Kean has Robinson to thank for maintaining Rovers' revolution

Blackburn Rovers 2 West Bromwich Albion 0

West Bromwich Albion's Romanian defender Gabriel Tamas will not have particularly fond memories of playing against Blackburn this season. Sent off in the 3-1 defeat at The Hawthorns last month, Tamas's contribution yesterday was an unstoppably headed own goal that set Rovers on their way to a victory that elevated them into seventh place in the Premier League.

"I'm pleased with that," said the Blackburn manager, Steve Kean. "We played some nice stuff. Paul Robinson kept us in the game at times, but we deserved the three points."

For his first match since signing a new long-term contract to keep him at the club until 2013, Kean was able to bring in two significant reinforcements. Roque Santa Cruz made his home debut on his return from 18 months at Manchester City and the dual German and United States international Jermaine Jones – also on a six-month loan – made his first appearance for Blackburn.

That should have been a considerable boost for a side already boasting an impressive home record this season and that was ultimately the case. Despite looking understandably rusty, Santa Cruz showed plenty of the touches that endeared him to Ewood Park first time around, while Jones's industrious effort as the holding midfielder won him the home man-of-the-match award. "He's not even fully fit, but he's got everything," Kean said of Jones.

The new men and their colleagues started, however, like a veritable team of strangers. Inside the first minute, Morten Gamst Pedersen gave the ball away to Albion striker Peter Odemwingie and Robinson had to make a good save before he was properly warmed up. Still in the opening minute, Jones fouled James Morrison unnecessarily in an inviting position for a free-kick, but Chris Brunt fired it into the wall.

It was almost half-an-hour before Blackburn began to pose a threat to Boaz Myhill, again preferred to Scott Carson in the West Brom goal, Martin Olsson forcing a save when the defence failed to clear Pedersen's throw. Christopher Samba was then allowed the turning circle of an oil tanker before calling Myhill into action again.

After both Santa Cruz and Samba had further chances, Myhill's defence undermined him even more blatantly. There was no particular danger in David Dunn's cross from the right, but Tamas got in front of Nikola Kalinic to head it past Myhill when it would have been far easier to clear it.

"He just mistimed his jump and finished up facing the wrong way," the West Brom manager Roberto di Matteo said as he surveyed the damage that mistake did to his team's chances.

There was less direct, but still important, assistance for the second Blackburn goal after the restart. Again, there seemed little threat when Junior Hoilett took the ball, but his sinuous turn took him right away from Paul Scharner and his shot into the roof of the net was ferocious. It was the first Premier League goal for the highly promising young midfielder and one he might have to wait some time before improving upon.

It also summed up one side of Albion's personality – mixed Baggies as ever. Always capable of creative attacking play, they are just too frail in defence to inspire any real confidence in their Premier League survival now that they are down to 15th in the table.

With Robinson in commanding form, all their good footballing instincts came to nothing yesterday, although they should have been give the opportunity to fight back via a penalty midway through the second half. Martin Olsson clearly brought down Odemwingie but referee Mark Clattenburg mysteriously ruled that it was outside the area.

"Apart from the referee, everybody else thought we should have had a penalty," Di Matteo said. "It was quite clear from where I was that the ball was inside."

A free-kick was the verdict and Brunt, having a bad day with the dead ball, hammered it into the wall again. Whether a penalty would have sparked a comeback that might have brought them something from this game is another question, but right now Albion could use any help they can get.

Match facts

Substitutes: Blackburn Nzonzi (Dunn, 63), Roberts (Kalinic, 63), Hanley (Salgado, 76). Unused Bunn (gk), M B Diouf, Benjani, E-H Diouf.

West Brom Tchoyi (Mulumbu, 57), Bednar (Morrison, 76). Unused Carson (gk), Ibanez, Shorey, Zuiverloon, Cox.

Booked West Brom Thomas

Possession Blackburn 51% West Brom 49%.

Shots on target Blackburn 12 West Brom 7

Man of the match Hoilett. Match rating: 6/10.

Referee M Clattenburg (Co Durham). Att 24,057.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor