BLACKBURN Rovers gave themselves a Premier League lifeline this afternoon with a 2-0 win over Norwich City.

Junior Hoilett's brilliant second half strike added to Mauro Formica's first half goal to move Rovers ahead of Bolton and just three points behind Wigan.

Norwich City started brightly and should have been ahead on nine minutes when Jon Howson's pull back from the bye line caused panic in Rovers' penalty area.

The ball eventually dropped to James Vaughan just eight yards from goal but, left completely unmarked, he missed his kick as Rovers scrambled the ball to safety.

Rovers were appealing for a penalty kick just minutes later after Norwich defender Russell Martin appeared to flick Morten Gamst Pedersen's free kick away with his fingers, but referee Kevin Friend awarded a goal kick.

Rovers started to gain some control of the game and almost went ahead on 22 minutes after some Junior Hoilett trickery.

The Canadian found space down the right flank and his whipped cross was fumbled by goalkeeper John Ruddy but, with Pedersen waiting to pounce, Elliott Ward hacked clear.

At the other end Paul Robinson reacted well to push Jon Howson's fierce 25-yard shot over the bar on the half hour mark.

Yakubu was inches away from getting on the end of Pedersen's chipped cross , while Grant Holt headed just wide for the visitors on 36.

Rovers were agonisingly close to the opener on 38 as Yakubu's mis-hit over head kick from close range bobbled against the post, after Pedersen had headed Hoilett's deep cross back across goal.

They didn't have long to wait to break the deadlock though as Mauro Formica volleyed home from close range on 41.

After Yakubu raced down the left channel, his lay back was brilliantly crossed in from Pedersen to pick out the unmarked Formica just yards out and he made no mistake.

Rovers enjoyed the perfect start to the second half thanks to a moment of individual brilliance from Hoilett.

The winger cut inside from the left flank and bent the ball past Ruddy from 25 yards to double Rovers' lead.

Norwich then dominated possession but, able to sit back on what they had, Rovers were able to keep them at bay.

Half way through the half 'We want Venky's out reverberated from all home sections of Ewood Park Aaron Wilbraham had a shot saved by Robinson with 20 minutes left but Rovers held on to three crucial points.