Le Saux returns to inspire Blackburn

Football: Blackburn Rovers 4 Sheffield Wednesday 1
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The occasional ritual humiliation seems to agree with Graeme Le Saux. Left out on Saturday against Arsenal - a club Blackburn's owner, Jack Walker, now insists he will not be joining - the Channel Islander returned to the mainstream last night and was instrumental in Rovers producing the best display of their uneven season.

And an overwhelming and richly deserved victory surely ends any lingering threat of relegation, just as it puts a serious dent in Wednesday's European ambitions.

It was one of those nights almost forgotten at Ewood, in which the whole Blackburn side played well, but Le Saux was undoubtedly the pick of them.

Apart from scoring his side's third goal immediately before half-time with, unusually for him, a fine right-foot shot, Le Saux tormented Wednesday down the left flank all evening and could have had another two goals himself as well as the chances he laid on for others.

Henning Berg started the destruction when Chris Sutton headed back Tim Sherwood's free-kick and then it was Billy McKinlay's cross that Kevin Gallacher knocked down to allow Sherwood to twist acrobatically to score the second.

Le Saux's run across the penalty area and exchange of passes with Sutton brought him the third and the inevitable fourth, delayed when both he and the half-time substitute, Per Pedersen, shot narrowly wide, duly arrived when Garry Flitcroft volleyed home with almost as much venom as he had at Highbury.

Blackburn's night ended with a couple of minor blemishes, Le Saux and Scott Oakes getting themselves booked for a scuffle and Benito Carbone scoring from the penalty spot after Flitcroft had tripped Regi Blinker.

Jason Wilcox may now have replaced Le Saux as Ewood's most unsettled player. A transfer request seems possible after he was demoted to make way for Le Saux's recall last night. One thing is certain; on this form, no one at Rovers will want the England full-back to go anywhere.

Blackburn Rovers (3-5-2): Flowers; Berg, Hendry, Pearce; Kenna, Sherwood, McKinlay, Flitcroft, Le Saux; Sutton (Pedersen, h-t; Fenton, 88), Gallacher (Donis, 79). Substitutes not used: Marker, Given (gk).

Sheffield Wednesday (4-1-3-2): Pressman; Oakes, Atherton, Walker, Nolan; Nicol (Humphreys, 50); Whittingham (Blinker, 70), Trustfull, Pembridge; Carbone, Donaldson. Substitutes not used: Briscoe, Collins, Clarke (gk).

Referee: G Willard (Worthing).

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