Home » EPL, Latest » Match Report: Blackburn 1 Aston Villa 1

While Joe Hart is the man of the moment, there is another English goalkeeper who is salvaging valuable points for his side.

Blackburn Rovers’ Paul Robinson is ready to end his self-imposed England exile and this agile, alert display will add to the clamour for his re-instatement as valuable, experienced back-up.

Substitute David Dunn was the man to snatch an equaliser for Blackburn, on his comeback from injury, but that leveller would not have been possible without Robinson’s reflexes beforehand.

Aston Villa had been dominating the game, particularly in the first half, but the home side’s goalkeeper kept thwarting them.

Whoever is installed as Fabio Capello’s successor should not make the same mistake of ignoring Robinson.

Blackburn manager Steve Kean said: “He was disappointed to be omitted from the England squad beforehand. Maybe, with a change at the top end, who’s to say he can’t get back in? He’s playing well enough.”

Robinson’s saves meant Blackburn could rescue a point that masked their deficiencies. They surrendered possession with alarming regularity and left Yakubu looking isolated.

Villa’s re-moulded midfield — two holding players and three attacking men, including Stephen Ireland in the hole — had out-classed Blackburn. The home side looked rougher and hungrier in the second half and boyhood Blackburn fan Dunn headed in the leveller.

“In the first half, we were really poor, as bad as we’ve been for months,” admitted Kean. “But there were a few choice words at half-time and we were better in the second half.”

Villa scored when Carlos Cuellar cut inside from the left with a purposeful run then threaded the ball forward for Charles N’Zogbia to smash beyond Robinson from 12 yards.

N’Zogbia came close to doubling the lead following an Ireland cross but Robinson parried.

Robinson’s impressive display continued, early in the second half, as he tipped away Ireland’s low shot then gathered the loose ball before Alan Hutton could pounce.

His third commendable stop came when he saved Gabriel Agbonlahor’s six-yard header from Stephen Warnock’s delivery.

It paid off when Dunn headed in at the back post following a right-sided ball from Bradley Orr. Villa had been five minutes away from a victory that would have moved them 11 points clear of Blackburn.

Instead they still cannot be entirely comfortable about avoiding a relegation battle with tricky fixtures to come.

“We lacked ruthlessness and that’s blighted us this season,” said manager Alex McLeish. “We created chances but Robinson made some fantastic saves.”

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