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Barclays Premier League

Ewood Park (ATT 20,056) 20th March 2012 - Kick off 20:00 Ref: M Atkinson

Blackburn Blackburn Rovers vs Sunderland S'land

Blackburn 2

J Hoilett (58)
Yakubu (86)

ft

S'land 0

Rovers lift survival hopes

Hoilett and Yakubu on target to hand Rovers a welcome win

Last Updated: 20/03/12 10:37pm

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Blackburn gave their Premier League survival hopes a shot in the arm after grinding out a hard-working 2-0 victory over Sunderland at Ewood Park.

Man of the match Junior Hoilett gets the gong for a lively display which went rewarded in the second half when he drilled home Simon Mignolet's poor clearance of a long throw for the opener. Save of the match The Sunderland goalkeeper did not have the busiest of evenings but pulled off an impressive diving save in the second half to deny Mauro Formica. Clearance of the match Phil Bardsley was called upon in the early minutes to deal with Yakubu's strike and made no mistake as he blasted it off the goal-line. Miss of the match Black Cats substitute Dong-won Ji somehow managed to blast a shot over from two yards out after being set up perfectly by James McClean. Talking point Blackburn take home a crucial three points from the clash to leave them six clear of the drop zone. Can they stay up this season?

Steve Kean's men claimed back-to-back league wins for the first time since November 2010 as they disposed of the Black Cats, who looked below-par throughout.

Junior Hoilett broke the deadlock in the 58th minute, drilling home a rebounded clearance after Simon Mignolet failed to properly deal with Morten Gamst Pedersen's long throw.

Yakubu then put the win beyond doubt when he latched onto Jason Lowe's cross four minutes from the final whistle for Rovers' second.

Kean's side now sit six points clear of the drop zone having lost just one game in five to give their hopes of dodging the drop a welcome lift.

Support

Players from both sides showed Fabrice Muamba was on their minds as they wore 'Pray for Muamba' T-shirts in the warm up.

When the action started Blackburn threatened after only three minutes when Hoilett slipped a pass through to Yakubu - whose shot was only half-saved by goalkeeper Simon Mignolet and had it not been for Phil Bardsley getting back to hook clear the ball would have crept inside the near post.

The Olsson brothers, Martin and Marcus, initially looked like posing a threat down the left with the former exchanging passes with his elder brother before racing into the penalty area to shoot from the narrowest of angles and then firing over the rebound.

Grant Hanley flashed a near-post header over from Morten Gamst Pedersen's set-piece, Hoilett drilled two attempts from a free-kick into the defensive wall and Mauro Formica volleyed wide.

Sunderland's one half-chance came in the 35th minute when James McClean swung in a pinpoint first-time cross from the left to Fraizer Campbell and only a perfectly-timed tackle from Hanley prevented the striker unleashing a shot from 10 yards.

Blackburn were the first to show in the second half with Formica meeting Pedersen's cross after the first bounce to fire in a shot which Mignolet turned behind.

But the Sunderland goalkeeper was partly at fault for Rovers' opener in the 59th minute, although credit must go to Hoilett for his instinctive finish.

Pedersen directed his long throw at the six-yard box but Mignolet's punch went straight to Hoilett, who volleyed the ball straight back into the net.

Another Pedersen long throw three minutes later saw Scott Dann head just wide of the far post as Rovers tried to press home their advantage.

Crucial

Martin Olsson produced a crucial tackle to beat Nicklas Bendtner to the ball just three yards out and prevent a certain equaliser but substitute Ji should have levelled things up from close range in the 77th minute from McClean's centre.

Four minutes from time the result was assured when Rovers substitute Bradley Orr crossed for Yakubu to head home his 14th league goal.

It clinched back-to-back victories for the first time since November 2010 and Rovers' first successive clean sheets since August that year, further raising hopes of escaping relegation.

Blackburn RoversTeam StatisticsSunderland
2Goals0
01st Half Goals0
6Shots on Target1
7Shots off Target2
3Blocked Shots0
7Corners9
12Fouls11
0Offsides4
0Yellow Cards1
0Red Cards0
71Passing Success74.4
11Tackles24
81.8Tackles Success54.2
45.4Possession54.6
45.5Territorial Advantage54.5
348Total Passes390
14Total Crosses35
183Lost Balls184
60Recoveries60
51.41st Half Poss.48.6
43.12nd Half Poss.56.9

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Table

Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Chelsea 12 32
2 Southampton 11 25
3 Manchester City 12 24
4 Newcastle United 12 19
5 West Ham United 12 18
6 Swansea City 12 18
7 Arsenal 11 17
8 Everton 12 17
9 Manchester United 11 16
10 Stoke City 12 15
11 Liverpool 11 14
12 Tottenham Hotspur 11 14
13 West Bromwich Albion 12 13
14 Sunderland 12 13
15 Hull City 11 11
16 Aston Villa 11 11
17 Leicester City 12 10
18 Burnley 12 10
19 Crystal Palace 11 9
20 Queens Park Rangers 12 8

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