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Saturday, 12 January, 2002, 17:06 GMT
Cole sinks Charlton
Andy Cole gives Blackburn a 2-0 lead
Cole hits his first Premiership goal for Rovers
Blackburn 4-1 Charlton

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Andy Cole celebrated a dream home debut as he scored one goal and set up two more to help Blackburn end their miserable run at Ewood Park.

Cole curled in a brilliant strike just before half-time after teeing up Tugay for an early opener as Rovers recorded their first home league win since 14 October.

Jason Euell gave Charlton hope of a comeback and Claus Jensen hit the bar as they chased an equaliser.

He took the most difficult chance he had all afternoon and I thought it was a great goal
Blackburn manager Graeme Souness on Andy Cole
But the visitors had Scott Parker sent off for a professional foul and late strikes from Craig Hignett and Matt Jansen sealed the points.

Cole came into the game high on confidence after opening his Blackburn account in the Worthington Cup semi-final first-leg win at Sheffield Wednesday in midweek.

And the 8million signing from Manchester United was an immediate hit with the Ewood Park faithful as he helped Rovers break their Premiership goal drought after just five minutes.

Tugay celebrates scoring Blackburn's opening goal
Tugay celebrates his early opener
Tugay played a one-two with Cole on the edge of the Charlton area and the Turkish midfielder struck a sweet right-foot shot into the far corner.

The goal, the first conceded by Charlton in more than six and a half hours on their travels, could not have been more welcome for the home side after three games without scoring.

Cole came within a whisker of doubling the lead when he beat Dean Kiely with a low drive, but the ball came crashing back off the foot of the post.

And Kiely performed heroics to deny Damien Duff when he touched his shot past the post, before Cole's moment of glory arrived on the stroke of half-time.

I'm very disappointed and it was a totally unprofessional performance from us
Charlton manager Alan Curbishley
Cole picked up a pass from David Dunn and curled an unstoppable shot into the top corner from 20 yards.

Euell gave Charlton a lifeline eight minutes after the break when he pounced on a mishit clearance from Stig Inge Bjornebye to score.

The visitors piled forward in search of an equaliser and Jensen almost completed the comeback when he sent a volley crashing against the bar.

But their hopes faded when Parker was shown a straight red card on 66 minutes for bringing down Jansen as the striker ran clear on goal.

Hignett made sure there would be no late slip-ups when he scored for the third game in a row and Jansen had the final say from close range to seal Rovers' second win in eight games.

Blackburn: Friedel, Curtis, Berg, Taylor, Bjornebye, Hignett, Tugay, Dunn, Duff, Cole, Jansen.

Subs Not Used: Flitcroft, Hughes, Johansson, Gillespie, Kelly.

Charlton: Kiely, Stuart (Svensson 82), Fish, Costa, Powell, Fortune (Bart-Williams 76), Jensen, Parker, Robinson, Euell, Lisbie (Johansson 76).

Subs Not Used: Konchesky, Roberts.

Sent Off: Parker (66).

Booked: Costa.

Attendance: 23,365

Referee: N Barry (Scunthorpe).

BBC Sport's Alan Biggs
"Blackburn were breathtaking in the first half"
Blackburn's Matt Jansen
"We had a good game in midweek and brought that forward into today"
Links to more Eng Prem stories are at the foot of the page.


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