Blackburn ease relegation fears with win

Blackburn beat Sunderlnad


Junior Hoilett (58) and Yakubu Aiyegbeni (86) scored the goals that earned Blackburn their first back-to-back wins in the Premier League since November 2010. It was little more than they deserved from a contest that will not live long in the memory.

Kean's side are now six points clear of the bottom three clubs - QPR, Wigan and Wolves - and five ahead of Bolton Wanderers with only nine league matches to play courtesy of a comfortable win over a poor Sunderland side.

Hoilett - who had scored a double in the 2-0 win at Wolves 10 days ago - whacked a volley into the vacant visiting net after Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet had failed to punch clear Morten Gamst Pedersen's long throw-in early in the second period.

The ball broke kindly for Hoilett to despatch it through a crowded box for a priceless opening goal.

Sunderland did little of note from an attacking perspective with Rovers goalkeeper Paul Robinson enjoying a quiet night.

Visiting manager Martin O'Neill seemed to cut a confused figure as sloppy patterns of play characterised a disappointing night for his team.

They blew a wonderful chance to equalise when substitute Dong-Won Ji - on for the struggling Frazier Campbell - somehow lifted James McClean's driven cross over the home goal from four yards out on 79 minutes.

They paid the price for such wastefulness when Rovers dashed to the other end to seal the three points when Steven Nzonzi fed Jason Lowe who crossed for Yakubu to nod home his 15th goal of the season.

Yakukbu was unlucky not to net the opening goal on three minutes when he collected Hoilett's pass to chip the ball over Mignolet, but Phil Bardsley showed his worth by hooking the ball off his line.

Martin Olsson crashed a shot across goal that was blocked by Mignolet before Sunderland finally showed signs of having a pulse when the outstanding Grant Hanley tackled Campbell as he controlled McClean's probing pass inside the home box.

Blackburn looked the likelier side with Mignolet managing to swat Mauro Formica's volley wide on 54 minutes before Hoilett got the ball rolling with his opening goal.

Olsson was forced to make a frantic intervention on the goal-line with Nicklas Bendtner poised for a tap-in from McClean's cross while Pedersen whacked a free-kick inches wide after Sunderland debutant Sotirios Kyrgiakos had dragged Yakubu to the deck on the edge of the visiting area.

Blackburn managed to keep a first clean sheet in 16 league games at Ewood Park as they inch nearer preserving their place among England's elite.

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