Blackburn 2 Norwich 0: Rovers grab a lifeline but fans are still unhappy
16:34 GMT, 21 April 2012
Superb strikes from Mauro Formica and
Junior Hoilett gave Blackburn's Barclays Premier League survival hopes a
mighty boost with victory over Norwich at Ewood Park.
Formica volleyed home a Morten Gamst
Pedersen cross on 40 minutes and four minutes after the break Hoilett
let fly with a 25-yard screamer into the top corner.
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).
Their goals brought an emphatic end to a run of five consecutive league defeats which had plunged beleaguered Steve Kean's men back into the drop zone.
Kean had made two changes for the crunch encounter, bringing back Formica as well as Gael Givet, whom the manager had declared “not in the right frame of mind” prior to last week's loss at Swansea.
All week Kean had insisted his side's fighting spirit was undamaged, and it was a mark of their belief that they managed to ride out the difficult early pressure.
Paul Lambert's Canaries looked
flat-footed after last week's mauling by Manchester City and contributed
little as Rovers took control from the start.
Bradley Orr and Scott Dann came close
in the early stages but the tension was evident in boisterous calls for
Kean's dismissal, which began before 10 minutes were on the clock.
Vital strike: Blackburn Rovers' Mauro Formica, right, scores past Norwich City's goalkeeper John Ruddy
Get in: Mauro Formica celebrates after scoring
James Vaughan had a half-chance for
the visitors as the Rovers defence panicked in their own box, but at the
other end Ryan Bennett had to hook clear to deny Hoilett.
Jonathan Howson came close for
Norwich on the half-hour when his powerful long-range drive was tipped
over by Paul Robinson in the Rovers goal.
Angry: Disgruntled Blackburn supporters demonstrate against the club owners and manager before the game
Disgruntled Blackburn supporters demonstrate against the club owners and manager
But it was Rovers who managed to
retain the upper hand, Yakubu almost connecting with a dangerous cross
from Pedersen in front of goal.
And the Nigerian had his side's best
early chance in the 37th minute when Pedersen headed down and he
attempted an overhead kick which struck the base of the post.
Three minutes later Rovers grabbed
the lead when Yakubu fed Pedersen on the right and the recalled Formica
met the Norwegian's cross with a crisp sliding volley past Ruddy.
Battling on: Blackburn Rovers manager Steve Kean
Rovers doubled their advantage
shortly after the restart with Hoilett's seventh and best goal of the
season, cutting in from the left flank and letting fly past a helpless
The Canaries were offering precious
little in response as Rovers began to take a hold on the game, Hoilett
almost finding Yakubu in front of goal on 55 minutes.
The visitors did briefly rally in the
final quarter, Elliott Bennett's cross just eluding Elliott Ward, then
Aaron Wilbraham bringing a fine low save out of Robinson.
But Rovers seldom looked troubled by
the Norwich revival, and came close to a third 10 minutes from time when
substitute Anthony Modeste headed inches over from another Pedersen