Premier League - Blackburn secure vital win

Sat, 21 Apr 16:57:00 2012

Blackburn brought a run of five Premier League defeats in a row to an end with goals from Junior Hoilett and Mauro Formica in a 2-0 victory against Norwich City at Ewood Park, that moved them up to third from bottom in their battle against the drop.

Blackburn 2 Norwich 0

There was another pre-match protest from disgruntled Blackburn fans, who would have further voiced their displeasure at the interval had Formica not given the hosts the lead five minutes before the break in a scrappy first-half that the visitors just about shaded.

The second-half seemed destined to be a tense affair but a strike of genuine quality from Hoilett put the game beyond Paul Lambert’s men.

With the early March mini-renaissance that saw Rovers climb out of the relegation drop zone a distant memory, Steve Kean’s men welcomed Norwich City to Ewood Park in desperate need of a win to reignite their fight against the drop having not picked up a Premier League point in just over a month.

But, Kean - who has set his side a target of seven points from their remaining four fixtures that included today's match and trips to Tottenham and Chelsea – had to do without the services of centre-back Grant Hanley but Yakubu Aiyegbeni and winger Hoilett were available having recovered from niggling injuries.

Paul Lambert, meanwhile, welcomed James Vaughan back into the match day squad following a lengthy injury lay-off but was without defenders Marc Tierney and Daniel Ayala as his side vie with Swansea – a point and a place behind them in the table coming into this fixture – to be the most successful of last year’s promoted teams.

Despite not receiving the platitudes that are often reserved for their South Wales counterparts, Norwich’s successes this season have been built on ball retention but both sides began tentatively.

Neither side could get a foothold in the game as both employed a direct style of play, which rendered the midfield area obsolete for much of the first half.

But it was Norwich who just about edged the opening 30 minutes – on account of fashioning more openings.

However, Blackburn were unlucky not to have a penalty with a little under quarter of an hour on the clock when Russell Martin appeared to handle a David Dunn cross but referee Kevin Friend was unmoved by the appeals of the home side.

That penalty aside, the hosts offered little in the way of attacking threat early on.

Yakubu cut an isolated figure up front for much of the first-half but Norwich were to rue early missed chances by Vaughan and Grant Holt as the Nigerian broke the offside trap to feed Morten Gamst Pedersen, who picked out Formica at the back post to give the hosts the lead with a volley.

The goal was a little harsh on the visitors, but, coupled with those missed early chances, they failed to heed the growing influence of Yakubu, who had stuck a post moments before the goal with an improvised over-head kick.

Having taken the lead just shy of half-time, a period of consolidation would have sufficed come the second half, but Hoilett, out of contract come the end of the season, cut in from the left before whipping a curled effort just out of the reach of John Ruddy from just outside the area with only four minutes of the second period gone.

Having secured a two goal advantage, Blackburn appeared content to sit back, soak up the pressure and hit their visitors on the break and the tactic worked well until Lambert introduced Anthony Pilkington and Aaron Wilbraham.

Pilkington nearly found Aaron Wilbraham at the back post following a jinking run before the former MK Dons man drew a sharp save from Paul Robinson from a tight angle following some smart control.

Ryan Bennett headed the resulting corner agonisingly wide for the visitors, and Blackburn were able to see out the half relatively untroubled.

The win moves Rovers level on points with QPR who host Tottenham Hotspur in the late kick-off but will give Steve Kean’s men hope that they can again avoid the drop.

Marcus Foley / Eurosport

Comment 1 - 20 of 20

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  1. Terry Conners a genius next to Kean!!

    From steve f, on Mon 23 Apr 18:27
  2. post 18 what the f? is that? you polish or from a­ deprived background?? dont make sense to me??

    From steve f, on Mon 23 Apr 11:58
  3. {{{ Enjoy the game with me}}}

    From disallusioned nurse, on Sun 22 Apr 18:43
  4. Norwich City Have To Win Is Your I Am Not Going To Be­ Happy But Get In Blackburn Rovers

    From disallusioned nurse, on Sun 22 Apr 18:41
  5. steven your on the weed again there's no way we­ need to win two out of the next three?? Tot away­ chelsea away who both need points,Norwich nothing to­ play for and it showed, wigan got wolves last game Nuff­ said pal.

    From steve f, on Sun 22 Apr 11:09
  6. the great escape-its on!

    From STEPHEN, on Sun 22 Apr 6:49
  7. Subs :- Briggs, Eckersley, Crossen, Bell and Blacklaw.

    From steve f, on Sat 21 Apr 11:44
  8. Leyland, Newton Bray, Clayton Woods McGrath, Douglas­ Vernon Shearer Quigley McCloud??

    From steve f, on Sat 21 Apr 11:41
  9. Norwich nothing to play for we need the points, never­ seen a poor Bookie!!

    From steve f, on Sat 21 Apr 11:40
  10. so if anyone was blackburn manager what would your side­ be today

    From STEVEN, on Sat 21 Apr 10:57
  11. interesting betting tho steve f blackburn are favorites­ do you think the bookies know something we dont

    From STEVEN, on Sat 21 Apr 10:53
  12. Hope there's a huge turn out at the protest today,­ not my way of doing it but good luck chaps and­ chapesses, my way? just dont go on!!

    From steve f, on Sat 21 Apr 9:30
  13. You've got to feel for Stevie, he's Scottish, a­ loser, deluded and bald...oooo and he reckons he­ manages Blackburn...lolser.

    From PRunguru, on Sat 21 Apr 6:46
  14. Steve Kean is a delusional Scot with no management­ credentials...simples.

    From PRunguru, on Sat 21 Apr 6:31
  15. Stevie boy you have as much chance of 7 points from­ those 4 games as I have of joining the board at­ Venky's pal. you havent done it all season and even­ i cant remember the last time you beat Harry??­ nevermind the Barcelona beaters?? Wigan will­ undoubtably take the points so that leaves you with a­ possibility of 3?? Not in the real world sums up your­ drivel !!

    From steve f, on Fri 20 Apr 18:45
  16. Speculate all you want, we are definatly down!!! only a­ dreamer would think there's an escape at all its­ too late and we have been right all season, pathetic­ Stevie boy!! best manager in the prem!! LOL

    From steve f, on Fri 20 Apr 12:17
  17. match fact as we need 2 of the 3 teams above us to slip­ up we probably need to win all 4 of our games

    From STEVEN, on Fri 20 Apr 8:31
  18. Match fact: If Blackburn don't win they will 100%­ get relegated

    From Jonnyfromburnley, on Thu 19 Apr 21:15
  19. Norwich cannot loose to this Disorganised Rabble led by­ the master of the Rabble and his cohort to the­ Championship, only won 5 all season at home why shold­ we win this and forget wigan can see a mighty thumping­ comming up there!!

    From steve f, on Thu 19 Apr 11:57
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