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

Life and Style
“What is it like being a girl?” was the question on the lips of one inquisitive Reddit user this week
News
peopleDave Legeno, the actor who played werewolf Fenrir Greyback in the Harry Potter films, has died
Arts and Entertainment
Armando Iannucci, the creator of 'The Thick of It' says he has
tvArmando Iannucci to concentrate on US show Veep
Life and Style
beauty
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Luis Suarez looks towards the crowd during the 2-1 victory over England
transfers
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

Sport
German supporters (left) and Argentina fans
world cup 2014Final gives England fans a choice between to old enemies
Arts and Entertainment
A still from the worldwide Dawn of the Planet of the Apes trailer debut
film
News
peopleMario Balotelli poses with 'shotgun' in controversial Instagram pic
News
A mugshot of Ian Watkins released by South Wales Police following his guilty pleas
peopleBandmates open up about abuse
Sport
Basketball superstar LeBron James gets into his stride for the Cleveland Cavaliers
sportNBA superstar announces decision to return to Cleveland Cavaliers
Sport
Javier Mascherano of Argentina tackles Arjen Robben of the Netherlands as he attempts a shot
world cup 2014
Arts and Entertainment
The successful ITV drama Broadchurch starring David Tenant and Olivia Coleman came to an end tonight
tv
Sport
Four ski officials in Slovenia have been suspended following allegations of results rigging
sportFour Slovenian officials suspended after allegations they helped violinist get slalom place
News
14 March 2011: George Clooney testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during a hearing titled 'Sudan and South Sudan: Independence and Insecurity.' Clooney is co-founder of the Satellite Sentinel Project which uses private satellites to collect evidence of crimes against civilian populations in Sudan
people
Arts and Entertainment
Balaban is indirectly responsible for the existence of Downton Abbey, having first discovered Julian Fellowes' talents as a screenwriter
tvCast members told to lose weight after snacking on set
Life and Style
More than half of young adults have engaged in 'unwanted but consensual sexting with a committed partner,' according to research
tech
Life and Style
A binge is classed as four or more alcoholic drinks for women and five or more for men, consumed over a roughly two-hour period
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice