FA Cup: Blackburn Rovers Shock Stoke City


The magic of the FA Cup continues, seeing another lower division side victorious over an EPL side. The scenes were incredible today from Ewood Park as the Blackburn Rovers took care of business against Stoke City to see their way to the FA Cup quarterfinals with a 4-1 shellacking.

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Stoke were on the front foot early as a Philipp Wollscheid corner found the lanky Peter Crouch, who buried his chance to give the visitors an early lead. The Stoke momentum was put on ice after an injury to Steven N’Zonzi. The lumbering midfielder was able to carry on, but the injury delay allowed the Blackburn Rovers to regroup.

After some commanding play from the Blackburn Rovers, they found an equalizer of their own. Joshua King, a Norwegian international, headed in a corner from Shane Duffy to get the crowd back into the match. After 8 minutes of stoppage time were given, the critical moment of the match reared it’s head in the 45+6 minute.

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Geoff Cameron, arguably one of Stoke’s best defenders on the season, was guilty of fouling Joshua King in what was deemed a clear goal scoring opportunity by referee Anthony Taylor. A red card was shown, reducing Stoke City to 10 men. Rudy Gestede buried the ensuing penalty kick to give Blackburn the 2-1 lead heading into the half.

Despite being a man down, Stoke looked to force a replay at the Britannia. By inexplicably playing a high back line, Mark Hughes opened his defense up for some trouble. The poor strategy resulted in two nearly identical breakaway goals from Joshua King to round out the striker’s hat trick. Stoke were rather hapless the rest of the match, as would be expected from a deflated team down 3 goals on the road.

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  • Gary Bowyer, the Blackburn Rovers manager, made the surprising decision to leave star striker Jordan Rhodes on the bench and give Joshua King an opportunity. The move turned out to be a stroke of genius as the pacy striker gave the Potters all they can handle on defense, especially when they were down to 10 men. This should force the Blue and Whites to give the young gun more looks in Championship League play.

    Stoke travel to Birmingham to take Aston Villa on next weekend. It looks as though Asmir Begovic should have his place back in goal as Jack Butland did nothing to convince Mark Hughes that he’s ready to take the reigns.

    Blackburn Rovers will await the FA Cup draw on Monday to see their quarterfinal opponent. In the meantime, they do not have too much time to celebrate, as the side will travel to Wales to face Cardiff City on Tuesday.

    Next: West Brom Demolishes West Ham