x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Stalemate at Ewood Park

In an uninspiring mid-table battle, Blackburn and Stoke played out a goalless draw at Ewood Park.

In an uninspiring mid-table battle, Blackburn and Stoke played out a goalless draw at Ewood Park. Despite being a game of few chances both goalkeepers were called upon to make impressive stops. On six minutes, Blackburn's Franco di Santo was played through by Keith Andrews but the Stoke goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen thwarted the young Argentine forward. Stoke, who have not won at Ewood Park since 1986, had two good chances to score first, but found Paul Robinson in inspired form. First, the goalkeeper denied Dean Whitehead before brilliantly saving from Liam Lawrence seven minutes before the break. After 55 minutes, the ball fell to Blackburn's Steven Nzonzi following an El-Hadji Diouf corner, but his left-foot shot came back off the post. Man of the match: Paul Robinson (Blackburn)

Damian Duff's 75th-minute equaliser cancelled out a first-half goal from Ivan Klasnic to keep Bolton inside the relegation zone. Duff, who had been thwarted by the ever-impressive Jussi Jaaskelainen in the Bolton goal, finally found the net when his low drive crept past the Finn's right. The Bolton goalkeeper had strung together a number of saves from Duff and Erik Nevland after Klasnic gave the visitors a surprise lead. The Croatian international collected a header from Gary Cahill, turned Fulham centre-half Brede Hangeland and fired into the net from six yards in the 34th minute. But it was the Cottagers who had the lion's share of chances, especially in the second half and were duly rewarded with a point thanks to the Irish winger. Man of the match: Jussi Jaaskelainen (Bolton)

Wigan produced the right response to last week's 9-1 thrashing at Tottenham with the Columbian striker Hugo Rodallega firing his side to their first win in eight games. Earlier this week, the Wigan playing staff repaid the travelling fans for their poor performance at White Hart Lane, but it was a much more dogged and spirited display to snare three points from Sunderland. Former Wigan manager Steve Bruce's return to the DW Stadium was an unhappy one as the striker he signed 10 months ago inflicted their fifth away defeat of the campaign. The Black Cats barely threatened throughout, and after Wigan's Jason Scotland hit a post in the first half, Rodallega's sixth Premier League goal of the season decided the contest. Man of the match: Hugo Rodallega (Wigan)

sports@thenational.ae