Blackburn suffer a last minute defeat

Pressure piles up on Blackburn boss Steve Kean after loss to West Brom as Chelsea are frustrated at Wigan.

Peter Odemwingie delivered the hammer blow late on for West Brom as they toppled Blackburn [GALLO/GETTY] 

West Brom striker Peter Odemwingie piled the pressure on beleaguered Blackburn boss Steve Kean as his last minute strike secured a 2-1 win at Ewood Park on Saturday.

Kean has already had to endure calls for his resignation from angry Blackburn fans for several weeks and the ‘Kean out’ chants got even louder after Odemwingie’s superb effort kept Rovers second bottom of the Premier League.

In the late game Chelsea stumbled in their title challenge when they conceded a late equaliser and drew 1-1 at Wigan.

The Blues, who had won their last three league matches and inflicted a first defeat of the season on leaders Manchester City on Monday looking to be heading for a fourth straight win until Jordi Gomez capitalised on a goalkeeping error by Petr Cech in the 88th minute.

Chelsea remain in third place, with 32 points from 16 matches, trailing City on 38 points and Manchester United on 36 from their 15 games. They both play on Sunday.

Early hopes

Blackburn briefly looked like rescuing Kean from another dismal defeat when Scott Dann scrambled an equaliser after James Morrison put Albion ahead early in the second half.

Rovers’ Indian owners Venky’s have given Kean their support so far but this loss, Blackburn’s third in the last four league games, left the Lancashire club four points from safety.

Results and Fixtures

Saturday December 17

 Blackburn 1-2 West Brom
 Everton 1-1 Norwich
 Fulham 2-0 Bolton  Newcastle 0-0 Swansea 
 Wolves 1-2 Stoke
 Wigan 1-1 Chelsea

Sunday December 18

 QPR v Man Utd
 Aston Villa v Liverpool
 Tottenham v Sunderland
 Man City v Arsenal

Albion took the lead in the 52nd minute when a corner came off Steven Nzonzi to Morrison, who smashed in a fine volley from just outside the area.

Kean shuffled his pack by bringing on Jason Roberts and Grant Hanley for Simon Vukcevic and David Dunn, a move that drew cries of ‘you don’t know what you’re doing’ from some Rovers fans.

Dann then got away with an error of judgement, inadvertently lobbing Robinson when trying to play the ball back to his goalkeeper and grateful to see the ball bounce wide.

Former Birmingham defender Dann made a far more positive contribution in the 72nd minute as he drew Rovers level.

David Goodwillie fired straight at Foster and Nzonzi and Ayegbeni Yakubu were also denied as Rovers pressed for a winner.

But Odemwingie delivered the late hammer blow, dancing around several men before curling a beauty into the corner of the net to leave Kean with nothing to celebrate on the first anniversary of his appointment as Blackburn boss.

Freshly promoted Swansea continued their positive start to their first Premier League season by securing a goalless draw against Newcastle.

The Swans now lie 12th in the table while Newcastle’s hopes of a top-four finish in the Premier League melted further away as they failed to win for the fifth successive game.

Newcastle were the only side in the top six in action in the afternoon kick-offs, but their 11-match unbeaten run at the start of the season, which ended a month ago, seemed a distant memory as they squandered several chances against the promoted Welsh team.

Dempsey does it again

Costa Rica striker Bryan Ruiz scored one goal and set up another Saturday to give Fulham a 2-0 Premier League win over bottom of the table Bolton.

United States international Clint Dempsey headed in a 32nd-minute opener from a cross by Ruiz, who chipped the ball over goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen just 66 seconds later to extend the west London side’s advantage.

Bolton played well in the second half but failed to find a way past the home side’s resolute defence.

The most prolific American scorer in England’s top division with 38 career goals, Dempsey has five Premier League goals this season and another three in other competitions.

     Since his arrival at Fulham, Dempsey’s goal scoring skills have run like clockwork [GALLO/GETTY] 

Stoke piled on the problems for Wolves manager Mick McCarthy after coming from behind to snatch a 2-1 win at Molineux.

Wolves took the lead through a Stephen Hunt penalty on 17 minutes but Stoke shrugged off their Europa League exertions in midweek to win courtesy of a Kevin Doyle own goal and a winner from Peter Crouch.

Stoke’s win denied Wolves a vital three points and was their fourth defeat in five games, a run which has left them just one place above the relegation zone as they prepare for a demanding Christmas and New Year programme which
includes games against Arsenal and Chelsea.

Stoke by contrast remain in eighth spot after a win which sees them move to within two points of seventh placed Liverpool.
Everton narrowly avoided a third straight Premier League loss after Leon Osman equalised in the 81st minute to earn a 1-1 draw against visiting Norwich.

Striker Grant Holt had given Norwich the lead in the 28th minute, and even though Everton dominated much of the game the Toffees once again seemed unable to capitaliae. But the introduction of on-loan Real Madrid midfielder Royston Drenthe for the last 20 minutes proved pivotal as it was his shot that was deflected in by Osman.

Source: News Agencies

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