Blackburn plunge further into relegation trouble

Everton 2 Blackburn 0

Second-half goals from Leon Osman and Leighton Baines plunged Blackburn further into Barclays Premier League relegation trouble this afternoon.

Steve Kean's lacklustre Rovers side, now without a win in nine games, struggled to contain Everton at Goodison Park and were punished when a deflected Osman shot went in after 54 minutes.

The visitors hardly tested home goalkeeper Tim Howard and Baines put the game beyond them with a 75th-minute penalty after Phil Jones fouled Seamus Coleman.

The game went exactly to the form book with Rovers having failed to win away since December.

The result left them in a perilous position just above the relegation zone while Everton, extending their unbeaten run to seven games, moved within a point of sixth-placed rivals Liverpool.

Rovers put had aside recent controversy to bring back defender Gael Givet for the contest following the damaging blow of losing the influential Ryan Nelsen for the rest of the season.

French defender Givet reportedly missed last week's draw against Birmingham because of a tax dispute.

David Dunn and former Barcelona trainee Ruben Rochina also featured as the dangerous Junior Hoilett failed to overcome a hamstring injury and Morten Gamst Pedersen was dropped to the bench.

Everton were unchanged from the side which thrashed Wolves last week but Coleman and Jack Rodwell both returned off the bench after ankle injuries.

Everton should have claimed a second-minute lead when Jermaine Jones inadvertantly put Jermaine Beckford through with a backwards header but the former Leeds forward blasted over.

Chris Samba cleared a dangerous Baines cross and, moments after Osman claimed he had been pushed in the box, the Rovers captain deflected a shot from Phil Jagielka behind.

Everton's positive start was undermined after 15 minutes wheh John Heitinga was forced off with a hamstring injury but Rodwell took his place.

Referee Kevin Friend had a word with Baines after a reckless challenge on Jermaine Jones midway through the first half but chose not to book the England left-back.

Diniyar Bilyaletdinov controlled the ball well on the edge of the area to create a chance for Phil Neville but the Everton skipper, who scored his first goal in three years last week, shot over.

Everton continued to dominate possession but Rovers goalkeeper Paul Robinson, another Baines cross aside, had little to concern him.

Osman had a chance in first-half injury time but shot his shot lacked power and was comfortably gathered by Robinson.

Both sides showed greater urgency as the second half got under way and Rovers went close as Dunn drove forward and got away from Tony Hibbert to curl a shot wide.

Everton upped the tempo in response and created a series of good chances before claiming a deserved lead.

Magaye Gueye, after a frustrating first half, got into the game more and charged into the box after his own ball for Beckford was half-cleared and blasted narrowly over.

Baines then went even closer with a powerful low effort from 30 yards which almost shaved the post.

Their opener came after Bilyaletdinov skipped over a challenge from Givet and had a shot deflected behind.

Gueye took the corner short to Osman, who effortlessly sidestepped Rochina and fired in a shot which flew in at the far post after a deflection off Samba.

Gueye went close again before leaving the field to a standing ovation and being replaced by Coleman, who immediately worried Rovers with a cutting run down the right.

Rochina perhaps showed his frustration at his role in conceding the goal when he earned a booking for a rash challenge on Hibbert.

Another bad tackle, this time by Phil Jones on Coleman in the box, put the game beyond Blackburn as Friend pointed to the spot.

Baines made no mistake he stepped up to fire his second penalty in three games into the roof of the net.

Rovers' fortune was summed up moments later when Jagielka and Baines collided trying to head clear a bouncing ball and substitute Pedersen somehow shot wide from six yards.

Everton continued to finish strongly and Robinson tipped over a header from Bilyaletdinov at the far post in the closing moments.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living