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Last Updated: Saturday, 16 August, 2003, 15:55 GMT 16:55 UK
Blackburn thrash sorry Wolves

David Thompson extends Blackburn's lead with a superb volley
Thompson was on target for Rovers

Blackburn 5-1 Wolves

Wolves were handed a harsh lesson in the realities of life in the Premiership as Blackburn began their campaign with a commanding home win.

Lorenzo Amoruso and Brett Emerton marked their debut appearances with goals, while David Thompson scored from 25 yards and substitute Andy Cole notched twice.

Wolves had chances to force their way back into the contest - and scored a consolation through Steffen Iversen - but need to demonstrate greater composure in front of goal if they are to avoid an arduous battle against relegation.

And while Dave Jones' side were the only promoted team to lose their opening fixture, the scintillating form of Blackburn debutant Brett Emerton hinted at another successful season for Rovers.

Emerton quickly demonstrated the skills that persuaded Souness to pay Feyenoord 2.2m for his services over the summer.

The Australian made a number of telling crosses and demonstrated his tricky footwork, before delivering the corner which Amoruso crashed home from short range with a bullet header.

17 mins: Amoruso scores on his debut
29 mins: Thompson brilliantly volleys home
52 mins: Emerton scores from 25 yards
71 mins: Iversen pulls one back
79 mins: Cole scores Rovers' fourth
87 mins: Cole scores Rovers' fourth

Rovers had almost broken the deadlock a minute earlier, but Wolves keeper Matt Murray managed to scramble Matt Jansen's effort around his post for the corner that subsequently led to the goal.

Wolves tried to force their way back into the contest, with Silas lively down the left and fellow debutant Iversen shooting wide.

But Blackburn's masterclass in Premiership standards continued when Thompson doubled Rovers lead.

He exchanged a crafty one-two with Matt Jansen and smashed the return on the volley past Murray from 25 yards.

Wolves desperately tried to pull one back before the interval but Dean Sturridge dwelt on the ball too long, Iversen failed to make a clean contact from a good position and Colin Cameron was thwarted by a good save from Brad Friedel.

Dwight Yorke put the ball in the net in the early minutes of the second half after neat work from Tugay and Emerton but the goal was disallowed for offside.

But Rovers soon extended their lead.

Iversen wasted a great chance with a diabolical first touch and Emerton soon underlined the need to take opportunities with a 25-yard strike after a neat lay-off from Yorke.

It was no less than Emerton deserved after a superb debut.

The third goal knocked the stuffing out of Wolves, but Jones' team did at least manager the consolation of scoring their first Premiership goal.

Iversen's header hit off the woodwork but the Norwegian had the presence of mind to stay alert and smash the rebound home.

But the scoring was not over.

Andy Cole, left on the bench, opened his account for the season moments after his introduction following more sublime approach play from Tugay.

And with full-time looming he further compounded Wolves' misery with a fifth.

Blackburn: Friedel, Gresko, Martin Taylor, Amoruso, Neill, Thompson (Grabbi 80), Flitcroft, Tugay, Emerton, Yorke, Jansen (Cole 74). Subs not used: Johansson, Todd, Kelly.

Booked: Thompson.

Wolverhampton: Murray, Irwin, Craddock, Butler, Naylor, Newton (Camara 86), Cameron, Ince, Silas (Blake 59), Iversen, Sturridge (Luzhny 73). Subs not used: Rae, Oakes.

Booked: Blake.

Attendance: 26,270.

Referee: J Winter (Cleveland).

BBC Five Live's Stuart Hall
"Blackburn oozed class, their debutants impressive"

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