Blackburn Rovers vs. Norwich City  2 - 0

Article

Premier League: Blackburn 2 Norwich 0

22 April 2012 03:36

Goals from Mauro Formica and Junior Hoilett earned Blackburn a vital 2-0 win over Norwich at Ewood Park.

The Argentine finished calmly just before half time before Hoilett's stunning 30-yard strike sealed the points for Rovers four minutes after the interval.

Norwich were left frustrated with their finishing as they failed to take their chances.

The win gives fresh hope to Rovers in their relegation battle while the Canaries' hopes of finishing in the top half took a setback.

The visitors settled immediately winning a corner inside the opening minute, however Grant Holt could not control his header before Elliott Bennett shot narrowly wide during a nervous start for Rovers.

Holt then forced the first save of the match from Paul Robinson as he saved comfortably to his right but Blackburn could not clear their lines, fortunately for the hosts though James Vaughan miss kicked Andrew Surman's cut back.

At the other end minutes later Russell Martin misjudged his jump and appeared to handle the ball yet referee Kevin Friend waved away their protests.

Hoilett found space down the right on 21 minutes, his bending cross was parried by John Ruddy straight into Elliott Ward but his partner Ryan Bennett was able to clear the danger.

Hoilett again made a burst down the right wing, his cross found Pedersen at the back post who cut his header back to Yakubu, the Nigerian striker attempted a clever overhead kick which had Ruddy beaten but it struck the foot of the post.

They soon made this pressure count just before half time, Pedersen sent in an early cross which sailed over everyone but Formica was lurking at the back post and his side foot volley flew between Ruddy's legs.

Blackburn came out in the second half with immediate intent, Hoilett cut in this time from the left hand side before curling an incredible shot into the top right corner, the diving Ruddy could not get enough on it and the lead was doubled.

Norwich began to get a hold of the ball but struggled to create anything clear cut as Blackburn stood firm with a 2-0 cushion.

Canaries' boss Lambert rang the changes for the visitors introducing Anthony Pilkington, Steve Morison and Aaron Wilbraham but Norwich's frustrations continued.

Robinson had to be at his best though to prevent Wilbraham, he controlled well and his snap shot was well saved. From the resulting corner Wilbraham again had the chance to score but could not connect with his head just yards from goal.

A resolute performance from the Blackburn defence proved more than a match against the best efforts of Norwich in the closing stages as Rovers held out for what could turn out to be three key points.

Article

Premier League preview: Blackburn v Norwich

19 April 2012 18:04

Blackburn Rovers boss Steve Kean has conceded anything but a win at home to Norwich on Saturday could seal his side's Premier League fate.

Rovers are three points adrift of Premier League safety with four games remaining and host Norwich on the back of five straight losses.

With away trips to Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea to come, Kean believes Blackburn needs seven more points for a realistic shot at top flight survival.

"We have to win the next game because I think we need two wins and a draw," Kean told the Lancashire Telegraph.

"That is the minimum requirement.

"People will say you get on a good run and that breeds confidence, but you can breed confidence by looking at what you have done before.

"We have to look at what we did well against Norwich and get out of the position we are in."

Rovers are one of only four teams to win the Premier League, along with Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United, but face relegation from the division for the second time.

Norwich were thumped 6-1 by title contenders Manchester City last weekend and occupy 11th in the Premier League standings.

"It's a bit of a knock but you've got to try and take some positives out of it," Norwich midfielder Andrew Surman told BBC Radio Norfolk.

"It's difficult to do that when it's 6-1 at home but we can take positives out of large parts of the game and I'm sure it will keep us going for the rest of the season."

Norwich have won 11 games in their first season in the Premier League since 2004-05 and could still finish as high as seventh.

Norwich and Blackburn played out a thrilling 3-3 draw last time the two teams met in November Carrow Road, with Bradley Johnson and Grant Holt scoring late on to secure a point for the home side.

Disgruntled Rovers supporters will again take to the streets in protest before Saturday's game, calling for owners Venky's to sell the club and Kean's sacking.

Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 38 +64 89
2 38 +56 89
3 38 +25 70
4 38 +25 69
5 38 +5 65
6 38 +19 64
7 38 +10 56
8 38 +7 52
9 38 -3 52
10 38 -7 47
11 38 -7 47
12 38 -14 47
13 38 -1 45
14 38 -17 45
15 38 -20 43
16 38 -16 38
17 38 -23 37
18 38 -31 36
19 38 -30 31
20 38 -42 25