There is something about the first half of a match that's troubled Stoke this season, so thank goodness they have got the hang of the second. Despite a half-time record of W0 D1 L6, this win, secured just after the interval, lifted them to seventh in the table and extended their unbeaten league run to four games.
"We're pleased," said their manager, Tony Pulis. "Back-to-back wins are difficult to come across in the Premier League."
The Blackburn goalkeeper, Paul Robinson, was occupied, rather than panicked, in the first half: inside 20 minutes, Kenwyne Jones had stroked a left-foot shot a yard wide and popped two headers comfortably into Robinson's arms. It was Blackburn's Brett Emerton who went closest to beating his own keeper, glancing a Rory Delap throw on to the far post.
Stoke upped the tempo after the break and it paid almost instant dividends when Jones won a header in midfield to set Matthew Etherington on his way. The winger slid the ball through Christopher Samba and on to Jonathan Walters's right boot, from where it was dispatched neatly into the bottom corner. Walters almost returned the favour when he teed up Etherington just before the hour but this time Robinson blocked and gathered the shot.
Sam Allardyce – yet to win two consecutive away matches as Blackburn manager – reacted to going behind by swapping an increasingly frustrated El Hadji Diouf for Martin Olsson. He added Benjani Mwaruwari to the mix soon after but Blackburn, by his own admission "huffed and puffed".
The Stoke defence only caused the home crowd to clench a few muscles when Emerton's dipping 15th-minute volley was headed away by Ryan Shawcross.
THE FANS' PLAYER RATINGS AND VERDICTCHRIS BALDWIN, Stoke.VitalFootball.co.uk We're on a great run at the moment. We were solid and Blackburn never looked like breaking us down. We were hardly troubled at the back with Shawcross and Huth exceptional. It was a solid team display worthy of the three points. Jones has given us another dimension to our frontline and our attacking play is not as predictable as last year because we can now play down either wing through Pennant and Etherington. Pennant has been an important signing and he showed his class . Four league games unbeaten and seventh in the league but we need to keep our feet on the ground.
The fan's player ratings Sorensen 7; Huth 8, Shawcross 7, Faye 7, Collins 7; Pennant 8 (Fuller 77 n/a), Whitehead 8, Delap 7 (Whelan 90 n/a), Etherington 8 (Wilson 89 n/a); Walters 7, Jones 7
DAN COURTNEY, Observer reader I wasn't expecting much, but this was seriously depressing stuff even by Sam's standards. Endless ugly punts upfield, aimless passing, and our decent ball-players left totally redundant, again. I'd be OK with the style of play if we were picking up points, but this is low-level Championship football at best. Opposition sides know how we play and just sit back and soak it up. I'd love to see how Sam got on imposing this style at Real Madrid, or wherever it is he reckons he should be managing. Stoke were tidy, ugly and efficient, but I can't say any of their individuals really stood out either.
The fan's player ratings Robinson 6; Salgado 5, Samba 6, Nelsen 6, Givet 5; Emerton 5 (Benjani 75 n/a), Nzonzi 3, Jones 6; EH Diouf 6 (Olsson 54 5); Pedersen 4 (Hoilett 86 n/a), M Diouf 5
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