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Barclays Premier League

Molineux Stadium (ATT 29,009) 22nd May 2011 - Kick off 16:00 Ref: H Webb

Wolves Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Blackburn Rovers Blackburn

Wolves 2

J O'Hara (73)
S Hunt (87)

ft

Blackburn 3

J Roberts (22)
B Emerton (38)
J Hoilett (45+1)

Wolves survive despite defeat

Scenes of joy at Molineux as Blackburn and Wolves stay up

Last Updated: 22/05/11 6:45pm

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It proved to be an afternoon of joy at Molineux on Sunday as both Blackburn and Wolves secured their Premier League safety despite Rovers running out 3-2 winners.

Man of the Match: Chris Samba. He was simply outstanding at the back. Frustrated Wolves for so long. Will be amazed if he remains at Rovers next season. Goal of the Match: Junior Hoilett. The lad is a star in the making. He is a skilful customer and took his goal with excellent composure having skipped past Craddock and Elokobi before lashing home. Pass of the Match: Stephen Hunt's disguised pass for Jamie O'Hara to pull a goal back was class. Everyone expected the ball in the penalty area, but he played in a near square ball for on-loan O'Hara to slot home. Moment of the Match: Howard Webb blew his full-time whistle and both sets of players knew they would be playing Premier League football again next season, sparking a mass pitch invasion from the home side. Talking Point: Wolves were lucky, but no one would begrudge them staying up. The heart and character that McCarthy's side demonstrated shone though. Big question for Rovers now is can they keep Samba?

Blackburn were in cruise control at half-time thanks to goals from Jason Roberts, Brett Emerton and Junior Hoilett, but it was all Wolves after the interval.

Late goals from Jamie O'Hara and Stephen Hunt made for an interesting finish, but it mattered not as defeats for Blackpool and Birmingham ensured Wolves survived.

Blackburn settled quicker and they got their noses in front when two veterans combined as Roberts turned home Michel Salgado's low drive in the middle with 22 minutes played.

Wolves' anxiety was not helped when the visitors doubled their lead through a super strike from Emerton. Jody Craddock only half-cleared Paul Robinson's punt and the Australian made no mistake with a clinical first-time finish.

The home side were left with a mountain to climb on the stroke of half-time when Hoilett skipped past would-be challenges from Craddock and George Elokobi before lashing the ball home past the helpless Wayne Hennessey.

Wolves were much improved in the second half with goals from O'Hara and Hunt setting up a grandstand finish, although defeat was enough for the hosts to stay up thanks to results elsewhere.

Robinson was the first goalkeeper called into action when he held onto a low drive by Stephen Ward after good play by O'Hara.

Hoilett then took advantage of some hesitancy by veteran Wolves defender Craddock but Hennessey was alert to the situation and dealt with his low centre.

Chris Samba was relieved when his backward header from Hunt's cross flew past his own post, but the Rovers defender did well when blocking an attempt from Ward.

First booking

Wolves skipper Karl Henry became the first player to be yellow carded for a foul on Hoilett.

Then after 23 minutes the visitors took the lead through Roberts.

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

Wolves midfielder Henry was walking a tightrope after his yellow card and was relieved only to be spoken to by referee Howard Webb after a challenge on Steven N'Zonzi.

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.

And after 39 minutes a superb strike from Emerton doubled Blackburn's lead.

Craddock headed the ball out of the Wolves box but it fell to Emerton who volleyed past Hennessey from 25 yards out.

Hoilett nearly made it 3-0 when his low shot flashed inches past the far post.

But, with seconds remaining of the half, the Canadian did make it 3-0 with a low shot after cutting into the area.

McCarthy made a half-time substitution, with Sylvan Ebanks-Blake replacing Michael Mancienne. That led to Elokobi switching to centre-half, with Ward dropping to left-back.

Wolves started the second half in positive fashion, and Hunt should have reduced the arrears within a minute of the restart, but the former Hull player headed wide with the goal at his mercy from a Jarvis cross.

Ebanks-Blake then made a good break towards the Blackburn area, but his shot was high and wide of the target.

Deflected

Robinson then did well to cling onto a deflected low centre from a narrow angle by Jarvis.

But Wolves needed a fine save from Hennessey to prevent Blackburn scoring their fourth goal.

A mistake by Kevin Foley allowed Roberts a free run at goal, but Hennessey went down to his left to save his low drive.

Ward needed treatment after a clash with Salgado, but was able to resume.

Blackburn still looked dangerous on the break, and Samba headed over from an Emerton centre.

Wolves were getting desperate, but they gave themselves a chance after 72 minutes when O'Hara pulled a goal back.

Hunt rolled a short free-kick to the on-loan Tottenham player whose low shot found the corner of the net from 20 yards.

The home side were now on the offensive and Robinson made a fine save to turn over a powerful header from Steven Fletcher.

Then, with four minutes remaining, Hunt scored a second goal for the home side to make it 3-2.

He received the ball on the edge of the Rovers area and curled a shot past Robinson into the top corner as Wolves stayed up by the skin of their teeth.

Wolverhampton WanderersTeam StatisticsBlackburn Rovers
2Goals3
01st Half Goals3
4Shots on Target9
8Shots off Target5
4Blocked Shots2
8Corners3
13Fouls10
2Offsides2
3Yellow Cards1
0Red Cards0
68.5Passing Success59.9
10Tackles9
70Tackles Success77.8
59.2Possession40.8
60.4Territorial Advantage39.6

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Table

Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Arsenal 0 0
2 Aston Villa 0 0
3 Burnley 0 0
4 Chelsea 0 0
5 Crystal Palace 0 0
6 Everton 0 0
7 Hull City 0 0
8 Leicester City 0 0
9 Liverpool 0 0
10 Manchester City 0 0
11 Manchester United 0 0
12 Newcastle United 0 0
13 Queens Park Rangers 0 0
14 Southampton 0 0
15 Stoke City 0 0
16 Sunderland 0 0
17 Swansea City 0 0
18 Tottenham Hotspur 0 0
19 West Bromwich Albion 0 0
20 West Ham United 0 0

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