Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 April 2014

Kalinic the key for Blackburn at West Brom

Nikola Kalinic

Nikola Kalinic struck twice and was sent off as Blackburn won for the first time under new manager Steve Kean with a 3-1 victory at West Brom.

Kalinic twice gave Rovers the lead at The Hawthorns before being dismissed for a robust challenge on Paul Scharner shortly after Mame Biram Diouf added a third goal.

The Baggies had been level midway through an eventful Barclays Premier League encounter after Jerome Thomas cancelled out Kalinic's first goal, but their misery was compounded when Gabriel Tamas was also sent off late on.

The afternoon had looked like being one of Kalinic's best since being signed last year. After just three minutes the Croatian showed great pace as he raced on to a long ball down the left from El-Hadji Diouf and kept his composure as home goalkeeper Scott Carson advanced to coolly slip the ball into the far corner.

Graham Dorrans missed a similar chance for West Brom before Kalinic curled a shot over after combining well with David Dunn.

West Brom levelled with a superb goal from Thomas after 17 minutes, as the winger provided the far-post finish to a cross from the right delivered by Somen Tchoyi.

Blackburn made an enforced half-time change with substitute goalkeeper Mark Bunn coming on to replace Paul Robinson. It did not trouble them though, as Rovers reclaimed the lead after 53 minutes when Kalinic nodded in after Ryan Nelsen headed El-Hadji Diouf's left-wing corner across goal.

Another corner routine led to Blackburn's third just after the hour, when Morten Gamst Pedersen fed El-Hadji Diouf whose cross was headed in by Mame Biram Diouf.

Kalinic was dismissed moment later when he caught Scharner below the knee with his studs.

West Brom threatened to pull a goal back as Scharner hit the bar with a header, but their hopes evaporated when Tamas committed a professional foul on Mame Biram Diouf.

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