Yakubu's goal rush lifts Rovers off the bottom

Blackburn Rovers 4 Swansea City 2: Awesome foursome brings blessed relief for beleaguered manager Kean

Ewood Park

Like a mighty beast of burden, the man they call The Yak lifted his team off the foot of the table and at least some of the weight from his manager.

Yakubu Ayegbeni's four goals, taking him to 10 for the season, brought Blackburn an invaluable victory. If the hard-liners of the Steve Kean Out tendency still chanted for his sacking at the end almost outof habit, it was without their usual conviction and vitriol.

"I'd like the majority to be more vocal and say to the protesters, 'Give the lads a chance'," Kean said. "The best thing would be for us to go on an unbeaten run and go up the table, then if they still want to protest there's obviously something else.

"The great thing about Yakubu is that he scores all sorts of goals, but a striker is only as good as his service – and the service we gave him today was fantastic."

Kean made five changes to the side defeated by Cardiff in the Carling Cup in midweek, while Swansea were without their leading scorer, Danny Graham, for their first-ever top-flight visit to Ewood Park. They still lined up enterprisingly, with three up front, belying their recent record of three games without a goal.

The width with which they played gave Rovers some early problems, especially on the City left, where Scott Sinclair seemed to have the measure of Jason Lowe and put in a couple of dangerous balls. Blackburn were slow off their blocks by comparison, with only a Morten Gamst Pedersenfree-kick to their name andthat drifting harmlessly beyond the far post.

All that changed after 19 minutes, with a goal of a quality quite foreign to the standard of the game thus far. Yakubu began it by laying the ball off to Gaël Givet on the left wing. Crucially, the Nigerian kept running flat out, to arrive in the penalty area as Givet pulled it back and to score with a left-footer that streaked into Michel Vorm's top corner.

After that, Yakubu was energised in the way he can be when in exactly the right mood, and it looked just a matter of time before he scored again. First, though, Swansea came up with a goal almost as good, from Mark Gower's lovely flighted cross and an equally good header from Leroy Lita, which beat Paul Robinson inside his far post.

In time added on at the end of the first half it was The Yak again. Pedersen's corner was only partly cleared, and Simon Vukcevic, just on as a substitute, hooked it back towards goal. It was missing by a couple of yards until Yakubu leaned forward almost casually to head it inside the upright.

After a half-time largely devoted to the chanting of "Feed The Yak and he will score," Yakubu set about fulfilling that prophecy. He thought he had done so for the third time when he prodded home a clever pass from the impressive Vukcevic, but the assistant had his flag up.

After a couple of flurries from the ever-dangerous Sinclair, he did complete his hat-trick, partly thanks to an unlikely assist from Robinson. Vorm had to tip over from a long clearance from his opposite number. When the corner came in, Christopher Samba commandingly won it in theair and Yakubu was there to complete his treble with a simple second header.

Two Swansea substitutes combined to keep them in the game, Robinson only parrying Wayne Routledge's shot into the path of Luke Moore. But after Joe Allen had been sent off for a second yellow card, for pulling back Junior Hoilett, Vukcevic was brought down in the area, and there was never much doubt about who was going to take the penalty.

Swansea's manager, Brendan Rodgers, described the red card as "very, very harsh" and insisted that "we were fantastic going forward". In the end, however, his side had simply not defended well enough against Yakubu. Feed The Yak like that and he is liable to turn into a complete glutton.

Blackburn (4-4-2): Robinson; Lowe, Samba, Dann, Givet; Rochina (Vukcevic, 40), Dunn (Petrovic, 75), Pedersen, Hoilett; Formica, Yakubu (Roberts, 86).

Swansea ((4-3-3): Vorm; Richards, Monk, Williams, Taylor; Britton, Gower (Moore, 60), Allen; Dyer (Routledge, h-t), Lita, Sinclair.

Referee Chris Foy.

Man of the match Yakubu (Blackburn).

Match rating 7/10.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Mia Freedman, editorial director of the Mamamia website, reads out a tweet she was sent.
news
News
people
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
The write stuff: masters of story-telling James Joyce, left, and Thomas Hardy
books...begging to differ, John Walsh can't even begin to number the ways
Sport
Jose Mourinho on Sky Sports
footballEXCLUSIVE COLUMN Paul Scholes: It was not a leg-breaking tackle, as the Chelsea manager had claimed
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

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower