Wolves stay in Premier League despite 3-2 loss

Published May. 22, 2011 6:46 p.m. ET

Wolverhampton Wanderers retained its place in the Premier League despite losing 3-2 to Blackburn, which had also been fighting relegation on the last day of the season Sunday.

Wolves maintained their topflight status because Birmingham lost 2-1 at Tottenham and Blackpool was beaten 4-2 by Manchester United as the pair went down with West Ham.

Jason Roberts, Brett Emerton and David Hoilett fired Blackburn into a 3-0 lead at halftime. Jamie O'Hara and Stephen Hunt pulled back goals for Wolves in the second half.

Mick McCarthy's side finished the season one place and one point above the bottom three, with Blackburn three points better off.

''I'm not sure my ticker can take it but it's brilliant,'' Wolves manager Mick McCarthy told the BBC. ''We've never let anyone down - they (the players) have never let me down. They responded, it was a great second-half performance. I know we've lost but they're all winners.''

Blackburn had all but secured its survival with a fantastic first-half display, taking the lead after 22 minutes through Roberts.

A low cross from Michel Salgado was deflected into the corner of the net by Roberts, who began his career at Wolves but never played a first-team game.


Wolves were struggling to get their two wingers, Hunt and the returning Matt Jarvis, into the game and were relying too much on the long ball.

Jody Craddock headed the ball out of the Wolves box in the 38th minute but it fell to Emerton, who volleyed past Wayne Henley from 25 meters (yards) out.

Hoilett nearly scored when his low shot flashed just past the far post, but the Canadian made it 3-0 from a low shot after cutting into the area with only seconds remaining in the half.

Wolves started the second half positively and Hunt should have reduced the arrears within a minute of the restart, but he headed wide with the goal at his mercy.

Wolves took until the 73rd to pull one back. Hunt rolled a short free kick to O'Hara and the on-loan Tottenham midfielder found the corner of the net from 20 meters (yards) with a low shot.

The home side was now on the attack, and Blackburn goalkeeper Paul Robinson made a fine save to turn over a powerful header from Steven Fletcher.

Hunt scored Wolves' second in the 87th, receiving the ball on the edge of the area and curling a shot past Robinson into the top corner.