Live Commentary: Millwall 0-0 Blackburn Rovers - as it happened

Millwall boss Kenny Jackett during the FA Cup 5th round match against Luton on February 16, 2013
© PA Photos
Find out how Millwall were held to a 0-0 draw in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup by Blackburn Rovers with Sports Mole's live updates.

Millwall and Blackburn Rovers met at The Den this afternoon with a place in the semi-finals of the FA Cup at stake.

As it was, both sides struck the post but neither was able to break the deadlock throughout the 90 minutes. As a result, they will now meet again at Ewood Park on Wednesday night to determine who will advance through to Wembley.

You can find out how the match unfolded with our minute-by-minute commentary below.


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1.03pmAfternoon all. Right then, take three! Millwall vs. Blackburn Rovers is the third of four FA Cup quarter-finals. While it may not provide the glamour of Manchester United vs. Chelsea, which we will be bringing you live updates of later today, it is a massive match for both of these clubs. After all, the winners will play the semi-final at Wembley.

1.06pmBefore we get involved with all the pre-match chat and statistics, the team news from The Den is just beginning to filter through. Let's start with the home side...

1.09pmMILLWALL X1: Forde; Dunne, Shittu, Beevers, Lowry; J.Smith, Trotter, C.Taylor; N'Guessan, Keogh, Hulse

1.10pmWell, Kenny Jackett is setting his stool out early, that's for sure. It's an attacking lineup from the Millwall boss, who has gone with Danny N'Guessan, Andy Keogh and Rob Hulse as an attacking trio. Elsewhere, Chris Taylor has been included in the heart of midfield alongside Liam Trotter.

1.11pmBLACKBURN X1: Kean; Henley, Dann, Hanley, Markus Olsson; Bentley, Lowe, Pedersen; King, Best, Rhodes

1.13pmHaving said all that about Millwall, Blackburn are not exactly lacking in attacking options either. Josh King and Jordan Rhodes will be joined in the advanced roles by Leon Best, who has recently returned following a serious knee injury that he sustained last summer. David Bentley is also named in the midfield after his recent loan switch from Tottenham Hotspur.

1.17pmAfter seeing both of those lineups, it should hopefully be a good FA Cup tie ahead of his. Fingers crossed this won't jinx it, but with the players on show, we should surely see some goals today.

1.19pmTalking of goals, scoring them is something that seems to come so natural to Blackburn striker Jordan Rhodes. Since his summer switch from Huddersfield, the Scotland international has found the net on 21 occasions. It would take a brave person to back against him finding the net today.

1.22pmSomeone that for whatever reason did not rate Rhodes was Roy Keane while he was in charge of Ipswich Town. The Irish boss allowed Rhodes to join Huddersfield and since then he has gone on to flourish. In the build-up to this match, Rhodes has been speaking about Keane's decision to let him leave:

"My paths haven't crossed with Roy since. He didn't say anything to me when he released me or give me any reasons," Rhodes told The Sun.

"In hindsight, it has done me a favour. Going to Huddersfield at the time I did, under Lee Clark and the chairman Dean Hoyle, was the best thing that could ever have happened to me.

"It happens in all aspects of life, when somebody gets dealt criticism or gets released from a club, or gets sacked from a job. They try to take it upon themselves to say 'Right, I'll show you, I'll improve and I'll work as hard as I can to make myself a player I would love to be'."



1.26pmToday Rhodes will be partnered by Leon Best, who is bound to be delighted by his inclusion. Just days after he joined Rovers from Newcastle United last summer, the centre-forward damaged his cruciate ligament. He has made a couple of appearances from the bench, but this will mark his first start for Rovers. On paper, it is a very potent strike force that the visitors possess.

1.29pmNot that Millwall do not have their own threats, because they do. Rob Hulse and Andy Keogh are good strikers, particularly at Championship level. I only hope that I'm not building this up so much and it ends in a boring 0-0 draw!

1.34pmWhen these two met earlier in the season, Millwall ran out 2-0 winners at Ewood Park. Their scorers on that November afternoon were Chris Wood and James Henry. Worryingly for Millwall fans, Wood is still the club's top scorer on 11 goals, despite the fact that he only spent three months with the Londoners on loan and has since signed for Leicester City. Henry is also absent today with a knee problem.

1.37pmWith around 20 minutes or so until we get started at The Den, let's have a look at what both managers have been saying during the week shall we? Starting with Millwall's Jackett...

1.38pm"The chance to play at Wembley is a fantastic incentive for the players," the London Evening Standard quotes Jackett as saying. "They've been different types of games throughout the run and we've negotiated all of them, from a Premier League team to a non-league team.

"We are really focused on this game and there is a good buzz at the training ground. We need to improve from how we played against Wolves and we will improve on Sunday."


1.41pmMeanwhile, Blackburn boss Michael Appleton has told his players to forget about league matters for 90 minutes:

"I think this is an opportunity to put the league to bed for a few days," he told the club's official website. "We've got a great opportunity to go and play at Wembley, it has been a while since the football club did that.

"So I'm sure the players will grasp that, they've got an opportunity to do something special.

"It is a quarter-final cup tie, two Championship teams going head-to-head knowing that the likelihood is that the winners will play one of the big boys at a magnificent stadium."


1.46pmRight then, in the interests of fairness, let's bring you a couple of statistics that should feel both sets of supporters with some hope:

1. Millwall have lost just two of their last 18 FA Cup games at home, winning 11 and drawing five

2. Blackburn are one of only two sides yet to concede a goal in the FA Cup - the other is Manchester City.


1.52pmNot long now until we get started. Have to say, there is a lively atmosphere building up inside the The Den right now - not that you would expect anything less. This really is a huge match for both clubs - Wembley awaits.

1.56pmHere come both sets of players to a loud reception. Only a couple of minutes now until this weekend's third FA Cup quarter-final starts.

1 minGame on! This all-Championship clash is off and running.

3 minA frantic start, with hosting Millwall in the ascendancy. Unfortunately for the Lions their opening attack ends when N'Guessan appears to lose his bearings and runs the ball out for a goal kick. There was nobody around him!

7 minApart from Rhodes having his route blocked to goal by Danny Shittu inside the penalty area, we have seen very little from Blackburn as an attacking force so far. It's Millwall that are doing all the early running and they have pegged Rovers back inside their own half.


12 minVery little to report over the last few minutes. Millwall are seeing more of the ball as mentioned earlier but they are not calling Jake Kean into action. There is a bit of nervousness about both teams, which is understandable given the prize that is on offer for the victor.

16 minOUCH! Scott Dann looks in a bit of pain and you can see why. As he leaps to meet a goal kick, the Blackburn defender is caught in the head by Hulse's elbow. There was no intent, but Dann has to leave the pitch because blood is streaming down his face. It shouldn't stop him from returning, but he will need to change his shirt.

21 minThe first shot of the match is not one to write home about. A cross from the right is punched clear by Blackburn keeper Kean. The ball reaches Smith, who takes one touch to steady himself, before scuffing his effort well, well wide of the target. Not his finest strike, that's for sure.

25 minBOOKING! It's all kicked off at The Den, although I have no idea why! Blackburn's Markus Olsson refuses to give the ball to Millwall, who have been given a free kick. He is bundled to the ground by Smith, but still receives a booking for his troubles! Millwall keeper David Forde also sees yellow for getting involved. All a bit needless if you ask me.

29 minBOOKING! Martin Atkinson is getting a little too card happy now. The latest to go into the book is Blackburn defender Jason Lowe for blocking off Chris Taylor. Yes it was a foul, but it was the first that Lowe had committed and it was by no means cynical. A talking to would have been suffice.

33 minStill very little happening here in terms of goalscoring chances. Millwall look the more likely to score, but they are finding it very hard to carve out any clear chances. The only action Kean in the Blackburn goal is being called into is when a cross is swung into the area.

37 minBlackburn have been very disappointing so far. They have players such as David Bentley on the pitch and yet everything they are doing at the moment is long ball stuff. The whole midfield is being bypassed and the likes of Rhodes and Best are currently feeding off scraps.

40 minOFF THE POST! It has taken 40 minutes, but at last we've had a good chance and the home side go oh so close to taking the lead. A cross by Taylor deceives Kean and Keogh is waiting at the back post. The Millwall striker connects with a header, but the ball cannons to safety off the upright.

45 minWe will have two minutes of stoppage time at The Den...

45+2 minHALF-TIME: Millwall 0-0 Blackburn

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2.54pmWhatever way you attempt to dress it up, that wasn't pretty. Perhaps both sides are nervous, what with Wembley the prize for the winner. Even so, there has been very, very little quality on show. Surely the second half will be better, won't it?!

2.55pmAt least Millwall have tried to mount some attacks. Okay their finishing has not been great and Keogh was unlucky with the header, but they are trying to be positive. Providing they keep that up and show a greater clinical touch after the restart, they have to be the favourites to progress as it stands.

2.59pmBlackburn on the other hand have offered very, very little. They have the best striker on the pitch in Rhodes and the Scottish international has barely had a sniff. He has cut a very frustrated figure up front and you can understand his feelings. Perhaps bringing on someone like David Dunn may swing things their way? The midfielder has an eye for a pass that Rovers are currently lacking.

3.01pmAccording to this statistic from Opta on Twitter, Millwall must score after the break:

"1 - Millwall have failed to score in just one of their last 15 FA Cup matches at the New Den. Roar."


45 minRight then, Blackburn get the second half off and running. It can't be much worse than the opening 45 minutes to be brutally honest!

47 minCHANCE! Big, big opportunity for Rhodes. He has had nothing to do all match but he should have stuck his side in front. The ball drops to him inside the area and with one touch he opens up some space for himself. The goal is then at his mercy, but he lifts his shot way over the target from six yards out. He normally scores those in his sleep!

49 minSUBSTITUTION: It's game over for Bradley Orr, who appears to have picked up a leg injury. The full-back's place has gone to midfielder Dunn, which is likely to result in a reshuffle in the Blackburn lineup.

52 minJust heard a statistic that sums up the first half from a Blackburn point of view. Rhodes's strike partner Best touched the ball just SEVEN times during the opening 45 minutes. How bored must he have been?!

55 minBOOKING! That is the clearest yellow card you are ever likely to see. Blackburn's King beats Shane Lowry all ends up, but just as the Norwegian attempts to run down the line, he is upended by the Millwall defender. It's not often that a player will accept being cautioned, but even Lowry couldn't argue that one!

57 minSAVE! We were so close from seeing a goal of the season contender and it was from Millwall centre-back Shittu no less. He decides to try his luck from a full 40 yards out. The ball is heading for the top corner but Kean manages to just get his hand up in time to tip it over the bar. Shittu will never have struck a ball so cleanly in his career!

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59 minWHAT A MISS! If Millwall go out today, Hulse will not be a popular man around The Den. His fellow striker Keogh knocks the ball across the face of the goal for him and all he has to do is roll the ball into the net from four yards out. However, he goes for power and the ball flies well over the crossbar. Moments ago we almost saw the goal of the season, well now we have just seen one of the misses of the season!

63 minI'm still struggling to get over that miss from Hulse and it appears that Millwall are as well. They have done very little in an attacking sense since that wayward shot. The hosts need to regain their focus quickly.

68 minSmith in the midfield for Millwall has been the best player on the pitch so far today. While those around him have been very wasteful at times, he has kept the ball well and has seemingly always found a teammate. He is beginning to pick out Keogh on a regular basis and it looks like that will be Millwall's most likely route to finding a goal.

73 minVery little happening now at The Den. The onus really is on Millwall because they are the home side. Blackburn would probably take a draw because they would then have a replay back at Ewood Park. It's doubtful that Millwall fancy a trip up to Lancashire on a cold Wednesday night.

76 minOFF THE POST! Millwall struck the woodwork during the first half and now it is Blackburn's turn to go close. Scott Dann up from the back heads the ball across goal for King, who glances a header towards goal. He thinks that he has scored, but the ball grazes the post before it is cleared to safety. Unlucky from the former Man United youngster.

80 minBlackburn are actually now looking the more likely team to break the deadlock. They are getting the ball wide and as a result have won a number of corners which are causing problems. Perhaps they also do not fancy a replay.

83 minBOOKING! A frustrated Best, who must have had around 10 touches now, sees yellow for dissent towards the referee. It has not been the comeback that he would have dreamed of, although there is still time to alter that.

88 minBack come Millwall after a bit of Blackburn dominance. Both Keogh and N'Guessan are looking dangerous, having moved to wider roles in the last 15 minutes or so. They are running out of time though if they want to avoid a replay. A goal now would surely win it.

89 minSUBSTITUTION: A late switch for Blackburn as King is replaced by the experienced Nuno Gomes. His move to Ewood Park has not quite worked out but now he has a chance to make himself a hero with the away faithful.

90 minWe're going to have three minutes of stoppage time at The Den...

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90+3 minFULL TIME: Millwall 0-0 Blackburn

3.54pmWell, that wasn't great if I'm honest! Both sides had chances, but neither can really argue that they deserved to win it. They will go again on Wednesday for a place in the semi-finals of the FA Cup. Let's hope it is better second time around - it can't get much worse!

3.55pmThat's all we have time for from The Den. Thanks for joining us this afternoon. Until next time, goodbye.

The Den
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