Blackburn 1-2 Stoke
Peter Crouch scored two fine goals as Stoke brought Blackburn's mini-revival to an end with victory at Ewood Park.
Chris Samba hit the bar and had a goal disallowed for the hosts before Dean Whitehead's chipped pass set up Crouch to fire home the opening goal.
Then, with half-time imminent, Matthew Etherington sprinted down the left and crossed for Crouch to blast the second.
David Goodwillie scrambled in to give Blackburn hope but Jonathan Woodgate blocked Yakubu's shot on the line.
The Nigerian striker, so often Blackburn's shining light with 13 goals this season, was well inside the six-yard box when the ball fell at his feet, but his instinctive shot struck Woodgate's leg and flew to safety.
The defeat - Blackburn's eighth in 10 home games this season - will be a hammer blow to boss Steve Kean, who appeared to be turning the club's fortunes around after ending 2011 with a 1-1 draw against Liverpool at Anfield and a stunning 3-2 away victory over champions Manchester United.
Indeed, Kean and his players were given a rare warm reception by home fans, whose antagonism towards the Scottish manager reached fever pitch in the recent 2-1 home defeat by fellow strugglers Bolton.
The goodwill seemed to rub off on Blackburn's players as they made a confident start and came close to taking an early lead.
First, Samba's header from a corner rattled against the bar, and soon afterwards the same player popped up at the far post to nod home, only for the goal to be controversially ruled out for a tug by Yakubu on goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen.
The contact between the pair appeared minimal and several Blackburn players surrounded referee Lee Mason to make their grievances known.
David Dunn, restored to the Blackburn line-up following a hamstring injury, was characteristically positive, exchanging passes with Yakubu before stinging the palms of Sorensen from the edge of the box.
Stoke soon settled and began to pepper the Blackburn defence with aerial balls from all angles.
And the strategy paid dividends when Whitehead's ball found Crouch, who controlled it on his chest and swivelled to fire home his 100th goal in league football.
Central defender Samba remained Blackburn's most promising attacking source, seeing a low shot tipped around the post before setting up Yakubu for a shot which flew past an upright.
Blackburn were made to pay for their profligacy as Stoke went 2-0 ahead from a stunning counter-attack.
Etherington raced 60 yards down the left flank and picked out Crouch in the middle, the England striker cushioning the ball on his thigh before smashing a left-footed strike into the roof of the net.
Crouch almost grabbed himself a hat-trick early in the second half when a Woodgate centre from the right found him at the far post, but his volley cleared the bar by a distance.
Stoke remained the most accomplished side but just when they were starting to cruise, Blackburn brought the contest back to life with a goal against the run of play.
Grant Hanley won a header from a corner and, with Stoke struggling to clear the ball, substitute Goodwillie pounced to prod home.
Sensing their chance, Blackburn surged forward and came within a whisker of an equaliser with 12 minutes remaining.
A long throw was flicked on by Samba to Yakubu, whose shot from point-blank range was blocked by Woodgate on the line.
That was to prove Rovers' last real opportunity of any substance as they succumbed to a defeat that leaves them 19th in the table, three points adrift of safety.
Stoke remain upwardly mobile after a fifth win in eight league games moved them a point behind seventh-placed Newcastle in the table.
Stoke manager Tony Pulis: "It was a fantastic game - end to end stuff. In the first half we played really well and could have come in with a couple more goals.
"Their set pieces were very good and caused us all sorts of problems. After that they loaded everything in there and we had to defend for our lives.
"Peter [Crouch] has not been a regular recently but he has been such a good player for us. He took his goals really well. Not just on the pitch but off the pitch, he is a great lad."
- 13 Bunn
- 04 Samba
- 31 Hanley Booked
- 39 Henley (Givet - 71' )
- 08 Dunn (Rochina - 73' Booked )
- 10 Formica
- 12 Pedersen
- 14 Petrovic (Goodwillie - 59' )
- 15 Nzonzi
- 35 Lowe
- 24 Yakubu
- 34 Kean
- 05 Givet
- 29 Vukcevic
- 33 Morris
- 20 Rochina
- 22 Blackman
- 25 Goodwillie
- 29 Sorensen
- 04 Huth Booked
- 17 Shawcross
- 30 Shotton
- 39 Woodgate
- 06 Whelan (Delap - 82' )
- 12 Wilson
- 18 Whitehead (Diao - 87' )
- 26 Etherington (Jerome - 80' )
- 19 Walters
- 25 Crouch
- 01 Begovic
- 20 Upson
- 15 Diao
- 16 Pennant
- 24 Delap
- 09 Jones
- 33 Jerome
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The referee brings the game to a close.90:00 +3:17
Steven Nzonzi produces a cross, Rory Delap manages to make a clearance. Ayegbeni Yakubu is caught offside. Free kick taken by Thomas Sorensen.90:00 +1:11
Morten Gamst Pedersen sends in a cross, Thomas Sorensen makes a save.90:00 +1:02
The ball is sent over by Mauro Formica, Jonathan Woodgate manages to make a clearance.90:00 +0:37
Ruben Rochina crosses the ball, clearance by Peter Crouch.89:54
Corner taken by Morten Gamst Pedersen from the right by-line played to the near post, Jonathan Woodgate makes a clearance.89:29
The ball is sent over by Peter Crouch, Gael Givet gets a block in.88:17
Gael Givet produces a cross, Headed effort from deep inside the area by Christopher Samba misses to the right of the target.88:04
A cross is delivered by Mauro Formica, Robert Huth makes a clearance.86:02
Morten Gamst Pedersen produces a strike on goal direct from the free kick.86:02 Substitution
Substitution Dean Whitehead leaves the field to be replaced by Salif Diao.86:02
David Goodwillie fouled by Marc Wilson, the ref awards a free kick.85:52
The ball is crossed by Jason Lowe, clearance made by Ryan Shawcross.84:34
Effort from the edge of the area by Cameron Jerome goes wide of the right-hand post.81:59
Free kick crossed by Ryan Shotton, Steven Nzonzi manages to make a clearance.81:59 Substitution
Substitution Glenn Whelan goes off and Rory Delap comes on.81:59
Unfair challenge on Peter Crouch by Morten Gamst Pedersen results in a free kick.80:42
Free kick taken by Thomas Sorensen.80:42 Booking
Booking The referee cautions Ruben Rochina for unsporting behaviour.80:35
Ruben Rochina concedes a free kick for a foul on Ryan Shawcross.
Substitution Matthew Etherington goes off and Cameron Jerome comes on.78:12
Ayegbeni Yakubu takes a shot. Jonathan Woodgate gets a block in.76:44
The assistant referee flags for offside against Ayegbeni Yakubu. Thomas Sorensen restarts play with the free kick.76:10
Centre by Ruben Rochina, save by Thomas Sorensen.75:26
Ruben Rochina produces a cross, Ryan Shotton gets a block in.74:23
David Goodwillie takes a shot from long range which goes wide of the left-hand upright.72:38 Substitution
Substitution Ruben Rochina is brought on as a substitute for David Dunn.72:11
Matthew Etherington sends in a cross.70:30 Substitution
Substitution Gael Givet is brought on as a substitute for Adam Henley.68:56
Assist by Ayegbeni Yakubu.68:56 Goal scored
Goal! - David Goodwillie - Blackburn 1 - 2 Stoke David Goodwillie scores a goal from inside the six-yard box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Blackburn 1-2 Stoke.68:27
Morten Gamst Pedersen crosses the ball, Ryan Shotton gets a block in. Corner from the left by-line taken by Morten Gamst Pedersen,67:25
The ball is delivered by Jason Lowe, clearance by Robert Huth.67:16
Mauro Formica produces a cross, Jonathan Woodgate makes a clearance.65:31
Jason Lowe produces a cross.64:46
Ayegbeni Yakubu fouled by Robert Huth, the ref awards a free kick. Mark Bunn takes the direct free kick.62:37
Centre by Peter Crouch, free kick awarded for a foul by Jonathan Walters on Mark Bunn. Direct free kick taken by Mark Bunn.61:47
Effort from outside the penalty box by Peter Crouch goes wide left of the target.60:09
Foul by Jonathan Walters on David Dunn, free kick awarded. Mark Bunn takes the free kick.59:28
Effort on goal by David Goodwillie from inside the area goes harmlessly over the bar.58:26 Substitution
Substitution David Goodwillie comes on in place of Radosav Petrovic.56:01
Centre by Mauro Formica, Robert Huth makes a clearance.54:43
Jonathan Woodgate takes the direct free kick.54:43 Booking
Booking Caution for Grant Hanley.54:36
Grant Hanley challenges Ryan Shotton unfairly and gives away a free kick.52:36
Free kick awarded for a foul by Adam Henley on Ryan Shotton. Direct free kick taken by Glenn Whelan.50:49
Jonathan Woodgate crosses the ball, Shot from close range by Peter Crouch clears the bar.50:14
The ball is crossed by Ryan Shotton, clearance made by Grant Hanley.49:28
Morten Gamst Pedersen has an effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the left of the goal.49:00
Outswinging corner taken by Morten Gamst Pedersen.46:55
Matthew Etherington crosses the ball, clearance made by Steven Nzonzi.45:01
The referee gets the second half underway.45:00 +1:04 Half time
Half Time The ref blows to signal half-time.44:12
Matthew Etherington provided the assist for the goal.44:12 Goal scored
Goal! - Peter Crouch - Blackburn 0 - 2 Stoke Peter Crouch finds the net with a goal from inside the penalty box to the top left corner of the goal. Blackburn 0-2 Stoke.44:07
Matthew Etherington produces a cross,43:57
The ball is swung over by David Dunn, Marc Wilson manages to make a clearance.42:36
The ball is swung over by Adam Henley, blocked by Ryan Shotton.40:53
The ball is swung over by Jason Lowe.40:19
A cross is delivered by Ryan Shotton, save made by Mark Bunn.39:54
Foul by Steven Nzonzi on Peter Crouch, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Glenn Whelan.38:32
Marc Wilson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on David Dunn. Shot comes in from Morten Gamst Pedersen from the free kick, Jonathan Woodgate manages to make a clearance. Shot by Ayegbeni Yakubu from deep inside the penalty area misses wide to the left of the target.37:33
The referee blows for offside against Ryan Shotton. Indirect free kick taken by Mark Bunn.36:35
A cross is delivered by Peter Crouch, clearance made by Christopher Samba.35:25
The ball is delivered by Jason Lowe, David Dunn takes a shot. Thomas Sorensen makes a save.34:14
Jonathan Woodgate sends in a cross.33:06
Foul by Marc Wilson on Mauro Formica, free kick awarded. Morten Gamst Pedersen crosses the ball in from the free kick, clearance made by Marc Wilson.32:14
Marc Wilson sends in a cross, Christopher Samba manages to make a clearance.31:43
Unfair challenge on Thomas Sorensen by Ayegbeni Yakubu results in a free kick. Thomas Sorensen takes the free kick.31:11
Morten Gamst Pedersen produces a cross, save made by Thomas Sorensen.30:06
Free kick crossed left-footed by Morten Gamst Pedersen from left wing, clearance by Jonathan Woodgate. Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Morten Gamst Pedersen from the left by-line, clearance by Ryan Shawcross.30:06 Booking
Booking Robert Huth is booked.29:53
Robert Huth challenges David Dunn unfairly and gives away a free kick.28:58
Corner taken right-footed by Glenn Whelan, save made by Mark Bunn.26:15
The ball is swung over by Matthew Etherington, Jason Lowe gets a block in. Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Glenn Whelan, clearance made by Christopher Samba.25:05
Christopher Samba takes a shot. Save made by Thomas Sorensen. Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Morten Gamst Pedersen from the right by-line, clearance by Peter Crouch.25:00
David Dunn crosses the ball, Robert Huth manages to make a clearance.24:39
The ball is delivered by Morten Gamst Pedersen, Ryan Shotton gets a block in.23:32
Steven Nzonzi takes a shot. Clearance by Glenn Whelan.22:42
Corner taken left-footed by Morten Gamst Pedersen.20:43
Peter Crouch takes a shot. Mark Bunn makes a save.19:11
Centre by Matthew Etherington.16:33
Assist on the goal came from Dean Whitehead.16:33 Goal scored
Goal! - Peter Crouch - Blackburn 0 - 1 Stoke Peter Crouch fires in a goal from deep inside the penalty box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Blackburn 0-1 Stoke.16:23
Matthew Etherington crosses the ball, Steven Nzonzi manages to make a clearance.15:23
Corner taken by Matthew Etherington from the right by-line played to the near post, clearance by Christopher Samba.14:54
Jonathan Woodgate produces a cross, clearance by Christopher Samba.13:07
Ryan Shotton produces a right-footed shot from outside the penalty box and misses wide left of the target.11:25
Effort from outside the penalty box by Marc Wilson goes wide right of the target.10:48
David Dunn challenges Glenn Whelan unfairly and gives away a free kick. Ryan Shawcross takes the direct free kick.9:14
David Dunn takes a shot. Thomas Sorensen makes a save.7:16
The ball is swung over by Ryan Shotton, Mauro Formica manages to make a clearance.6:25
The ball is crossed by Matthew Etherington, save by Mark Bunn.4:55
Outswinging corner taken by Morten Gamst Pedersen from the left by-line, free kick awarded for a foul by Ayegbeni Yakubu on Thomas Sorensen. Thomas Sorensen takes the direct free kick.4:06
Corner taken by Morten Gamst Pedersen, Christopher Samba takes a shot.1:59
Ryan Shotton produces a cross.0:15
Ryan Shotton sends in a cross.0:00
The referee gets the match started.
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