RvP searching for more goals
Mark Hudson, Craig Bellamy, Joe Mason and Kim Bo-Kyung were on
target as Cardiff moved four points clear at the top of the
Championship table after a 4-1 win at Blackburn on Friday
Having earlier collected a fifth booking of the season to rule
himself out of City’s next game against Peterborough, captain
Hudson headed the visitors into a 30th minute lead from Craig
Bellamy, who counts Rovers among his vast collection of former
clubs, struck the crossbar towards the end of a first half where
Blackburn produced a woeful 45 minutes – a worryingly familiar
theme of their recent outings.
One of Rovers’ few bright sparks, on-loan Manchester United
forward Josh King, brought them level in the 51st minute, only for
Bellamy to restore Cardiff’s advantage four minutes later.
Substitutes Mason and Kim completed Blackburn’s misery, leaving
Henning Berg to survey a fourth defeat from eight games in charge
that leaves his side 15 points behind the leaders after 21 games
and, perhaps more significantly, four shy of the play-off places
ahead of the weekend fixtures.
The visitors started the brighter and after Jason Lowe’s
yellow-card challenge on Bellamy in the 29th minute and an
associated bout of handbags, Peter Whittingham punted the resulting
free-kick hopefully forward. Rovers could only clear as far as
Noone and his left-footed delivery from the right was planted past
Paul Robinson by Hudson.
As Rovers pressed forward, Bellamy raced clear of a vacant
backline and clipped against the bar.
Kazim-Richards was introduced for Markus Olsson as Berg looked
to spark fresh impetus at the break and the change proved to be
inspiredas the Turkey international controlled a Rhodes’ flick on
and released King to slot under onrushing Cardiff goalkeeper David
Moments later Kazim-Richards saw a rasping 20-yard effort
deflected behind, but no sooner had Blackburn briefly assumed the
ascendancy they were behind once more.
Again a long, hopeful free-kick was not dealt with and Bellamy
finished emphatically after cleverly exchanging headers with
In the 63rd minute Mauro Formica spurned a glorious opportunity
for a second equaliser. Marshall saved magnificently after Etuhu’s
shot deflected off King’s back but, when Rhodes selflessly cut the
loose ball across, the Argentinian attacker should have done far
better than to blaze against the top of the bar with the goal at
Bellamy departed to applause from all sides of the ground and
replacement Mason made the points safe six minutes from time,
catching Grant Hanley flat-footed to slip Helguson’s header on
Fellow replacement Kim then got in on the act, sweeping home
Helguson’s return ball after capitalising on a terrible pass from
Scott Dann that served to sum up Blackburn’s evening.
Van Persie has scored 13 goals in his first 19 United
appearances and is clearly the man Manchester City must watch in
Sunday’s blockbuster showdown at the Etihad Stadium.
However, the Dutchman still believes he has plenty of
improvement to make, which could be bad news for Roberto Mancini
and his men.
“When you are wanted by everyone it gives you wings,” Van Persie
“I am happy here and everyone looks very happy to have me
“But I am not satisfied. If you look at the stats, 13 goals in
19 games, it is OK.
“But I want better and more. I want more goals, more
“I want to go for everything that it is possible this year.”
United head to the Etihad Stadium three points clear of City,
but with an inferior goal difference.
As Sir Alex Ferguson noted a few weeks ago, it means United must
be doing something right given the criticism heaped on them for
what, at times, even their manager admitted has been shambolic
“I do (accept United have not been playing at their best),” said
“But I just come back to the winning part.
“We have been winning. We are first in the league, first in the
“Everyone would have signed for that a couple of months ago. Up
to now we can accept it. It is good.
“Now we have to improve. If you just take away a couple of the
goals we gave away in away games, we would have made life easier
Yet Van Persie has no doubts who deserves the credit for
steering United into their present lofty position.
When he quit Arsenal in a ?24million deal last summer, Van
Persie cited the chance to work with Ferguson as one of the major
He has not been left disappointed.
“The way he gets us ready for the games is different class,”
said Van Persie.
“Those speeches are very important for every single one of us.
The things he says, when he says them, before the match, during the
match and after it.
“It is very direct. It is all spot on and very honest.
“I love that. We Dutch people like to be straight and honest and
he tells you how it is.
“If it is good, it is good. If it is not good enough he will
tell you, so you have to improve straight away.
“That is what I like. No one can play 10 games and play well in
all 10. You always have a couple of games where it is not going so
well. You have to deal with that.”