Blackburn 3-0 Bolton

Blackburn deservedly saw off Lancashire rivals Bolton 3-0 to claim

a second successive home victory in the Premier League on Sunday

afternoon.

Nikola Kalinic gave Rovers the lead their first-half

dominance merited three minutes before the interval.

And substitute Jason Roberts and defender Gael Givet struck

in the second half to ensure Bolton, who threatened only

sporadically, remain in the relegation zone – to the glee of a

23,888 crowd at Ewood Park.

Blackburn threatened early on through Morten Gamst Pedersen’s

long throws and, after two were repelled, a third sailed into the

net untouched. Despite raucous cheers from the home faithful, play

restarted with a goal kick and the score at 0-0.

Matt Taylor’s threatening cross required a fine defensive

header from Givet but Chung-Yong Lee’s poor corner was headed away

by the stooping first man, Andrews.

Taylor’s foul on Michel Salgado saw play stopped before Johan

Elmander netted – and Muamba then thwarted the best Rovers chance

thus far.

Andrews met a dangerous corner and Muamba cleared his header

off the line before also diverting Kalinic’s overhead kick onto the

post and away to safety.

Jaaskelainen had to be quickly out of his area to prevent

Hoilett reaching Salgado’s dangerous through-ball and he was soon

off limits again, scrambling the ball back into his area and diving

on it with Kalinic in hot pursuit.

Ricardo Gardner and Ryan Nelsen went off for treatment

following a collision in which the home captain came off worst, and

Rovers were then awarded a dangerous free-kick for full-back Paul

Robinson’s foul on Kalinic. Pedersen curled narrowly over.

Nelsen’s injury got the better of him and he was replaced by

Vince Grella, Andrews slotting in at centre-half.

Rovers keeper Paul Robinson made a good save to keep out

Taylor’s drive – and was rewarded as his side took a half-time

lead.

Excellent work from Diouf kept a breakaway move going and

Pedersen squared unselfishly for Kalinic to rifle home,

Jaaskelainen unable to keep the ball out despite getting a touch on

it.

The first half began in light snow – and without referee

Chris Foy, who did not re-emerge due to an injury. Fourth official

Lee Probert took his place.

Gloveman Robinson preserved his side’s lead when he was

quickly off his line to smother the ball as Gardner ran clear on

goal.

And opposite number Jaaskelainen also had to be at his best

to keep out Hoilett’s point-blank diving header from Pedersen’s

cross.

Bolton were denied again when Lee’s shot on the turn drew a

fine diving save from Robinson.

Boss Owen Coyle stepped up his side’s search for an equaliser

by introducing Vladimir Weiss and Mark Davies for Taylor and

Muamba, while Rovers withdrew the impressive Hoilett in favour of

striker Roberts.

Kalinic got no support from Mr Probert when toppling over

last defender Robinson, and on-loan Manchester City youngster Weiss

made a vital interception when a Rovers break threatened to put

Pedersen through on goal.

As the snow grew heavier, Ivan Klasnic was introduced for

Elmander and immediately sent a tame free-kick into Robinson’s

grasp.

Steven Nzonzi’s towering header from a Pedersen corner forced

Jaaskelainen into a superb save but it was only a temporary

reprieve for Bolton.

Pedersen’s second flag-kick was not convincingly cleared and

Givet hooked it back into the box for Roberts to finish tamely

through the hands of the keeper.

Gretar Steinsson was booked for flattening Kalinic and

Pedersen’s fierce low free-kick somehow eluded both the Croatian

and Diouf with only a touch needed.

But Rovers were able to add a third with six minutes

remaining when Diouf’s free-kick was headed in by Givet for the

Frenchman’s first goal at Ewood Park.

Dunn replaced the hard-working Kalinic two minutes later,

with both men given standing ovations as the home faithful revelled

in their march to victory.

Roberts squandered a good late chance and Rovers failed to

make the most of Jaaskelainen’s subsequent dreadful goal-kick, but

it was of no consequence.