Potters punish Rovers
Stoke's meeting with Blackburn will not live long in the memory, but the Potters will have few complaints after picking up a 3-1 win.
Last Updated: 26/11/11 4:04pm
Stoke 's meeting with Blackburn will not live long in the memory, but the Potters will have no complaints after picking up a 3-1 win.
Rory Delap, Glenn Whelan and Peter Crouch were on target at the Britannia Stadium, ending a run of four straight defeats for the Potters and stretching Rovers' winless streak to eight games.
Ruben Rochina pulled one back for Blackburn late on, but by then the damage had already been done.
Stoke could have been in front inside 60 seconds, but Crouch nodded wide after beating Paul Robinson to a lofted delivery into the box.
The hosts were ahead, though, on 28 minutes when Delap got in front of Gael Givet and diverted a Jermaine Pennant free-kick into the back of the net.
Blackburn will feel they should have levelled after the interval, but some woeful finishing from the likes of Mauro Formica and Rochina let them down.
They were made to pay for their failings in front of goal on 58 minutes when Jon Walters teed up Whelan and his well-struck shot from the edge of the box deflected off Scott Dann and past a helpless Robinson.
Things then went from bad to worse for the visitors 18 minutes from time when they failed to deal with a long ball over the top and Crouch steered a low effort into the bottom corner.
Steve Kean's side did get on the scoresheet with four minutes remaining but Rochina's 20-yard thunderbolt, that glanced the post on its way past Thomas Sorensen, counted for little.
Understandably, considering both teams were low on form and confidence, there was little for the crowd to get excited about in the first half, which could be summed up in three incidents.
Two of those involved Blackburn midfielder Steven Nzonzi and his flailing elbows which caught Ryan Shawcross and then Whelan in the head in separate incidents about three minutes apart.
The ball spent much of the time in the air, which was not a good ploy in the wind swirling around the stadium but did help in the creation of the opening goal.
Stoke's first genuine chance to threaten the Rovers goal came when Nzonzi's foul on Crouch presented Pennant with a free-kick from the right.
He produced a perfect delivery and Delap got in front of Givet to divert a glancing header past goalkeeper Robinson and inside the far post.
By contrast, Blackburn's first free-kick in a dangerous area was drilled straight into the wall by Pedersen and even when they did get an effort on target from Dann's header, Whelan comfortably cleared off the line under no pressure.
Blackburn should have equalised within a minute of the second half after Rochina had dribbled his way to the byline and cleverly back-heeled to Formica, but the Argentinian completely missed his shot from four yards.
There followed a brief interruption in play due to a number of black bin bags blowing across the pitch which could easily have represented some bizarre, ironic review of the game so far.
When the action resumed Robert Huth was left wondering how he missed the target as he powered a header wide from Matt Etherington's far post cross in the 54th minute.
But fortunately for Stoke they did not have long to rue that error as four minutes later Etherington picked out Walters in the penalty area and he laid the ball off for Whelan, with the aid of a deflection from Dann, to drive home from 25 yards for his first goal since February 2010.
The match was wrapped up in the 72nd minute when Crouch clinically converted Marc Wilson's long ball into the Rovers penalty area with a left-footed shot.
Walters then fired wide from the other side of the penalty area as Stoke threatened to run amok.
When Rovers finally threatened it was too little too late as Rochina fired home from distance in the 86th minute after Hoilett had cut in from the left and Nzonzi had delivered the final pass for the Spaniard.The final whistle brought relief for Stoke but more grief for Kean and his Blackburn team.
|Stoke City||Team Statistics||Blackburn Rovers|
|1||1st Half Goals||0|
|3||Shots on Target||5|
|4||Shots off Target||4|