Stoke ends run of losses with win over Blackburn

Stoke ended a run of four straight Premier League defeats on

Saturday with a 3-1 win over struggling Blackburn.

Rory Delap put Stoke ahead in the 28th minute with a header to

the far post from Jermaine Pennant’s flat free kick, and Glenn

Whelan made it 2-0 with a low shot that took two deflections on its

way into the net.

Peter Crouch further extended Stoke’s lead 14 minutes later

following some poor defending by the visitors, who still have not

won in the league since their single victory over Arsenal more than

two months ago.

Ruben Rochina got a goal back for Blackburn with four minutes

remaining.

Rovers manager Steve Kean has now won just six of 34 league

matches with the club and, despite signing an improved contract

this week, has been widely criticized by fans with the team

stranded in the bottom three.

Stoke’s first real chance came when a foul on Crouch gave

Pennant a free kick on the right. Delap got in front of Gael Givet

to divert a glancing header from the kick past goalkeeper Paul

Robinson and inside the far post.

Stoke defender Robert Huth headed wide before Etherington picked

out Jon Walters in the penalty area. The midfielder laid the ball

off for Whelan to drive a 25-meter (yard) shot for his first goal

since February 2010.

Crouch wrapped up the win when he converted Marc Wilson’s long

ball into the Rovers penalty area with a left-footed shot.

When Rovers finally threatened, it was too little too late as

Rochina fired home from distance in the 86th.