolton game here, of the derision for Kean pouring down from all sides. "Kean out" was sung frequently. "We want our Rovers back," came the next chant. Then "There's only one Jack Walker" in memory of Blackburn's late, great benefactor. Venky's representatives should have been here.

After a three-minute chicken break, the game resumed with Wigan largely in control. Their 3-4-3 system seemed to flummox Blackburn, particularly Martinez's wide players Jean Beausejour and Emmerson Boyce, and the elusive runner, Victor Moses. Franco Di Santo, so instrumental in Wigan's rally, kept showing for the ball, kept looking to test Paul Robinson, who shovelled one shot away. Then Moses came calling, escaping Scott Dann, but failing to beat Robinson.

As Rovers fans chanted "no shots on target", Morten Gamst Pedersen lined up a free-kick on the right. It disappeared horribly wide, prompting chants of "that's why you're going down" from the Wigan fans. Some Blackburn fans joined in.

Rovers suffered a blow when David Dunn hobbled away, having sustained a knock in making one of countless tackles. Dunn is one of those Blackburn players who really cares for the club cause, and had been giving everything here, tackling hard, trying to create openings for Yakubu and Anthony Modeste.

Marcus Olsson came on in central midfield, and a further change was made at the break. Gael Givet was replaced by Radoslav Petrovic.

Rovers' tempo actually improved after the break, although there was another pitch invader, this time of the human variety. A Blackburn fan ran from the Darwen End and threw his season ticket at the dugouts.

It landed in Wigan's technical area and was a fairly empty gesture anyway, this being Rovers' last home game of the season.

Kean's players gave their fans something more positive to focus on.

Dann headed down for Yakubu to try his luck, the ball cannoning into a wall of Wigan bodies. Modeste, living up to his name, shot timidly.

Wigan broke out, storming down the other end. Di Santo headed down, Moses volleyed over, a wasted opportunity. Wigan almost conceded moments later. Boyce clearly caught Junior Hoilett, who fell to the ground, his run towards the ball clearly checked. Mark Clattenburg waved play on to Rovers consternation.

The vilification of the Venky's continued. From all corners of the ground it came. Wigan's fans responded with "there's only one Dave Whelan", a tribute to their owner, a former Blackburn player.

Blackburn were trying to mix up their attacks, occasionally going long. One hoof towards Yakubu appeared to have freed the Nigerian but Antolin Alcaraz cleared. Desperation began to creep into Blackburn hearts. They had to score. They had to win. Adding an apocalyptic backdrop to the occasion, a flare was lit in the Darwen End, the smoke drifting across the Rovers' box.

Then Wigan stormed towards Robinson's area. This time it was Shaun Maloney scampering through the middle, bringing his right foot back to shoot. Just as he was about to connect with the ball, Pedersen fouled him, taking a caution for the cause.

The weather reflected the bleak mood. Rain poured down and down. Kean did not flinch, standing on the edge of his dugout, the rain soaking his coat. Still he hoped. Modeste ran through, unleashing a low shot, collected easily by Ali Al Habsi. Their work-rate was better.

For Wigan, Moses should have been enjoying this weather. He drove in from the left but decided to take a tumble in proximity to Pedersen.

Clattenburg ran across and booked Moses for diving.

With time running out, Kean twisted again, sending on David Goodwillie for Bradley Orr. "Rooney, Rooney" chanted the Rovers fans, mocking Kean's assertion that Goodwillie shared similar footballing qualities to the Manchester United and England striker.

Blackburn's tactics would not have been found in any coaching manual.

They seemed vulnerable at the back, relying on three at the back, and only some spectacular goalkeeping from Robinson denied Moses. Then Boyce lifted in a cross and somehow the tiniest player on the pitch, Maloney, rose best but headed over.

Humiliation finally engulfed Kean. Hope left the building. With three minutes remaining, Alcaraz headed in Beausejour's corner. The boos intensified.

The Daily Telegraph, London

Hyundai A - 2014-15 - All Rounds

Round 1
Fri, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
VIC 4 vs WST 1 Stats
Sat, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
CCM 1 vs NEW Stats
SYD 1 vs MEC 1 Stats
Sun, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
WEL 1 vs PER 2 Stats
BRI 1 vs ADE 2 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Fri, 17 OctTimes shown AEDT
ADE 1 vs VIC 1 Report Stats
Sat, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
CCM 1 vs WEL 2 Report Stats
SYD 3 vs WST 2 Report Stats
Sun, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
MEC 1 vs NEW 1 Report Stats
PER 3 vs BRI 2 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Fri, 24 OctTimes shown AEDT
BRI vs SYD 20:00SS
Sat, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
VIC vs MEC 19:30ES
Sun, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WEL vs NEW 16:00WS
ADE vs PER 17:00Coopers Stadium
Wed, 19 NovTimes shown AEDT
WST vs CCM 17:00Pirtek Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Fri, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
MEC vs ADE 19:30AAMI
Sat, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
PER vs NEW 17:00NIB
WST vs BRI 19:30Pirtek Stadium
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
SYD vs CCM 16:00AS
Mon, 03 NovTimes shown AEDT
VIC vs WEL 19:30AAMI
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Fri, 07 NovTimes shown AEDT
WEL vs WST 18:30WS
ADE vs SYD 20:15Coopers Stadium
Sat, 08 NovTimes shown AEDT
NEW vs VIC 17:00HUN
BRI vs MEC 20:30SS
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
CCM vs PER 17:00Central Coast Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Fri, 14 NovTimes shown AEDT
NEW vs BRI 19:30HUN
Sat, 15 NovTimes shown AEDT
ADE vs WEL 17:00Coopers Stadium
SYD vs VIC 19:30AS
PER vs WST 21:45NIB
Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
MEC vs CCM 17:00AAMI
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Fri, 21 NovTimes shown AEDT
VIC vs BRI 19:30ES
Sat, 22 NovTimes shown AEDT
WST vs NEW 17:00Pirtek Stadium
MEC vs SYD 19:30AAMI
PER vs WEL 21:45NIB
Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
CCM vs ADE 17:00Central Coast Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Fri, 28 NovTimes shown AEDT
VIC vs ADE 19:00AAMI
Sat, 29 NovTimes shown AEDT
BRI vs PER 17:00SS
WST vs SYD 19:30Pirtek Stadium
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
WEL vs MEC 16:00WS
NEW vs CCM 17:00HUN
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Wed, 03 DecTimes shown AEDT
BRI vs NEW 20:00SS
Tue, 09 DecTimes shown AEDT
WST vs PER 19:30TBC
Thu, 08 JanTimes shown AEDT
WEL vs SYD 17:30WS
Mon, 02 FebTimes shown AEDT
VIC vs CCM 19:30AAMI
Wed, 25 MarTimes shown AEDT
ADE vs MEC 19:30Coopers Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 10
Thu, 04 DecTimes shown AEDT
SYD vs PER 19:30AS
Fri, 05 DecTimes shown AEDT
CCM vs VIC 19:30TBC
Sat, 06 DecTimes shown AEDT
NEW vs WEL 17:00HUN
ADE vs WST 20:00Coopers Stadium
Sun, 07 DecTimes shown AEDT
MEC vs BRI 17:00AAMI
View All Fixtures
Round 11
Fri, 12 DecTimes shown AEDT
ADE vs BRI 19:30Coopers Stadium
PER vs NEW 21:45NIB
Sat, 13 DecTimes shown AEDT
WEL vs CCM 16:00EP
WST vs MEC 17:00Pirtek Stadium
VIC vs SYD 19:30ES
View All Fixtures
Round 12
Fri, 19 DecTimes shown AEDT
BRI vs WST 20:00SS
Sat, 20 DecTimes shown AEDT
NEW vs ADE 17:00HUN
MEC vs VIC 19:30AAMI
PER vs CCM 21:45NIB
Sun, 21 DecTimes shown AEDT
SYD vs WEL 17:00AS
View All Fixtures
Round 13
Fri, 26 DecTimes shown AEDT
MEC vs PER 17:30AAMI
SYD vs ADE 19:30AS
Sat, 27 DecTimes shown AEDT
CCM vs BRI 17:00Central Coast Stadium
VIC vs NEW 19:30AAMI
Sun, 28 DecTimes shown AEDT
WEL vs WST 17:00WS
View All Fixtures
Round 14
Tue, 30 DecTimes shown AEDT
NEW vs MEC 17:00HUN
BRI vs SYD 20:00SS
Wed, 31 DecTimes shown AEDT
ADE vs WEL 19:30Coopers Stadium
Thu, 01 JanTimes shown AEDT
WST vs CCM 19:30Pirtek Stadium
Fri, 02 JanTimes shown AEDT
VIC vs PER 19:30Simonds Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 15
Sat, 03 JanTimes shown AEDT
SYD vs NEW 19:30WIN Stadium
Sun, 04 JanTimes shown AEDT
WEL vs BRI 15:00WS
CCM vs MEC 17:00Central Coast Stadium
Mon, 05 JanTimes shown AEDT
PER vs ADE 23:00NIB
Tue, 06 JanTimes shown AEDT
WST vs VIC 19:30Pirtek Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 16
Sat, 24 JanTimes shown AEDT
ADE vs NEW 17:00Coopers Stadium
CCM vs SYD 19:30Central Coast Stadium
Sun, 25 JanTimes shown AEDT
PER vs VIC 20:00NIB
Sun, 01 FebTimes shown AEDT
BRI vs WEL 15:00SS
MEC vs WST 17:00AAMI
View All Fixtures
Round 17
Fri, 06 FebTimes shown AEDT
NEW vs BRI 19:30HUN
Sat, 07 FebTimes shown AEDT
CCM vs ADE 17:00Central Coast Stadium
VIC vs MEC 19:30ES
PER vs SYD 21:45NIB
Sun, 08 FebTimes shown AEDT
WST vs WEL 17:00Pirtek Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 18
Fri, 13 FebTimes shown AEDT
CCM vs BRI 19:30Central Coast Stadium
Sat, 14 FebTimes shown AEDT
WEL vs MEC 16:00Brendan Foot Kia Hutt Recreation Ground
NEW vs WST 17:00HUN
SYD vs VIC 19:30AS
Sun, 15 FebTimes shown AEDT
ADE vs PER 17:00Coopers Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 19
Fri, 20 FebTimes shown AEDT
BRI vs VIC 20:00SS
Sat, 21 FebTimes shown AEDT
SYD vs CCM 17:00AS
ADE vs WST 20:00Coopers Stadium
Sun, 22 FebTimes shown AEDT
WEL vs NEW 16:00Brendan Foot Kia Hutt Recreation Ground
MEC vs PER 17:00AAMI
View All Fixtures
Round 20
Fri, 27 FebTimes shown AEDT
MEC vs ADE 19:30AAMI
Sat, 28 FebTimes shown AEDT
NEW vs CCM 17:00HUN
WST vs SYD 19:30Pirtek Stadium
PER vs BRI 21:45NIB
Sun, 01 MarTimes shown AEDT
VIC vs WEL 17:00AAMI
View All Fixtures
Round 21
Fri, 06 MarTimes shown AEDT
NEW vs SYD 19:30HUN
Sat, 07 MarTimes shown AEDT
WEL vs ADE 18:00Brendan Foot Kia Hutt Recreation Ground
VIC vs PER 19:30AAMI
Sun, 08 MarTimes shown AEDT
CCM vs MEC 15:00Central Coast Stadium
BRI vs WST 17:00SS
View All Fixtures
Round 22
Thu, 12 MarTimes shown AEDT
ADE vs CCM 19:30Coopers Stadium
Fri, 13 MarTimes shown AEDT
WST vs VIC 19:30Pirtek Stadium
Sat, 14 MarTimes shown AEDT
SYD vs BRI 19:30AS
PER vs WEL 21:45NIB
Sun, 15 MarTimes shown AEDT
MEC vs NEW 17:00AAMI
View All Fixtures
Round 23
Fri, 20 MarTimes shown AEDT
SYD vs MEC 19:30AS
Sat, 21 MarTimes shown AEDT
WST vs NEW 17:00Pirtek Stadium
ADE vs VIC 20:00Coopers Stadium
Sun, 22 MarTimes shown AEDT
CCM vs PER 15:00Central Coast Stadium
BRI vs WEL 17:00SS
View All Fixtures
Round 24
Fri, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
VIC vs CCM 19:30AAMI
Sat, 28 MarTimes shown AEDT
MEC vs BRI 19:30AAMI
PER vs WST 21:45NIB
Sun, 29 MarTimes shown AEDT
WEL vs SYD 15:00WS
NEW vs ADE 17:00HUN
View All Fixtures
Round 25
Thu, 02 AprTimes shown AEDT
BRI vs CCM 21:00SS
Fri, 03 AprTimes shown AEDT
WST vs MEC 16:00Pirtek Stadium
Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
SYD vs ADE 19:30AS
Sun, 05 AprTimes shown AEST
WEL vs VIC 16:00WS
Mon, 06 AprTimes shown AEST
NEW vs PER 16:00HUN
View All Fixtures
Round 26
Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
VIC vs NEW 19:30AAMI
PER vs SYD 21:45NIB
Sat, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
ADE vs BRI 17:00Coopers Stadium
CCM vs WST 19:30Central Coast Stadium
Sun, 12 AprTimes shown AEST
MEC vs WEL 17:00AAMI
View All Fixtures
Round 27
Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
WEL vs CCM 17:30WS
NEW vs SYD 19:45HUN
Sat, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
WST vs ADE 17:00Pirtek Stadium
BRI vs VIC 19:30SS
Sun, 19 AprTimes shown AEST
PER vs MEC 17:00NIB
View All Fixtures
Hyundai A - 2014-15 - Ladder
Overall standings
Team P W D L +/- Pts
Perth Glory FC 2 2 0 0 2 6
Melbourne Victory FC 2 1 1 0 3 4
Sydney FC 2 1 1 0 1 4
Adelaide United FC 2 1 1 0 1 4
Wellington Phoenix FC 2 1 0 1 0 3
Central Coast Mariners FC 2 1 0 1 0 3
Melbourne City FC 2 0 2 0 0 2
Newcastle Jets FC 2 0 1 1 -1 1
View all
 
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