Stoke end run of four successive defeats

Stoke 3 Blackburn 1

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

Goals from Jermaine Pennant, 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.

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 Glenn 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 Peter 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.

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 a shot on target from Scott Dann's header Whelan comfortably cleared off the line under no pressure.

Blackburn should have equalised within a minute of the second half after Ruben Rochina had dribbled his way to the byline and cleverly backheeled to Mauro 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 Jon 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 to 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.

PA

Voices
Lucerne’s Hotel Château Gütsch, one of the lots in our Homeless Veterans appeal charity auction
charity appeal
Sport
Brendan Rodgers is confident that Sterling will put pen to paper on a new deal at Anfield
footballLIVE: Follow all the latest from tonight's Capital One quarter-finals
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
tv
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

Voices
Jimmy Mubenga died after being restrained on an aircraft by G4S escorts
voicesJonathan Cox: Tragedy of Jimmy Mubenga highlights lack of dignity shown to migrants
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
Life and Style
tech
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

Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum
France's Front National and the fear of a ‘gay lobby’ around Marine Le Pen

Front National fear of ‘gay lobby’

Marine Le Pen appoints Sébastien Chenu as cultural adviser
'Enhanced interrogation techniques?' When language is distorted to hide state crimes

Robert Fisk on the CIA 'torture report'

Once again language is distorted in order to hide US state wrongdoing
Radio 1’s new chart host must placate the Swifties and Azaleans

Radio 1 to mediate between the Swifties and Azaleans

New chart host Clara Amfo must placate pop's fan armies
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'It's life, and not the Forces, that gets you'

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'It's life, and not the Forces, that gets you'

The head of Veterans Aid on how his charity is changing perceptions of ex-servicemen and women in need
Torture: It didn't work then, it doesn't work now

Torture: It didn't work then, it doesn't work now

Its use is always wrong and, despite CIA justifications post 9/11, the information obtained from it is invariably tainted, argues Patrick Cockburn
Rebranding Christmas: More public bodies are refusing to give the festival its name for fear of causing offence

Rebranding Christmas

More public bodies are refusing to give the festival its name for fear of causing offence. They are missing the point, and we all need to grow up
A Greek island - yours for the price of a London flat

A sun-kissed island - yours for the price of a London flat

Cash-strapped Greeks are selling off their slices of paradise
Pogues could enjoy fairytale Christmas No 1 thanks to digital streaming

Pogues could enjoy fairytale Christmas No 1 thanks to digital streaming

New system means that evergreen songs could top the festive charts
Prince of Wales: Gruff Rhys on his rock odyssey, and the trouble with independence

Prince of Wales: Gruff Rhys

He is a musician of wondrous oddity. He is on a perpetual quest to seek the lost tribes of the Welsh diaspora. Just don't ask Gruff Rhys if he's a national treasure...