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Stoke   3 - 0   Blackburn

Danny Higginbotham
Higginbotham's volley laid the foundation for Stoke's well-earned victory

By Sam Sheringham

Stoke produced an outstanding display in Tony Pulis' 300th match in charge to leapfrog Blackburn in the table.

Danny Higginbotham opened the scoring with a sweet left-foot volley after Rovers failed to clear a corner.

And Mamady Sidibe tapped home the second from a Matthew Etherington cross in first-half stoppage-time.

Christopher Samba was sent off for a blatant tug on Ricardo Fuller before Etherington exchanged passes with Liam Lawrence and curled in the third.

Pulis will take great pride from a victory which ensures Stoke are still unbeaten in 2010, with eight points from four league games and FA Cup wins over York and Arsenal.

Pulis talks up duo's England chances

Meanwhile, Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce will be wondering how his side could produce such an anaemic display after an encouraging run of one defeat in six league games.

Pulis acknowledged the crowd's applause as he jogged his way to the dugout on his landmark match in two spells at the helm.

The Stoke boss made four changes to the side which played out an uninspiring goalless draw against Sunderland, with Andy Wilkinson, Lawrence, Rory Delap and Fuller all drafted into the starting line-up.

Stoke made the brighter start and grabbed the game's opening goal after only eight minutes.

Some tidy interplay between Fuller and Etherington won a corner on the left and, when Lawrence's delivery was only half-cleared, Higginbotham composed himself to lash a volley low into the net.

Blackburn almost scored with their first real opening against the run of play when Morten Gamst Pedersen's chipped cross presented Franco Di Santo with the simplest of headers, but the former Chelsea striker cleared the bar from six yards out.

Rovers began to impose themselves as the half wore on and bombarded the Stoke goal with a succession of corners.

606: DEBATE
Dunn2SA2010

Samba came closest to scoring but his header was cleared off the line by Dean Whitehead.

Predictably, both teams were at their most dangerous from set-pieces, and Stoke's second goal followed a trademark long throw from Delap.

The ball was cleared as far as Etherington, who cut inside from the left and delivered a cross to the far post, where Sidibe stole ahead of his marker and tucked the ball home from close-range.

The home side continued to dictate things in the second period with most of the play orchestrated by the outstanding Etherington.

His corner presented Ryan Shawcross with a free header, which Paul Robinson kept out with a brilliant one-handed save.

Moments later, Rovers were down to 10 men when Samba was shown a second yellow as he held back Fuller while the striker was looking to break into space.

Big decisions went against us - Allardyce

Robinson produced another excellent stop to keep out a Fuller header before Etherington put the result beyond doubt with a fine goal.

The diminutive winger dribbled in from the left flank, played a textbook one-two with Lawrence, before checking and curling the ball just inside Robinson's far post.

His final shot was slightly scuffed but the goal was richly deserved from a man who is now the club's joint top-scorer with five and has created more than 30% of his team's goals this season.

Stoke took their foot off the pedal for the last 20 minutes as their army of fans basked in the glory of a performance worthy of an occasion billed as Sir Stanley Matthews Day in honour of the club legend.


Stoke boss Tony Pulis on Etherington:
"I don't think I have to talk Matty up any more, his performances speak for themselves.

If he was at a different club a lot more people would be talking him up.

"Matty and Ryan Shawcross have both been outstanding - people have asked me about them and hopefully with a bit of luck, you never know."

Blackburn manager Sam Allardyce:
"The first goal is disappointing because we know how dangerous Stoke are from set-pieces.

"Then the ref misses a handball by Dean Whitehead on the line - that's a crucial decision that's gone against us.

"They've put the ball in the net twice and when we've had the opportunity to do that we haven't done it."

Live text and stats

 

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Premier League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Stoke 3-0 Blackburn FT
(HT 2-0)
  • Higginbotham 8
  • Sidibe 45+2
  • Etherington 67

    Stoke

    Substitutes

    Blackburn

    Substitutes

    Ref: BennettAtt: 27,386
    STOKE
    BLACKBURN

    Possession

    • Stoke 57%
    • Blackburn 43%

    Attempts on target

    • Stoke 11
    • Blackburn 4

    Attempts off target

    • Stoke 4
    • Blackburn 5

    Corners

    • Stoke 12
    • Blackburn 7

    Fouls

    • Stoke 13
    • Blackburn 20
    • Final Result
    • Full Time
    • 90:00+4:13 The referee blows for the end of the match.
    • 90:00+4:00 Inswinging corner taken by Matthew Etherington.
    • 90:00+2:38 Ryan Nelsen gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Tuncay Sanli. Glenn Whelan takes a shot. Ryan Nelsen gets a block in.
    • 90:00+2:04 Liam Lawrence takes the free kick.
    • 90:00+2:04 Booking Keith Andrews receives a caution.
    • 90:00+1:56 Keith Andrews gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Tuncay Sanli.
    • 90:00+1:14 The assistant referee signals for offside against James Beattie. Free kick taken by Paul Robinson.
    • 90:00+0:34 Substitution Glenn Whelan is brought on as a substitute for Rory Delap.
    • 84:49 Free kick awarded for a foul by Brett Emerton on Andy Wilkinson. Direct free kick taken by Thomas Sorensen.
    • 84:15 Corner taken right-footed by Liam Lawrence, Rory Delap takes a shot. Ryan Nelsen gets a block in.
    • 83:17 Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Matthew Etherington, Danny Higginbotham takes a shot. Blocked by Michel Salgado.
    • 82:47 The ball is delivered by Morten Gamst Pedersen.
    • 80:00 Paul Robinson takes the free kick.
    • 80:00 Substitution James Beattie comes on in place of Mamady Sidibe.
    • 80:00 Keith Andrews fouled by Dean Whitehead, the ref awards a free kick.
    • 79:30 Martin Olsson crosses the ball.
    • 78:03 Substitution (Stoke) makes a substitution, with Tuncay Sanli coming on for Ricardo Fuller.
    • 77:39 The assistant referee signals for offside against Nikola Kalinic. Thomas Sorensen takes the indirect free kick.
    • 75:54 Centre by Martin Olsson.
    • 74:14 Short corner worked by Matthew Etherington. Danny Higginbotham produces a left-footed shot from deep inside the penalty box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.
    • 72:15 Paul Robinson takes the direct free kick.
    • 72:15 Substitution Steven Reid is brought on as a substitute for Steven Nzonzi.
    • 72:15 Booking Caution for Ricardo Fuller.
    • 72:08 Ryan Nelsen fouled by Ricardo Fuller, the ref awards a free kick.
    • 71:36 Liam Lawrence takes a shot. Blocked by Steven Nzonzi.
    • 69:20 Free kick awarded for a foul by Steven Nzonzi on Ricardo Fuller. Direct free kick taken by Matthew Etherington.
    • 66:43 Assist on the goal came from Liam Lawrence.
    • 66:43 GOAL - Matthew EtheringtonStoke 3 - 0 Blackburn Matthew Etherington finds the net with a goal from deep inside the penalty box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Stoke 3-0 Blackburn.
    • 65:35 Shot by Robert Huth from outside the area goes high over the crossbar.
    • 64:53 Corner from the right by-line taken by Matthew Etherington, Ricardo Fuller takes a shot. Paul Robinson makes a save.
    • 64:22 Substitution Michel Salgado joins the action as a substitute, replacing Pascal Chimbonda.
    • 63:12 Free kick awarded for a foul by Andy Wilkinson on Morten Gamst Pedersen. Brett Emerton shoots direct from the free kick.
    • 60:37 Unfair challenge on Ryan Nelsen by Mamady Sidibe results in a free kick. Paul Robinson restarts play with the free kick.
    • 60:08 Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Matthew Etherington, Danny Higginbotham takes a shot. Clearance by Martin Olsson.
    • 59:31 Corner taken by Matthew Etherington, clearance by Gael Givet.
    • 58:16 Direct free kick taken by Thomas Sorensen.
    • 58:16 Substitution Keith Andrews joins the action as a substitute, replacing Franco Di Santo.
    • 58:16 Sent off Red card for Christopher Samba.
    • 58:08 Christopher Samba gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ricardo Fuller.
    • 57:46 A cross is delivered by Steven Nzonzi, Rory Delap manages to make a clearance.
    • 55:46 Free kick awarded for a foul by Robert Huth on Nikola Kalinic. Strike comes in from Morten Gamst Pedersen from the free kick. Morten Gamst Pedersen takes a shot. Ricardo Fuller gets a block in.
    • 54:10 Corner taken by Matthew Etherington, Ryan Shawcross takes a shot. Save made by Paul Robinson.
    • 52:49 Centre by Danny Higginbotham, Ryan Nelsen manages to make a clearance.
    • 51:54 Thomas Sorensen takes the direct free kick.
    • 51:54 Booking Steven Nzonzi goes into the referee's book.
    • 51:47 Free kick awarded for a foul by Steven Nzonzi on Dean Whitehead.
    • 50:57 Matthew Etherington crosses the ball.
    • 50:06 Mamady Sidibe gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ryan Nelsen. Direct free kick taken by Paul Robinson.
    • 48:08 The official flags Nikola Kalinic offside. Thomas Sorensen takes the direct free kick.
    • 45:01 The referee starts the second half.
    • Half Time
    • 45:00+3:41 It is the end of the first-half.
    • 45:00+1:54 Assist by Matthew Etherington.
    • 45:00+1:54 GOAL - Mamady SidibeStoke 2 - 0 Blackburn Mamady Sidibe scores a goal from inside the six-yard box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Stoke 2-0 Blackburn.
    • 45:00+0:12 Foul by Nikola Kalinic on Thomas Sorensen, free kick awarded. Thomas Sorensen takes the direct free kick.
    • 44:40 Unfair challenge on Nikola Kalinic by Ryan Shawcross results in a free kick. Morten Gamst Pedersen crosses the ball in from the free kick, save by Thomas Sorensen.
    • 43:12 Liam Lawrence takes the inswinging corner, Martin Olsson makes a clearance.
    • 42:53 The ball is crossed by Matthew Etherington, Ryan Nelsen gets a block in.
    • 42:12 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Mamady Sidibe by Steven Nzonzi. Rory Delap takes the free kick.
    • Correction - 41:06 Unfair challenge on Liam Lawrence by Morten Gamst Pedersen results in a free kick. Thomas Sorensen takes the free kick.
    • 41:06 Morten Gamst Pedersen concedes a free kick for a foul on Liam Lawrence. Ryan Shawcross restarts play with the free kick.
    • 40:04 Steven Nzonzi takes a shot from just inside the penalty box which clears the crossbar.
    • 38:28 Franco Di Santo gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Andy Wilkinson. Ryan Shawcross takes the direct free kick.
    • Correction - 37:38 Morten Gamst Pedersen takes the outswinging corner, clearance by Robert Huth.
    • 37:38 Outswinging corner taken by Steven Nzonzi from the left by-line, Robert Huth manages to make a clearance.
    • 36:51 Booking The referee books Ryan Shawcross for unsporting behaviour.
    • 36:48 Inswinging corner taken by Morten Gamst Pedersen from the right by-line, Christopher Samba takes a shot. Blocked by Ryan Shawcross.
    • 36:48 Booking Christopher Samba is cautioned by the ref for unsporting behaviour.
    • 35:51 Outswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Morten Gamst Pedersen, Ryan Nelsen takes a shot. Ryan Shawcross gets a block in.
    • 35:02 Morten Gamst Pedersen takes the outswinging corner, Christopher Samba takes a shot. Andy Wilkinson manages to make a clearance.
    • 33:49 Inswinging corner taken by Morten Gamst Pedersen, save by Thomas Sorensen.
    • 33:20 Corner taken by Morten Gamst Pedersen played to the near post, Dean Whitehead manages to make a clearance.
    • 32:23 Andy Wilkinson challenges Morten Gamst Pedersen unfairly and gives away a free kick. The free kick is swung in left-footed by Morten Gamst Pedersen, save made by Thomas Sorensen.
    • 31:24 Brett Emerton gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Matthew Etherington. Matthew Etherington takes the free kick. Rory Delap takes a shot. Save made by Paul Robinson.
    • 31:07 The ball is crossed by Martin Olsson, save by Thomas Sorensen.
    • 28:48 Nikola Kalinic challenges Danny Higginbotham unfairly and gives away a free kick. Thomas Sorensen takes the free kick.
    • 28:07 Ryan Nelsen gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ricardo Fuller. Free kick crossed left-footed by Matthew Etherington from right channel, Ryan Nelsen makes a clearance.
    • 25:59 Foul by Nikola Kalinic on Andy Wilkinson, free kick awarded. Thomas Sorensen restarts play with the free kick.
    • 24:44 Foul by Nikola Kalinic on Andy Wilkinson, free kick awarded. Thomas Sorensen takes the free kick.
    • 24:21 Dean Whitehead gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Martin Olsson. Morten Gamst Pedersen takes the direct free kick.
    • 23:37 Brett Emerton takes a shot. Ryan Shawcross gets a block in.
    • 21:55 Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Matthew Etherington from the right by-line, Gael Givet manages to make a clearance.
    • 21:50 Mamady Sidibe delivers the ball, blocked by Ryan Nelsen.
    • 19:26 The ball is delivered by Morten Gamst Pedersen, Franco Di Santo produces a header from deep inside the six-yard box that clears the bar.
    • 17:54 Unfair challenge on Ricardo Fuller by Ryan Nelsen results in a free kick. Direct effort from the free kick comes in from Matthew Etherington.
    • 15:14 Close range header by Ryan Shawcross goes over the bar.
    • 13:44 Foul by Gael Givet on Mamady Sidibe, free kick awarded. Ryan Shawcross takes the direct free kick.
    • 12:32 Free kick awarded for a foul by Mamady Sidibe on Brett Emerton. Morten Gamst Pedersen crosses the ball in from the free kick, save by Thomas Sorensen.
    • 10:39 Inswinging corner taken by Matthew Etherington, Foul by Ricardo Fuller on Pascal Chimbonda, free kick awarded. Paul Robinson restarts play with the free kick.
    • 10:29 Ricardo Fuller crosses the ball, Gael Givet gets a block in.
    • 9:49 Franco Di Santo concedes a free kick for a foul on Thomas Sorensen. Thomas Sorensen restarts play with the free kick.
    • 9:13 Robert Huth gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Nikola Kalinic. Direct free kick taken by Paul Robinson.
    • 7:56 GOAL - Danny HigginbothamStoke 1 - 0 Blackburn Danny Higginbotham fires in a goal from inside the area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Stoke 1-0 Blackburn.
    • 7:35 The ball is swung over by Matthew Etherington, blocked by Christopher Samba. Corner taken by Liam Lawrence from the left by-line played to the near post,
    • 6:44 Franco Di Santo fouled by Rory Delap, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Paul Robinson.
    • 6:36 A cross is delivered by Rory Delap.
    • 5:01 Steven Nzonzi challenges Matthew Etherington unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Thomas Sorensen.
    • 4:31 Corner from the left by-line taken by Morten Gamst Pedersen, Rory Delap manages to make a clearance.
    • 4:25 The ball is swung over by Brett Emerton, Ryan Shawcross manages to make a clearance.
    • 1:49 Rory Delap fouled by Brett Emerton, the ref awards a free kick. Danny Higginbotham crosses the ball in from the free kick, Christopher Samba makes a clearance.
    • 0:00 The match gets underway.

    Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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    Premier League table snapshot

    As it stood on 6 Feb 2010 23:59 UK

    Position Team P GD PTS
    1 Man Utd 25 41 56
    2 Chelsea 24 38 55
    3 Arsenal 24 32 49
    4 Liverpool 25 17 44
    5 Tottenham 25 20 43
    6 Man City 23 13 41
    7 Aston Villa 24 13 41
    8 Birmingham 23 -1 34
    9 Everton 24 -2 32
    10 Fulham 25 -1 31
    11 Stoke 23 -4 29
    12 Blackburn 25 -18 28
    13 Sunderland 24 -10 25
    14 Hull 25 -25 24
    15 Burnley 24 -22 23
    16 Wigan 23 -23 23
    17 Bolton 23 -15 22
    18 West Ham 24 -10 21
    19 Wolves 23 -21 21
    20 Portsmouth 24 -22 15

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