Blackburn wait for assessment of Benni's injury


McCarthy limped out of yesterday’s match after eight minutes following a collision with Fulham defender Dejan Stefanovic that left him needing lengthy treatment.

The former Porto player's leg was heavily bandaged as he was led off the Craven Cottage pitch and Rovers’ boss Mark Hughes will be hoping his leading scorer is back in action quickly.

McCarthy has eight goals this season but Rovers managed to snatch a hard-fought draw in his absence.

They hit back twice as Danny Murphy’s 51st minute penalty was cancelled out by Australia midfielder Brett Emerton six minutes later. Diomansy Kamara restored Fulham’s advantage in the 63rd minute, only for Stephen Warnock to give Blackburn a share of the spoils with 11 minutes to play.

Bafana Bafana captain Aaron Mokoena had a good game for Rovers and was substituted just before the final whistle.

Hughes was impressed by Blackburn’s spirit and said: “I didn't anticipate I’d lose Benni within minutes of the kick-off and it was difficult from that point on.

“But Jason Roberts came on and was a handful so for him to put in a performance like that was exceptional.”

Steven Pienaar was in top form for Everton at the weekend, scoring their third goal during a 7-1 rout of Sunderland.

Everton produced a dazzling exhibition of top-class football with the South African national team midfielder netting a spectacular shot in the 43rd minute.

He linked well on the left flank with Nuno Valente, who slid a perfect return pass for the Bafana Bafana midfielder to blast the ball into the top right corner of the goal from 12 metres out, much to the delight of the 38 594 home fans.

As early as the 5th minute, Pienaar was in the thick of the action steering a shot wide, but very soon afterwards, Everton opened the scoring and completely outplayed Sunderland, especially in the second period when they netted four times.

In the 85th minute, Pienaar almost scored a second, however, his drive was parried to safety, and seconds later his teammate put the final nail in Sunderland’s coffin.

In the Championship, Burton O’Brien also had a very busy afternoon, although following a goalless draw; his Sheffield Wednesday side had to be satisfied with a point against lowly Queen’s Park Rangers in London.

The player, who was once considered for selection to the national team during Stuart Baxter’s reign, took numerous corners, and in the second half hit the bar with a close left-footed shot.

There was finally some good news for Andrew Surman and his Southampton teammates, who picked up three valuable points against Blackpool on the south coast.

The only goal of the match came just before half time, and although the Saints later missed a penalty, Blackpool failed to capitalise.

In League Two, both Bally Smart and Glynn Hurst suffered defeats as MK Dons and Bury were beaten 2-1 by Chesterfield and Morecambe, respectively.

Smart watched proceedings from the bench, while Hurst had a very quiet game, before being substituted in the 59th minute.

Despite this defeat, the Dons remain top of the log but Bury dropped to eleventh place.

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