Pedersen provides the welcome to greet Rovers' new owners in style

Blackburn Rovers 2 Aston Villa 0

As unveilings for takeovers go, the reception for the new owners on the Ewood Park pitch was as low-key as you can get. No fist pumps or kissing of the shirt, just a wave and a nod to the polite applause of the home crowd to mark the first match since Venky's bought the club. That approach mirrored Blackburn's steady style yesterday as they earned their third win in four matches.

Rovers, after a sluggish start, are now in 11th place and are looking safer with every game. Here they were convincing winners thanks to Morten Gamst Pedersen goals in either half against an Aston Villa side who huffed and puffed but found the home goalkeeper Paul Robinson equal to anything they could muster.

With the Jack Walker Trust selling the club for £43m to the India-based poultry company, it was no surprise that manager Sam Allardyce later called for investment in the January transfer window. "I met the new owners only briefly, and it was fair to say they were well entertained when they saw us lose against Chelsea and Tottenham," said the Rovers manager. "It was important they saw us win and we delivered a performance in front of them.

"I'm always trying to improve the team. But I'm excited, as new owners of a club would not want to take it backwards. They would only want to take it forward. This club has lived on its own means recently and all it's been doing in the last three years is selling major assets. If you can stop that scenario and add new assets, we have a chance."

Allardyce might have been keen on creating a good impression, but the new owners had just taken their seats when Villa twice fluffed chances to go ahead in the opening eight minutes.

Stewart Downing, not for the only time, was denied by Robinson, who saved from Ashley Young moments later. Villa looked the more dangerous in attack but when the goal finally arrived, right on half-time, it came from Rovers. Pedersen's curling free-kick from well out on the right wing was too well flighted for the former Blackburn goalkeeper Brad Friedel, who could only get half a hand to it as it sailed over him and in.

Villa started the second half as they had the first, with Young's long-range drive pushed out by Robinson in the 49th minute before the England winger headed Downing's cross against the crossbar 30 seconds later.

It proved a costly miss. Friedel struggled to deal with the home side's aerial bombardment and Pedersen again punished him in the 66th minute. El-Hadji Diouf's corner under the keeper's bar was only half-cleared, and Ryan Nelsen's shot was diverted in by the Norwegian. Villa's veteran signing Robert Pires came on for the last 21 minutes but Robinson again foiled Downing late on.

Pedersen's dead-ball skills earned his manager's special praise – which was just as well, as it appears nobody else give him his due. "If one of the big boys goes and does it, it's genius – when we do it, it's a fluke. That's what we have to put up with," said Allardyce. "He puts the ball in the right areas constantly. It showed that the free-kick he scored like this one against Wigan was no fluke."

Meanwhile, with one win in eight games now, Villa are in freefall and manager Gérard Houllier's honeymoon period is over, with promising draws against Chelsea and Manchester United mixed with bad defeats like this one. The Frenchman can point to an injury list that has nine of his regulars on the sidelines, with youngsters such as Jonathan Hogg, Barry Bannan and Ciaran Clark all called up, but he is a realist and the reality is not rosy.

"I look at the League table and of course I'm worried. Football is about today's results," said Houllier. "We didn't give a fair account of ourselves. I think we had a couple of chance and you have to take them or you will be punished.

"We conceded a goal at the worst time possible, right on half-time, so it puts you in a different position. The free-kick was avoidable and you have to learn the lesson. There was no danger and we conceded a foul against a team who deliver good free-kicks. We were too shy at the start of his game. It's a different challenge, physically and mentally, against Blackburn, and we weren't at it.

"When you have a young team you will expect there will be a good side [to it] and a bad side. But as a team we have to show more personality and character and learn the lessons."

Substitutes: Blackburn Rovers Chimbonda (Givet, 46), M B Diouf (Hoilett, 64), Goulon (Pedersen, 72). Unused Bunn (gk), Hanley, Morris, Kalinic. Aston Villa Pires (Ireland, 69), Delfouneso (Agbonlahor, 78), Herd (Hogg, 81). Unused Guzan (gk), Lichaj, Lowry, Osbourne.

Booked: Aston Villa Clark.

Man of the match Pedersen Match rating 6/10

Possession Blackburn 47% Aston Villa 53%

Shots on target Blackburn 5 Aston Villa 11

Referee M Oliver (Northumberland)

Attendance 21,848

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
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones