Blackburn 2 Norwich 0: Formica grabs the points but fans still bait Kean
22:07 GMT, 21 April 2012
Goals from Mauro Formica and Junior Hoilett breathed new life into Blackburn's 11th-hour bid for safety.
But it wasn't enough for the unforgiving Ewood Park fans, who still called for the head of manager Steve Kean.
'Two-nil and we want Kean out,' was the chant, but the manager remained outwardly unmoved, as he has throughout many similar attacks this troubled season.
Happy days: Blackburn's David Hoilett, top, is hoisted aloft by teammate David Dunn
BLACKBURN: Robinson, Orr, Dann, Givet, Marcus Olsson, Formica, Dunn (Martin Olsson 62), Lowe, Pedersen, Hoilett (Petrovic 82), Yakubu (Modeste 76). Subs Not Used: Kean, Nzonzi, Rochina, Goodwillie.
Goals: Formica 41, Hoilett 49.
NORWICH: Ruddy, Martin, Ryan Bennett, Ward, Drury, Elliott Bennett, Howson, Surman, Hoolahan (Pilkington 59), Vaughan (Morison 59), Holt (Wilbraham 66). Subs Not Used: Steer, Johnson, Fox, Naughton.
Ref: Kevin Friend (Leicestershire).
Fans staged another pre-match
demonstration against Indian owners Venky's and Kean, and they
relentlessly voiced their displeasure with both, despite this win, which
followed five straight defeats.
Formica and Hoilett scored either side
of half-time to spark a survival fight that had looked doomed to
Kean remained dignified and defiant as he said: 'We were
focused on the job we had to do – and we did it. The players and the
staff were focused on getting three points and we are absolutely
delighted. Our target was to get something from each of the last four
matches and we have made a start. I think there will be more twists and
turns and we must just do our stuff.'
Given the seriousness of their
predicament, Blackburn were alarmingly slow out of the blocks, with
Norwich the sharper and slicker, showing no sign of a hangover from the
previous weekend's 6-1 battering by Manchester City.
Vital strike: Blackburn Rovers' Mauro Formica, right, scores past Norwich City's goalkeeper John Ruddy
Get in: Mauro Formica celebrates after scoring
LUCKY CHARM HOILETT
Under-pressure Blackburn manager Steve Kean will have been happy to see Junior Hoilett score. His Blackburn team have have won the last three games in which Hoilett has scored in (all 2-0), and are unbeaten in the last five matches in which he has netted. Blackburn also kept only a second home clean sheet of the season yesterday.
/04/21/article-2133083-12B36D0A000005DC-780_634x397.jpg” width=”634″ height=”397″ alt=”Angry: Disgruntled Blackburn supporters demonstrate against the club owners and manager before the game” class=”blkBorder” />
Angry: Disgruntled Blackburn supporters demonstrate against the club owners and manager before the game
Disgruntled Blackburn supporters demonstrate against the club owners and manager
then made a spring-heeled, twisting leap to turn over Jonathan Howson's
swerving shot from 25 yards.
When Holt rose above Scott Dann to meet
Elliott Bennett's cross, heading a yard wide, it looked gloomy for the
The tide started to turn when Hoilett hit a far-post cross that
was headed back into the goalmouth by Morten Gamst Pedersen, Norwich
surviving only when Yakubu's overhead kick hit the foot of the post.
disappointment galvanised rather than deflated Blackburn, who stunned
Norwich with a superbly crafted opener three minutes later. Hoilett
found Yakubu, and he turned and rolled the ball back into the path of
Pedersen, who swept over a first-time cross which Formica hit on the
run, cracking the ball between the legs of the helpless Ruddy.
was impressive, the second goal was even more so, one worthy not only of
securing the points but also of giving real optimism for a successful,
last-ditch survival bid.
Hoilett, the player who looked the most likely
to hurt Norwich, delivered the telling blow four minutes after the break
with his seventh goal of the season, a superb solo effort. Hoilett
wrong-footed right-back Russell Martin, turned inside and hit a curling
shot from outside the box that flew beyond Ruddy's grasping fingers and
high into the net.
Battling on: Blackburn Rovers manager Steve Kean
The goal knocked the stuffing out of Norwich, who
went close to hitting back only once, when substitute Aaron Wilbraham
turned at the edge of the box and hit a shot that Robinson turned away
from the foot of the post.
Asked about the alleged row with N'Zonzi,
Kean said: 'Steven has played in virtually every match and the stats
show his levels have dropped a little. I told him I would put him on
only in an emergency. He needs to get back his energy. He is a quality
player and we want him fit.'
Norwich manager Paul Lambert said: 'We were
right in it in terms of possession, but that first goal was poor from
our point of view, though it was a great move. They took out five of our
players and we allowed the ball to move the length of the field.
not taking anything away from Hoilett, but you shouldn't let someone
shoot from 25 yards without getting in a tackle or a block.'