Belfast Telegraph

Blackburn Rovers 3 Wolverhampton 1

Michel Salgado knows that life will not always be like this at Ewood Park. The Spaniard might have been tempted to think there was little difference from the Bernabeu as he trotted on for a five-minute substitute appearance for his debut with a comfortable three-goal lead over a newly-promoted side and his team in total control.

Salgado joined Blackburn on a two-year deal last month after a decade with Real Madrid but despite having won two Champions League titles in the Spanish capital, the full-back is embracing life in east Lancashire.

He said: "I felt like a kid again it was really exciting for me. To play in one of the best leagues in the world is a big day for me. The players are helping me to settle in. Maybe they've seen me play for Real Madrid but now I'm one of them. If I turn up late they say to me, 'This is Blackburn, not Real Madrid'.

"They are always playing jokes on me but I get respect because they know I am the oldest man in the dressing room."

Salgado's first appearance coincided with Blackburn finally finding their feet after an unconvincing start to the campaign, scoring just once in the Premier League before Saturday. A previous shortage of strikers had David Dunn playing just behind Jason Roberts but the experiment has worked so well manager Sam Allardyce may adopting the change in formation on a permanent basis.

It was an improved performance from Blackburn but they were aided by some alarming defending from the visitors. Karl Henry's loose pass allowing El Hadji Diouf to run clear to open the scoring before Michael Mancienne failed to track Gaël Givet from Dunn's corner and the Frenchman's header glanced in off Roberts' chest. Dunn added a third from close range before Stefan Maierhofer pulled one back late on for Wolves, who had to cope without George Elokobi and Ronald Zubar who were left out after being late for Saturday's team meeting.

"We can't afford to be giving too many performances like that," Henry said. "That was nowhere near the level. Out of the five games we have played, that was by far the worst."

Blackburn Rovers (4-5-1): Robinson; Jacobsen (Salgado, 85), Samba (Nelsen, 76), Givet, Chimbonda; Diouf, Andrews, Grella, Dunn, Pedersen (Emerton, 74); Roberts. Substitutes not used: Brown (gk), Kalinic, Hoilett, Di Santo.

Wolverhampton Wanderers (4-4-2): Hennessey; Stearman, Mancienne, Berra, Hill; Halford (Maierhoffer, h-t), Henry, Milijas (Edwards, h-t), Jarvis; Keogh, Doyle (Surman, 79) Substitutes not used: Hahnemann (gk), Elokobi, Jones, Vokes.

Referee: S Bennett (Kent).

Booked: Blackburn Andrews; Wolverhampton Wanderers Berra, Stearman.

Man of the match: Dunn.

Source: Independent

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