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Friday 28 February 2014

On this day in 1998: Sutton treble puts Blackburn second

Looking back at Premier League history, we recall when high-flying Blackburn beat Leicester 5-3

  • A hat-trick from Chris Sutton (left) helped Blackburn race into a 5-0 lead at Ewood Park

  • Martin Dahlin (pictured) and Colin Hendry also scored as Rovers moved up to second

  • Muzzy Izzet was among the scorers in a late fightback for Leicester, but it wasn't enough rifles through the annals of the Barclays Premier League to find significant events.

28 February 1998: Blackburn Rovers 5-3 Leicester City

Chris Sutton hit his second Barclays Premier League hat-trick of the season as Blackburn Rovers moved up to second in the table with an emphatic 5-3 win over Leicester City.

Rovers had been 5-0 up before a late Leicester fightback, but that did not take the gloss off the performance of the top flight’s leading scorer, Sutton, whose tally moved to 16 for the season after his treble.

“Chris is probably the best target man in England, he has been superb all season,” said Blackburn assistant manager Tony Parkes after the match.

Martin Dahlin had opened the scoring in the 11th minute after good interplay with Damien Duff and Sutton, and this pair also combined for the second goal in the 25th minute. Duff skipped past his man on the wing and crossed for Sutton, whose backheel got the better of Leicester goalkeeper Kasey Keller.

Blackburn went into half-time 3-0 up after Sutton swivelled to hit a low shot into the far corner following a pass from Garry Flitcroft. Two minutes after the interval, Sutton earned the match ball when he chipped Keller after a cross from Tim Sherwood fell into his path.

Colin Hendry hit the fifth through a crowded area after a Sherwood header had been cleared off the line. That was the centre-half’s first goal for more than a year.

Leicester finally rallied and Stuart Wilson pulled one back before Muzzy Izzet headed home Steve Guppy’s cross in the 80th minute. A minute later Guppy set up Robert Ullathorne to make the scoreline more respectable.

Foxes manager Martin O’Neill refused to be downcast, saying: “Funnily enough, I’m going to take a lot of positive things out of the game although we defended poorly all afternoon.”

Leicester, who stayed in seventh after the defeat at Ewood Park, finished the season in 10th while Blackburn ended up sixth.

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Key Points

  • looks back through the annals of history of the competition
  • A memorable event or match from each day of the year will be selected
  • We remember when Blackburn moved up to second as Chris Sutton's treble helped them beat Leicester 5-3