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
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
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
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
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
And opposite number Jaaskelainen also had to be at his best
to keep out Hoilett’s point-blank diving header from Pedersen’s
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
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
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.