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Blackburn win to boost survival hopes

Goals from Mauro Formica and Junior Hoilett led Blackburn to a vital 2-0 win over Norwich.

test sharma | Goal.com

Updated:April 21, 2012, 9:53 PM IST
Blackburn win to boost survival hopes
Goals from Mauro Formica and Junior Hoilett led Blackburn to a vital 2-0 win over Norwich.

London: Goals from Mauro Formica and Junior Hoilett led Blackburn to a vital 2-0 win over Norwich at Ewood Park in their bid to save their Premier League status. The Argentine finished calmly just ahead of half time before Hoilett's stunning 30-yard strike sealed the points for Rovers.

Norwich were left frustrated with their finishing as they failed to take the opportunities they created and slumped to defeat. The win gives fresh hope to Rovers in their relegation battle while the Canaries' hopes of finishing in the top half took a set back.

Both sides came into the match on the back of comprehensive defeats and this saw both managers make changes to their starting line-ups. Despite a reported fall out Steve Kean recalled defender Gael Givet to the backline while Yakubu and Junior Hoilett, both doubts in the build up to the clash, started for the home side as did Mauro Formica in place of Stephen N'zonzi.

Paul Lambert brought in Wes Hoolahan and Andrew Surman into midfield and James Vaughan was the shock inclusion making his first appearance since February. The visitors settled immediately winning a corner inside the opening minute, however Grant Holt couldn't control his header before Elliott Bennett shot narrowly wide during a nervy start for Rovers.

Holt then forced the first save of the match from Paul Robinson as he saved comfortably to his right but Blackburn couldn't 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.

Junior 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. On the half hour mark forced another save from Robinson, Jonny Howson was given a free run into the Blackburn half and allowed to shoot but his swirling shot was tipped over well by the Rovers goalkeeper.

From the resulting corner Ryan Bennett climbed highest but he couldn't direct his header on target. 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 Mauro 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 couldn’t 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 couldn't 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.

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