The Rovers reserve 'keeper has come into the side in recent games and performed admirably and today was no different as he kept out the majority of Stoke's attempts. However there was nothing he could do about Crouch’s goal, which was beyond him before he could react.
The towering centre-back was Rovers' main attacking threat in the first half and was unlucky not to score in the fourth minute when his header at the back post was disallowed, but he was at fault for Crouch’s opening goal as he slipped, allowing the striker to fire past Bunn.
Another youngster performing well for Steve Kean and he marshalled Shotton well from left-back. He used his pace well to keep the winger on the touchline and limit the number of crossing opportunities for the visitors. He was replaced by Givet in the 70th minute.
After his winning goal against Manchester United, the defender was given a hero’s welcome but playing against Crouch and Walters was a real challenge for him.
The winger looked dangerous down the left and caused problems for Woodgate but his final delivery lacked the threat that Rovers required to really test Sorensen.
The young full-back has been solid in recent weeks but he had a tough test against Matthew Etherington. Lowe was able to stay close to the winger but did allow the odd cross to go into his penalty area. Going forward he was less of a threat than normal but the crosses he did send in caused some danger to the Stoke defence.
The defensive man in the centre of Blackburn’s midfield worked hard and broke up a lot of Stoke’s attacking moves through the middle.
Playing as more of a right winger than a centre forward the young Argentine struggled to make a massive impact on the game. His passing was neat and tidy but he rarely beat Wilson down the right and as a result found himself coming inside a lot.
The experienced midfielder returned to the starting line-up and was unlucky not to open the scoring in the first half but his low shot was easily saved by Sorensen. He was replaced by Rochina in the 73rd minute.
The Serbian was given a more central role for this game just behind Yakubu but he was not really threatening and didn’t provide the Nigerian with much to work with. He was replaced by Goodwillie in the 58th minute.
The Potters keeper had a strong game, making good saves from Samba and Dunn in the first half but he was lucky to be awarded a free kick in the fourth minute when Samba thought he had opened the scoring.
The midfielder has adapted his game well to look comfortable at left full-back and he stopped Formica causing much danger for Blackburn.
The experienced defender looked uncomfortable at right full-back and had a tough time against Pedersen who was threatening down the left wing. He made a vital goal line block in the closing minutes to deny Yakubu an equaliser.
The defender lined up at centre-half alongside Shawcross and had a solid afternoon against the lone Yakubu. He tended to let his captain pick up the Nigerian which enabled him to deal with any late runs from midfield.
He worked hard down the right side and did a lot of work to support Woodgate against Pedersen. Going forward he was a threat for Stoke, and saw an early right footed shot fizz wide of Bunn’s post from 25 yards which he kept down very well.
The Stoke captain was lucky not to be punished in the opening minutes when he was twice beaten by Samba in the air but the defender’s first header hit the bar and the second was disallowed by referee Lee Mason.
A no-nonsense performance from the experienced central midfielder as he and Whelan controlled the game. He continually looked to spread the play wide rather than going through the congested middle of the pitch
Like Whitehead he did nothing out of the ordinary but his solid performance in the middle of the pitch provided Stoke with a platform to build attacks from.
His pace was a threat to Blackburn all afternoon and he gave Lowe a tough afternoon. He showed his ability in the final minute of the half when he raced away from the youngster and crossed perfectly for Crouch who volleyed his second of the game.
A hard working performance from the striker, he rarely had a sight of goal but his efforts in the build-up play should not go unrecognised as he created good openings for his team-mates.
The tall striker was deadly, with two goals from inside the six yard box in the first half. On both goals he showed excellent control, the first with his chest and the second with his thigh, before firing past Bunn with ease. His all-round performance was very good, challenging well with Samba and providing Tony Pulis’ side with a real focal point.
- 34 J. Kean
Replaced Henley in the 70th minute and slotted in neatly at full-back.
- 29 S. Vukčević
- 33 J. Morris
Replaced Petrovic in the 58th minute and got his side back into the game with 20 minutes to go as he bundled a Pedersen corner over the line from two yards.
- 22 N. Blackman
Replaced Dunn in the 72nd minute and gave Rovers much more of a threat in the attacking third of the pitch but he was unable to find a way through the resolute Stoke defence.