Goals from Gabriel Agbonlahor, Emile Heskey and Darren Bent gave Aston Villa victory in manager Alex McLeish's first home game in charge at Villa Park.

Agbonlahor opened the scoring with his 50th Premier League goal, a fine curling strike.

Heskey made it 2-0 with his low shot from 20 yards out before Morten Gamst Pedersen pulled one back for Blackburn heading home Junior Hoilett's cross.

But Bent made the game safe beating keeper Paul Robinson from close range.

Kean points to 'inexperience' after Villa defeat

It has not been a good few days for Blackburn manager Steve Kean, who earlier in the week failed in his attempt to sign former Real Madrid forward Raul and was also banned from driving for 18 months  .

The beleaguered Rovers boss was already the pre-season favourite to become the first Premier League manager to lose his job and on the evidence of his side's opening two games, there is every reason to think the bookies have made an accurate prediction.

Beaten 2-1 by Wolves on the opening day, they were easily defeated by Villa on Saturday, lacking leadership on and off the pitch. While individually they could not be faulted for effort, they played like a team of strangers.

They simply could not handle Villa's lively attacking quartet of Agbonlahor, Charles N'Zogbia, Heskey and Bent and offered very little going forward themselves.

ANALYSIS

Frankly over the course of the match Blackburn didn't do enough. I think if Steve Kean cannot be given the resources to strengthen before deadline day then they may struggle this season.

Villa threatened through Bent early on and Agbonlahor opened the scoring in stunning fashion.

The Villa forward cut inside Michel Salgado far too easily and curled the ball right-footed into the top left-hand corner of the net from 12 yards out.

Next it was Heskey who opened his account for the season, beating Robinson with a low strike from the edge of the area following Agbonlahor's lay-off.

Villa were forced to replace Agbonlahor with Marc Albrighton and, to their credit, Blackburn were much improved after the break.

They took the game to Villa and were soon back in it through Pedersen's header from close range after Hoilett sent in a fine cross following his blistering run down the left wing.

The goal stunted Villa's fluidity while also breathing new life into Blackburn, with Jason Roberts leading the line in uncompromising fashion.

McLeish praises talented Delph

Albrighton saw his low shot whistle just wide of Robinson's post in a game that was becoming increasingly stretched.

But just when it seemed Blackburn might get back into the game, Bent poached a goal to restore their cushion.

Stylian Petrov's initial shot was blocked by Grant Hanley but the ball squirmed its way into the path of Bent who made no mistake with just Robinson to beat.

The goal took the sting out of the game as Villa earned their first victory of the season, with Blackburn rock-bottom of the Premier League.

Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish:

"It was a great result for us, with some very good moments in the game. I was very pleased with the players, and getting three goals as well was terrific.

"It's early days. We have four good points from the first two games, and if we can keep that kind of progress going then we can have a good season.

"We know there are a lot of tough challenges ahead, but we're up for it."

Blackburn manager Steve Kean:

"I thought we started the game well. If we look back at the goal we gave away, the first was fantastic from

Agbonlahor, but we're disappointed with the second because it took an unfortunate deflection off Pedersen.

"We then spoke at half-time about how we would come out for the second half, and I thought we were excellent, we scored the goal and Villa were on the back foot.

"The third goal then killed us because once we scored we were in the ascendancy."

Lineup, Bookings (3) & Substitutions (5)

Aston Villa

  • 01 Given
  • 02 Young (Clark - 56' )
  • 03 Warnock
  • 05 Dunne
  • 06 Collins
  • 10 N'Zogbia
  • 16 Delph Booked
  • 19 Petrov Booked
  • 09 Bent
  • 11 Agbonlahor (Albrighton - 46' )
  • 18 Heskey Booked (Bannan - 66' )

Substitutes

  • 22 Guzan
  • 21 Clark
  • 07 Ireland
  • 12 Albrighton
  • 17 Makoun
  • 25 Bannan
  • 14 Delfouneso

Blackburn

  • 01 Robinson
  • 02 Salgado
  • 03 Olsson
  • 06 Nelsen
  • 31 Hanley
  • 08 Dunn
  • 12 Pedersen (Petrovic - 75' )
  • 15 Nzonzi
  • 23 Hoilett
  • 25 Goodwillie
  • 30 Roberts (Formica - 75' )

Substitutes

  • 13 Bunn
  • 32 Ribeiro
  • 10 Formica
  • 14 Petrovic
  • 35 Lowe
  • 20 Rochina
  • 22 Blackman
Ref: Attwell
Att: 32,319

Match Stats

Shots

9 10

On target

6 6

Corners

5 4

Fouls

9 13

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +4:11 Full time

Full Time The referee ends the match.

90:00 +3:20

The ball is swung over by Martin Olsson.

90:00 +1:36

Radosav Petrovic fouled by Barry Bannan, the ref awards a free kick. Shot comes in from Martin Olsson from the free kick.

90:00 +0:04

Mauro Formica takes a long range shot clearing the crossbar.

89:01

Corner from right by-line taken by Mauro Formica. Ryan Nelsen takes a shot. Blocked by James Collins.

87:22

Michel Salgado delivers the ball, clearance made by Marc Albrighton.

82:05

Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Barry Bannan played to the near post, save by Paul Robinson. Corner taken left-footed by Charles N'Zogbia to the near post, clearance by Ryan Nelsen.

81:27

Effort by Radosav Petrovic from a long way out goes over the target.

80:44

The offside flag is raised against Michel Salgado. Free kick taken by Ciaran Clark.

79:23

Ryan Nelsen restarts play with the free kick. David Dunn takes a shot from 25 yards. Blocked by Ciaran Clark.

79:23 Booking

Booking Stiliyan Petrov booked.

79:19

Stiliyan Petrov concedes a free kick for a foul on Mauro Formica.

76:59

Centre by Charles N'Zogbia, Ryan Nelsen manages to make a clearance.

75:48

Unfair challenge on Barry Bannan by Grant Hanley results in a free kick. Charles N'Zogbia crosses the ball from the free kick left-footed from left wing, Ryan Nelsen makes a clearance.

74:16

Shay Given takes the free kick.

74:16 Substitution

Substitution (Blackburn) makes a substitution, with Radosav Petrovic coming on for Morten Gamst Pedersen.

74:16 Substitution

Substitution Mauro Formica joins the action as a substitute, replacing Jason Roberts.

74:16

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Ciaran Clark by David Goodwillie.

71:20

Barry Bannan takes a shot from inside the box clearing the bar.

70:29

Charles N'Zogbia decides to take a short corner. Centre by Barry Bannan, Unfair challenge on Martin Olsson by Ciaran Clark results in a free kick. Paul Robinson takes the free kick.

69:59

Free kick awarded for a foul by Steven Nzonzi on Ciaran Clark. Barry Bannan delivers the ball from the free kick left-footed from left channel, clearance made by Ryan Nelsen.

66:56

Assist by Stiliyan Petrov.

66:56 Goal scored

Goal! - Darren Bent - A Villa 3 - 1 Blackburn Darren Bent scores a goal from deep inside the penalty area low into the middle of the goal. Aston Villa 3-1 Blackburn.

66:46

Drilled right-footed shot by Stiliyan Petrov. Ryan Nelsen gets a block in.

65:27

Shay Given takes the direct free kick.

65:27 Substitution

Substitution (Aston Villa) makes a substitution, with Barry Bannan coming on for Emile Heskey.

65:27

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Fabian Delph by Jason Roberts.

64:12

The ball is sent over by Marc Albrighton, Ryan Nelsen manages to make a clearance. Marc Albrighton crosses the ball, clearance made by Ryan Nelsen.

63:38

The ball is swung over by Steven Nzonzi, Stephen Warnock manages to make a clearance.

63:00

Morten Gamst Pedersen delivers the ball.

62:23

Long distance effort from Marc Albrighton misses to the left of the goal.

61:10

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Fabian Delph by David Dunn. Free kick taken by Fabian Delph.

59:22

The ball is crossed by Ciaran Clark.

57:47

Paul Robinson restarts play with the free kick.

57:47 Booking

Booking Fabian Delph is cautioned by the ref for unsporting behaviour.

57:42

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Morten Gamst Pedersen by Fabian Delph.

56:37

The ball is sent over by Michel Salgado, free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Stephen Warnock by David Hoilett. Direct free kick taken by Shay Given.

54:57

Martin Olsson takes the direct free kick.

54:57 Substitution

Substitution Luke Young goes off and Ciaran Clark comes on.

54:57 Booking

Booking The referee shows Emile Heskey a yellow card.

54:52

David Hoilett fouled by Emile Heskey, the ref awards a free kick.

53:04

Emile Heskey takes a shot. Blocked by Darren Bent. Martin Olsson challenges Stiliyan Petrov unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by James Collins.

52:51

Unfair challenge on Marc Albrighton by David Hoilett results in a free kick. James Collins restarts play with the free kick.

51:26

The ball is swung over by David Hoilett,

51:25

The assist for the goal came from David Hoilett.

51:25 Goal scored

Goal! - Morten Gamst Pedersen - A Villa 2 - 1 Blackburn Morten Gamst Pedersen finds the net with a headed goal from inside the area. Aston Villa 2-1 Blackburn.

49:06

The ball is sent over by David Goodwillie, blocked by Luke Young.

48:10

David Dunn takes a shot. Fabian Delph gets a block in. Inswinging corner taken by Morten Gamst Pedersen, clearance made by Emile Heskey.

45:42

Darren Bent gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ryan Nelsen. Free kick taken by Paul Robinson.

45:01

The match restarts for the second half.

45:01 Substitution

Substitution Gabriel Agbonlahor leaves the field to be replaced by Marc Albrighton.

45:00 +2:12 Half time

Half Time The ref blows to signal half-time.

43:30

The ball is crossed by Morten Gamst Pedersen. Corner taken by Morten Gamst Pedersen from the right by-line to the near post, Darren Bent manages to make a clearance.

42:16

Foul by David Dunn on Stiliyan Petrov, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by James Collins.

38:52

Luke Young delivers the ball. Gabriel Agbonlahor challenges Paul Robinson unfairly and gives away a free kick. Paul Robinson takes the free kick.

38:31

The ball is swung over by Stephen Warnock, clearance by Ryan Nelsen.

34:31

David Dunn concedes a free kick for a foul on Fabian Delph. Fabian Delph restarts play with the free kick.

32:57

Centre by Luke Young, Grant Hanley manages to make a clearance.

32:16

Steven Nzonzi gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Charles N'Zogbia. Richard Dunne takes the direct free kick.

31:11

David Dunn produces a cross.

30:51

The ball is delivered by Fabian Delph, Grant Hanley manages to make a clearance.

29:09

The ball is delivered by David Hoilett. Shot by David Dunn. Shay Given makes a comfortable save.

28:15

David Dunn crosses the ball, James Collins makes a clearance.

27:17

The ball is sent over by Morten Gamst Pedersen, Richard Dunne manages to make a clearance.

24:13

The assist for the goal came from Gabriel Agbonlahor.

24:13 Goal scored

Goal! - Emile Heskey - A Villa 2 - 0 Blackburn A goal is scored by Emile Heskey from just outside the penalty area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Aston Villa 2-0 Blackburn.

23:23

The offside flag is raised against David Goodwillie. James Collins takes the free kick.

22:16

Shot by Steven Nzonzi. Blocked by Stephen Warnock. Corner taken by Morten Gamst Pedersen. Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Shay Given by Jason Roberts. Direct free kick taken by Shay Given.

21:00

Effort from 25 yards by Gabriel Agbonlahor. Save made by Paul Robinson.

18:46

The ball is swung over by Michel Salgado. The ball is swung over by David Hoilett, Shot from inside the area by David Goodwillie clears the bar.

18:12

Unfair challenge on Fabian Delph by David Dunn results in a free kick. James Collins takes the free kick.

13:35

Charles N'Zogbia takes a inswinging corner from the right by-line played to the near post, free kick awarded for a foul by James Collins on David Dunn. Paul Robinson takes the free kick.

13:16

A cross is delivered by Gabriel Agbonlahor. The ball is swung over by Luke Young, clearance by Ryan Nelsen.

11:32

Assist on the goal came from Darren Bent.

11:32 Goal scored

Goal! - Gabriel Agbonlahor - A Villa 1 - 0 Blackburn Gabriel Agbonlahor fires in a goal from the edge of the penalty box to the top right corner of the goal. Aston Villa 1-0 Blackburn.

11:07

A cross is delivered by David Goodwillie, clearance by Stephen Warnock.

10:27

A cross is delivered by Luke Young, Grant Hanley makes a clearance.

8:47

Corner taken by Charles N'Zogbia from the left by-line to the near post, Effort on goal by Richard Dunne from deep inside the area goes harmlessly over the bar.

8:34

Gabriel Agbonlahor crosses the ball, Ryan Nelsen manages to make a clearance.

7:10

The official flags David Goodwillie offside. Shay Given takes the indirect free kick.

5:00

Luke Young delivers the ball. Darren Bent is caught offside. Free kick taken by Paul Robinson.

2:09

The assistant referee flags for offside against David Goodwillie. Indirect free kick taken by Shay Given.

1:54

Free kick awarded for a foul by Luke Young on Martin Olsson. Free kick taken by Morten Gamst Pedersen.

1:43

A cross is delivered by David Hoilett, Gabriel Agbonlahor manages to make a clearance.

0:00

The ref blows the whistle to start the match.

Live data and text provided by our data suppliers