Blackburn Rovers 4-2 Swansea: Yakubu four
Yakubu Ayegbeni scored four goals as Blackburn Rovers eased the pressure on Steve Kean with a 4-2 Premier League win over Swansea City at Ewood Park.
Yakubu’s superb 19th minute effort gave Rovers the lead, but Swansea hit back through Leroy Lita.
Yakubu restored the home side’s lead just before the break when he headed in at the far post and he made it 3-1 from close range after the break.
Substitute Luke Moore reduced the arrears, but Yakubu completed a memorable day from the spot.
Blackburn made two changes from the side that lost 3-1 at Stoke City last weekend, with Chris Samba and David Dunn replacing Grant Hanley and the suspended Steven Nzonzi. Martin Olsson and Michel Salgado failed to recover from hamstring injuries and were not included.
Swansea were forced into two changes, Jazz Richards and Leroy Lita stepping in for the injured Angel Rangel and Danny Graham.
Kean was forced to endure more protests during the game, and he would not have been encouraged by his side’s start, as Swansea asserted their authority early on.
Scott Sinclair started brightly, giving Jason Lowe all kinds of problems on the right and he fired an early shot wide of Paul Robinson’s near post.
Swansea enjoyed plenty of possession early on but could not turn their dominance into chances and they fell behind after 19 minutes.
Gael Givet played a neat one-two with Yakubu down the left, showed good pace to get into the area and crossed for the Nigerian whose first-time finish arrowed into the top right hand corner.
Moments later Givet should have done better than head a Morten Gamst Pedersen cross straight at Michel Vorm when finding himself unmarked in the area.
The goal clearly boosted Rovers, and they again threatened when Mauro Formica carried the ball to the edge of the area, where he fed Yakubu who mishit his shot tamely wide.
Swansea hit back after 34 minutes. Lita rose at the far post to head Mark Gower’s floating cross into the bottom right corner. It was an excellent cross from Gower and one expertly dispatched by former Middlesbrough striker Lita.
Simon Vukcevic replaced the subdued Ruben Rochina five minutes before the break and he would have an instrumental part to play in Yakubu’s second of the game.
Swansea captain Garry Monk only half cleared a Pedersen corner, Vukcevic volleyed the ball back into the danger zone and Yakubu was on the spot to give his side the lead on the stroke of half-time.
The lively Sinclair produced another fine run after the break but he shot wide, as did the impressive Formica at the other end.
Yakubu completed his hat-trick, again showing himself to be the poacher supreme as he headed in Chris Samba’s knockdown from close range after Pedersen’s corner.
Swansea soon hit back to make it 3-2 when Robinson beat away Wayne Routledge’s shot, only to see the ball fall at the feet of substitute Luke Moore who rifled high into the net.
Swansea were on top but the match turned with 10 minutes remaining when Joe Allen, booked for an incident after Blackburn’s third goal, picked up a second yellow card for bringing down Hoilett in the centre of the pitch.
Moments later Neil Taylor brought down the same player in the area and Yakubu took his tally to four as he casually stroked the ball past Vorm with the resulting spot-kick.
Rovers moved off the foot of the table with this win, but remain in the bottom three.
Stewart Coggin / Eurosport
BLACKBURN ROVERS: Robinson, Lowe, Samba, Dann, Givet, Rochina, Dunn, Pedersen, Hoilett, Formica, Yakubu… Subs: Bunn, Petrovic, Goodwillie, Vukcevic, Roberts, Hanley, Henley.
SWANSEA CITY: Vorm, Williams, Monk, Gower, Taylor, Dyer, Allen, Jazz Richards, Britton, Sinclair, Lita... Subs: Tremmel, Dobbie, Routledge, Moore, Bessone, Agustien, Moras.