9:55pm Tuesday 20th March 2012
© Press Association 2013
Goals from Junior Hoilett and Ayegbeni Yakubu gave Blackburn a 2-0 victory at home to Sunderland and lifted Rovers six points clear of the relegation zone.
The hosts' perilous position meant they needed the points more than their opponents and they certainly showed more ambition to win the game.
Hoilett's volley broke the deadlock just before the hour and after Black Cats substitute Ji Dong-won missed from four yards Yakubu headed his 14th Barclays Premier League goal late on.
Players from both sides showed Fabrice Muamba was on their minds as they wore 'Pray for Muamba' T-shirts in the warm up
When the action started Blackburn threatened after only three minutes when Hoilett slipped a pass through to Yakubu - whose shot was only half-saved by goalkeeper Simon Mignolet and had it not been for Phil Bardsley getting back to hook clear the ball would have crept inside the near post.
Sunderland's one half-chance came in the 35th minute when James McClean swung in a pinpoint first-time cross from the left to Fraizer Campbell and only a perfectly-timed tackle from Grant Hanley prevented the striker unleashing a shot from 10 yards.
Blackburn were the first to show in the second half with Mauro Formica meeting Morten Gamst Pedersen's cross after the first bounce to fire in a shot which Mignolet turned behind.
But the Sunderland goalkeeper was partly at fault for Rovers' opener in the 59th minute, although credit must go to Hoilett for his instinctive finish. Pedersen directed his long throw at the six-yard box but Mignolet's punch went straight to Hoilett, who volleyed the ball straight back into the net.
Martin Olsson produced a crucial tackle to beat Nicklas Bendtner to the ball just three yards out and prevent a certain equaliser but substitute Ji should have levelled things up from close range in the 77th minute from McClean's centre.
Four minutes from time the result was assured when Rovers substitute Bradley Orr crossed for Yakubu to head home his 14th league goal.
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