Resilient Rovers Beat Premier League West Ham On Penalties!
Blackburn Rovers booked their way into the 4th round of the Carabao Cup after shocking West Ham in a mega penalty shoot-out at the London Stadium.
Rovers fielded an expected second-string team in the cup tie with the big East Lancashire derby upon the Horizon. The full XI was changed by Rovers with Bradley Dack captaining the side, John Buckley made a return to the 11 for the first time in over a month, and Clinton Mola made his first start for the club. A strong bench with names such as Dom Hyam and Brereton Diaz was also in place for The Blues.
The Hammers changed their full XI from their game against Crystal Palace last weekend with Angelo Ogbonna captaining the side in a back three, with Areola in goal and Antonio starting up front. They currently sit 15th in the Premier League and hoped to Improve on their good cup run last season.
Blackburn made an excellent start to the game, taking the lead inside 6 minutes after Tayo Eduns pass went right through the West Ham defence releasing Jack Vale through on goal, who put it straight through the legs of Areola.
West Ham grew into the game after going behind with plenty of chances being awarded to the East London side in the opening half hour with Antonio and Fornals both missing good chances.
The Irons were applying the pressure however, and their big chance finally came in the 38th minute with Pablo Fornals finding the net after he was gifted the ball with a low drilled cross from Antonio deflecting off John Buckley.
Despite a dominant first half from West Ham, it was Rovers who nearly took the lead going into the break after a poor pass from Conor Coventry gifted Dillan Markanday who took it around the keeper only for his shot to be blocked off the line after taking too long to release the shot.
West Ham came out firing with a big chance falling to Antonio in the 55th minute who hit the post after a cross found him at the back post.Big chances kept coming for West ham with Pears saving shots from Fornals’ and Antonio in the next 20 minutes.
The Jamaican international found himself through on goal in the 75th minute only for the shot to be saved by Pears again and fired over by Benrahma on the rebound.
It was only 3 minutes later until West Ham found themselves in the lead, with Antonios low driving shot putting the home side ahead and set for the 4th Round.
However, complacency should never be an option with Ben Brereton Diaz on the pitch, and West Ham paid the price in doing so as the Chilean international fired the visitors home in the 88th minute, cutting inside onto his right foot to put away a beautiful equaliser for The Blues, sending the game to penalties.
A dreaded penalty shootout was ahead with both teams putting away their opening 5 penalties, sending the shootout to sudden death.
Nobody was missing in this shootout, with Rankin Costello, Carter, Hirst and Garrett all putting away their penalties for Rovers making goalkeeper Aynsley Pears the next taker if West Ham scored their Penalty.
The Irons captain for the night Ogbonna stepped up to take West Hams tenth penalty to send it to the goalkeepers, however the Italian fired the ball onto the bar winning Rovers the shootout 10-9, causing a big upset and claiming their place into the 4th round of the Carabao Cup.
Attendance: 40,534 (Away: 2,000+)