Wolves hit rock bottom as Blackburn bounce back

Blackburn Rovers 3 Wolverhampton Wanderers 0

Squirming with embarrassment after being humiliated by Manchester United seven days earlier, Blackburn Rovers' manager, Sam Allardyce, saw his side bounce back in emphatic style with a victory that was cheered all the way in east London.

Despite not playing, West Ham United moved up one place on goal difference as Wolves were left propping up the Premier League for the first time in six years after a shambolic defensive performance.

David Dunn's first goal since May, Brett Emerton's first in nine appearances and Ryan Nelsen's first at Ewood Park for 11 months did the damage.

At the same time as Blackburn were slumping to a 7-1 defeat at Old Trafford last Saturday, Mick McCarthy's men were offering their followers hope that the tide had turned with a terrific comeback victory over Sunderland.

Yet with two games to go before Christmas, Wolves find themselves in trouble after 10 defeats in the past 13 League games. "We've got to keep going, but we shouldn't have conceded the goals we did," said McCarthy. "We defended badly."

There was no suggestion of what was to come as Wolves twice hit the woodwork in the opening five minutes, Stephen Ward's cross-shot deflected on to the post by Blackburn's keeper, Paul Robinson, before Ronald Zubar hit the bar. But the visitors' inability to keep a clean sheet once again proved costly as Rovers established a 2-0 lead withtheir only two serious chances of the opening 45 minutes. There was no looking back following Dunn's header after Nelsen had nodded Morten Gamst Pedersen's 29th-minute corner back across the face of goal.

It highlighted the defensive frailties of Wolves, who conceded a second after a long punt forward by Michel Salgado found Jason Roberts, whose clever lay-off after he had outmuscled Steven Mouyokolo allowed Emertonto lash home.

Staring another defeat in the face, McCarthy was forced to go for broke. He responded by opting for two up front, the striker Sylvan Ebanks-Blake coming on for the central defender Mouyokolo. Yet it did nothing to alter the outcome as Rovers stretched their lead after more comical defending by the visitors. Despite a sea of Wolves shirts, Pedersen's impressive curling free-kick was allowed to find the central defender Nelsen, who ghosted in to tap home unmarked.

Wolves finished strongly as Robinson produced excellent saves to deny the substitute Stephen Hunt (twice) and George Elokobi. But this was a day to savour for Allardyce, whose team moved up to eighth in the table.

"We gave the players two days off in midweek because of the weather," he said. "The break seems to have done them a power of good. We knew we had to put it right in front of our own fans after what happened at Old Trafford."

Attendance: 22,314

Referee: Howard Webb

Man of the match: Nelsen

Match rating: 7/10

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

Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test
Tour de France 2015: Twins Simon and Adam Yates have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Twins have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Yates brothers will target the steepest sections in bid to win a stage in France
John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy