Got himself into all sorts of trouble in the first half, playing with a nervousness befitting a relegation battle such as this one at Ewood Park. Tentative in the tackle and short on half a yard’s pace, Nelsen never really looked like the commanding presence that we know he can be. Brought off before the 40-minute mark.
Certainly seemed to come out on top in the battle of the English keepers, dominating from crosses and closing down the angles to block a rasping Phillips shot in the first half to keep his side in the game when 1-0 down. Pulled out an excellent stop to keep out Larsson's free-kick just before the hour mark.
The former Real Madrid man has never been in Premier League relegation fight but he has taken to it like a duck to water if this showing is anything to go by. He may be 35 but he offered just as much blood and thunder as any of his counterparts, denying Larsson time and again.
Much, much more than an imposing physical presence and proved as much with some magnificent distribution to both Pedersen and Hoilett on the flanks. Battled hard with Cameron Jerome and stuck to his task manfully, making life very difficult for Birmingham's front two and threatening from crosses as always
Proved himself to be a fine attacking threat down the left-hand side but was left isolated by Pedersen who failed to track back and help. That was decisive in the build up to Birmingham's opener as the full-back was left with too many men to pick up.
Looked comfortable in a more advanced midfield role, making some bursting forward runs to look to help Santa Cruz but soon moved back into defence following Nelsen's substitution. Strong in the tackle and calm on the ball, this was a very assured performance from the young Englishman.
Comfortable in possession but a little suspect when put under pressure from Bowyer and Fergsuon. Created very little but was an extra body to help break up the play when Birmingham broke forward.
Was given a superb chance to open the scoring after only 2 minutes but slipped just inside the box after picking up fine squared ball from Hoilett. Worked hard but created very little.
Delivered some superb balls from set plays but never really made much of an impact away from free-kicks and corners. Looked a little off the pace as each half progressed, leaving Olsson isolated down the channel.
Took his goal superbly and it was fully deserved for a fabulous performance. Full of verve from the off and always a danger on the break, the young Canadian was in impressive form once again for the hosts, causing all sorts of problems for Liam Ridgewell down the right. Taken off in the second half but the best player on the field by a distance.
R. Santa Cruz
Was left isolated on his own for far too long with good distribution shortcoming from his midfielders. Grew more and more frustrated as the game drew on and you could hardly blame the Paraguayan. Substituted on the hour mark having headed onto the bar merely minutes earlier.
Was embarrassed by Hoilett as Blackburn made it 1-1 but was given next to no chance thank to Ridgewell's diabolical defending having lost possession. Flapped under Rovers' aerial assault and struggled to organise his defence when it mattered most.
Delivered with a world-class challenge on Hoilett on the quarter of an hour mark and was sharp as Blackburn counter attacked. Left much of his aerial responsibilities to partner Liam Ridgewell but was solidity personified once again for Alex McLeish's side when called upon. Took a nasty blow to head before half time and was taken off as a result.
Struggled from the off to contain Hoilett, who put in a remarkable shift down both flanks. Was a little rusty with his distribution, lacking that vital sharpness at the back.
Spent far too much time on the ball ahead of half time and was duly punished by the insatiable Hoilett. Failed to keep up with the Canadian having lost out to him just inside his own half and was left red faced as Rovers equalised.
Still showing remarkable energy down the right at the ripe-old-age of 34 and looked to use his admirable turn of pace to beat Pedersen on the counter attack. Defensively solid against the Norwegian, who struggled to find space under the Irishman's watchful eye.
Could hardly miss with his opener but it was much deserved. Acted as the ultimate utility man in the Birmingham midfield, shifting from left to centre to right with consummate ease. Constantly looking to probe with a number of through balls, the former Leeds man certainly troubled in the gaps between Blackburn's midfield and defence.
The Scot came up against his former club but struggled to have as much of a say as he would have liked in the opening 45 minutes as Rovers pinned the visitors back. Didn't pass up his defensive responsibilities, however.
Went missing for large periods of the game but came alive when it counted. Started the move in the middle of midfield to pick out Larsson ahead of Bowyer's opener. Worked hard but other than for the occasional bright spark, failed to have much of a say.
Put in a wonderful ball from the right for Bowyer's opener making it as easy a goal as the former Leeds man is ever likely to score. Was left a little isolated from time to time and strayed from his position when looking for the ball. Was unlucky to see a wonderfully hit free-kick onto the upright on the 36-minute mark.
Was given plenty of time to win the ball from Ben Foster’s high probing balls and took up the opportunity gleefully. Got himself involved in an intriguing battle with Christopher Samba but was largely shut out by the Congolese man, failing to use his strength to any great effect.
- 13 M. Bunn
- 31 G. Hanley
Came on for Hoilett but had next to no effect down the right-hand side.
Replaced Roque Santa Cruz on the hour mark but was largely wasteful, limply hitting past Foster's post soon after his introduction.
- 41 M. Diouf
Brought on to partner Santa Cruz in the first half and used his physical presence well to unsettle the Birmingham defence.
- 20 Rubén Rochina