Stoke end poor run with Rovers win

PA Sport
Peter Crouch (right)
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Peter Crouch (right)

Stoke ended a run of four successive Barclays Premier League defeats in a comprehensive 3-1 victory as Blackburn's troubles continued.

Goals from Rory Delap, Glenn Whelan and Peter Crouch increased the pressure on Rovers manager Steve Kean, who has now won just six times in 34 league matches, as Ruben Rochina's late consolation had little impact.

Rovers remain mired in the bottom three and this performance highlighted why, despite Kean's insistence that they have not played badly this season.

Blackburn have just one victory this season and have taken only three points from their last eight games. With form like that it is surprising that owners Venky's sanctioned a new contract, confirmed this week, for the Rovers boss.

Stoke may have lost their last two home games but the other pre-match statistics gave little encouragement to Blackburn and those figures only worsened on a blustery afternoon in the Potteries. Rovers have now lost the last four meetings, although they finally ended a goal drought against the Potters which had lasted 599 minutes.

Stoke's first genuine chance to threaten the Rovers goal came when Steven Nzonzi's foul on Crouch presented Jermaine Pennant with a free-kick from the right.

He produced a perfect delivery and Delap got in front of Gael Givet to divert a glancing header past goalkeeper Paul Robinson and inside the far post.

Stoke doubled their advantage after the break as Matthew Etherington picked out Jon Walters in the penalty area and he laid the ball off for Whelan, with the aid of a deflection from Scott Dann, to drive home from 25 yards.

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.

Rochina's late wonder-strike was too little, too late for Blackburn.

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