Everton gift Blackburn win

2010-08-14 19:07

Blackburn - Blackburn were gifted an opening day Premier League win as a howler from Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard allowed Nikola Kalinic to seal a 1-0 victory at Ewood Park.

Howard's fumble presented Croatian striker Kalinic with an opportunity he couldn't refuse early in the first half and Sam Allardyce's men held on to take all three points.

Everton went into the match with high expectations after being tipped for a possible top-four finish by Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, but they were unable to recover from such a poor

Rovers missed early chances through Martin Olsson and El-Hadji Diouf, and Allardyce then lost midfielder David Dunn to a groin strain in the opening moments.

But Howard's moment of misery came in the 14th minute as the American raced out of his goal to try to clear but instead spilled the ball and Kalinic was on hand to sweep it home.

Tim Cahill should have equalised for Everton after half an hour but the Australia midfielder scuffed his shot straight at Paul Robinson.

South Africa's Steven Pienaar was next to test Robinson, who saved at the second attempt after the ball bobbled up in front of him.

Phil Jagielka tried his luck from distance after 57 minutes but his effort went wide of the post, prompting Everton boss David Moyes to send on former Leeds striker Jermaine Beckford.

Blackburn's Phil Jones skipped into the area and fired in a shot which was blocked by Sylvain Distin, then Steven Nzonzi got on the end of a cross from Diouf but headed just over the bar.

Everton kept pushing forward and substitute Jack Rodwell made space to get in a header two minutes from time but it went wide of the post before Jagielka was denied by Robinson in stoppage time.