Stoke v Blackburn Full Highlights Video, Match Report

Barclays Premier League: Stoke v Blackburn Highlights Video, Match Report, Goal Videos

Played at Venue: Britannia Stadium Date: Saturday, 6 February 2010
Stoke produced an outstanding display in Tony Pulis' 300th match in charge to leapfrog Blackburn in the table. Matthew Etherington topped a virtuoso performance with a magnificent goal as rampant Stoke City strode to an easy 3-0 victory over a disappointing Blackburn Rovers side.

Stoke v Blackburn Match Report
Etherington, whose recent form has been noted by England boss Fabio Capello, earned a standing ovation for his sublime finish in the 67th minute.

The left winger exchanged passes with Liam Lawrence before turning inside Gael Givet and caressing a left-foot shot beyond Paul Robinson from 14 yards.

It resembled the land of the giants as two of the biggest teams in the Premier League locked horns at a packed Britannia Stadium.

And Stoke were soon rewarded for an early barrage of set-plays when Danny Higginbotham fired them ahead from an eighth-minute corner.

Martin Olsson headed Lawrence's delivery high into the air and Higginbotham, left totally unmarked, drilled in a low, left-foot volley from 12 yards.

Stoke continued to force most of the pace, but Franco di Santo squandered a terrific opportunity to equalise in the 20th minute.

Morten Gamst Pedersen floated in an inch-perfect cross for the striker who headed over from six yards when it looked easier to score.

Blackburn did up the ante as half-time approached, forcing five corners in rapid succession and almost levelling from the third.

Pedersen's out-swinger was met with a towering header by Chris Samba and it took a clutch of Stoke defenders to smuggle the ball off the line.

Samba and Stoke defender Ryan Shawcross were both booked for mauling each other off the ball and there were several similar heavyweight tussles in this war of attrition.

But Shawcross played a major part when Stoke doubled their lead after Rory Delap's long throw was only partially cleared in first-half stoppage time.

Etherington lifted the ball back into the danger area where Shawcross flicked on and Mamady Sidibe stole a march on Givet to force in a low shot at the far post.

It was all Stoke at the start of the second period and Shawcross almost put the game to bed when his header from an Etherington corner forced a fine reaction save from Paul Robinson.

But it was as good as over when Samba, beaten by a splendid piece of skill from Ricardo Fuller, pulled the striker's shirt to earn a second caution and an early bath just before the hour.

Fuller and Higginbotham, whose header was cleared off the line by Olsson, went close to a third before Etherington's piece of magic ensured Stoke's unbeaten run was extended to six games.

It could have been more, with Higginbotham threatening twice more before Stoke took their foot off the pedal to coast home.

Stoke v Blackburn Highlights Video

7:56 GOAL - Danny Higginbotham:Stoke 1 - 0 Blackburn

Rovers fail to clear the corner and Danny Higginbotham hits a sweet left-footed first-time volley through a crowd of players.

45:00+1:54 GOAL - Mamady Sidibe:Stoke 2 - 0 Blackburn

Mamady Sidibe scores his first league goal of the season as Rovers fail to clear an Etherington cross.

66:43 GOAL - Matthew Etherington:Stoke 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 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."

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