Baggies punish Rovers
Olsson own goal and Fortune and Ridgewell efforts seal victory
Last Updated: 07/04/12 6:09pm
A Martin Olsson own goal and second-half efforts from Marc-Antoine Fortune and Liam Ridgewell saw West Brom beat Blackburn 3-0 to take a giant step to safety and keep Rovers in the relegation mire.
Olsson sliced his clearance from a Gareth McAuley header into his own net on seven minutes to put the Baggies ahead.
Rovers pressed hard for an equaliser after the break and Ben Foster pulled off a magnificent double save to deny Yakubu and Bradley Orr.
Fortune (69) and Ridgewell (85) then scored to seal the points for the Baggies before Rovers' day got even worse when substitute Anthony Modeste was sent off at the death for violent conduct.
It was West Brom's first win in five league games and took them to the 39-point mark, while for Rovers a third successive defeat means they remain in the bottom three.
The visitors enjoyed large spells of possession with Junior Hoilett impressing and causing problems.
But Blackburn found on-loan Albion goalkeeper Foster in inspired form and he produced several fine saves.
Fortune again led the Albion attack in fine style with his power and pace and deserved his fifth goal of the campaign, while Youssouf Mulumbu anchored the midfield.
Albion were the first to threaten and Jonas Olsson's header flew past the post from a Chris Brunt corner.
The home side applied the majority of the early pressure and McAuley had a shot blocked on the edge of the box.
West Brom forced four corners in the first seven minutes - and from the last of them they took the lead. McAuley headed Chris Brunt's ball into the box back across goal and Rovers defender Martin Olsson only succeeded in slicing the ball past Paul Robinson into his own net.
Rovers started to get a foothold in the game and leading scorer Yakubu almost played in David Dunn with a reverse pass but Graham Dorrans was alert to the danger and tidied up.
Martin Olsson tried to make amends for his error with an inviting cross for Orr to run onto, but he could not keep his far-post header down.
Scott Dann powered a header straight at former Birmingham team-mate Foster from Orr's cross from the right flank, before Hoilett curled an effort wide from 20 yards out and Foster clung onto Dunn's low attempt.
The hard-working Fortune teed up Mulumbu, but his shot lacked power and Robinson saved comfortably.
Blackburn began the second half on the offensive and Morten Gamst Pedersen made clean contact on a Jason Lowe centre but his header flew straight at Foster.
Dann became the first player to be booked after 51 minutes for holding back Peter Odemwingie.
Mulumbu's misdirected pass almost presented Yakubu with an equaliser but Foster reacted quickly and raced out of his area to hack the ball clear.
The former England goalkeeper then produced a superb double save to keep his side in front, first getting down to his left to deny Yakubu and then reacting quickly to block the follow-up effort from Orr.
Rovers were now in the ascendancy and Yakubu was only just too high with a powerful drive while Foster held onto a long-range attempt by the impressive Hoilett.
But against the run of play Fortune doubled Albion's lead after 69 minutes.
Brunt dispossessed Yakubu and picked out Fortune at the far post with a low cross. He had time to steady himself before driving the ball past Robinson.
Hoilett continued to probe for Rovers but Foster held onto his curling attempt, and with five minutes left Albion added a third as Ridgewell scored his first for the club when he headed home an inswinging Dorrans free-kick.
Modeste's act of frustration in the final seconds capped a miserable day for Steve Kean's side.
|West Bromwich Albion||Team Statistics||Blackburn Rovers|
|1||1st Half Goals||0|
|5||Shots on Target||7|
|6||Shots off Target||5|
|46.2||1st Half Poss.||53.8|
|45.9||2nd Half Poss.||54.1|
Barclays Premier League
|9||West Ham United||35||47|
|13||West Bromwich Albion||35||40|
|19||Queens Park Rangers||35||27|
West Brom v Blackburn
Blackburn boss Steve Kean is not surprised former Rovers midfielder Keith Andrews has had such an impact at Saturday's opponents West Brom.
West Brom boss Roy Hodgson thinks he and Blackburn counterpart Steve Kean have only benefited from the criticism during their careers.
Keith Andrews is focused on helping West Brom move up the table as he prepares to take on former club Blackburn.