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v Crystal Palace

Sunday 21 September K.O. 16:00

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Ewood Park | 14th August 2010 15:00 | Attendance - 25869

Blackburn v Everton

Everton's Premier League campaign began in frustrating fashion with a 1-0 reverse at Blackburn.

The Toffees had more of the possession at Ewood Park but were unable to fashion sufficient clear cut chances after an uncharacteristic Tim Howard error had presented Rovers with a 13th minute lead.

The USA stopper dropped the ball at the feet of Nikola Kalinic who simply rolled the ball into an empty net.

Everton set about restoring parity but it took until the 29th minute for the Blues to test Paul Robinson when Tim Cahill seized on a loose ball and sent it goalwards. Robinson easily gathered it and in truth Steven Pienaar might have been better placed to strike it.

Tim HowardKalinic scores the first goal

There was a fabulous reception for World Cup hero John Heitinga as he warmed up and soon Mikel Arteta had a decent looking free kick deflected wide.

The corner eventually saw Pienaar rifle in a shot that Robinson spilled before the ball was cleared.

Rovers fans shouted for handball in the box just before the half time whistle blew but ref Phil Dowd wasn't impressed with their claims.

Chances remained scarce in the second half with Phil Jagielka and Arteta both slashing long range efforts wide.

Moyes then threw on Jermaine Beckford for his Premier League debut with just over half an hour left but it was Rovers who threatened next when Phil Jones volleyed over from the edge of the box.

Louis SahaSaha tangles with the Rovers backline

In the 66th minute Rovers broke and Howard saved excellently with his feet as sub Mame Diouf tried to slot the ball home.

Then Sylvain Distin blocked from Jones after a good run and Ryan Nelson was wasteful with the corner that followed.

Louis Saha had a great chance when he was played in by Neville with 20 minutes to go but the Frenchman's shot on the volley was way over Robinson's bar.

It was Saha's last significant action as he was replaced by Diniyar Bilyaletdinov, with Jack Rodwell following on from the bench.

Mikel ArtetaArteta rides a challenge from Nzonzi

But it was the home side who almost doubled their lead when Steven Nzonzi flashed a header wide from an El Hadji Diouf cross with 13 minutes left.

New man Bilyaletdinov was at the centre of a goalmouth melee that ended in nought as Everton turned the screw in search of an equaliser.

And Robinson's best save of the game came in stoppage time when he repelled a Jagielka piledriver and secured three points for his side.

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