Blackburn beat Villa 2-0 to give new owners winning start

Updated: Nov 21, 2010, 23:34 PM IST

London: Blackburn Rovers gave their new Indian owners an immediate return on Sunday with a 2-0 victory over Aston Villa that lifted the club five places in the English Premier League table.

Morten Gamst Pedersen, the Norway midfielder, scored contrasting goals in each half at Ewood Park as Villa suffered their fifth away defeat of the season.

Blackburn, Premier League champions in 1995, were bought by Indian poultry firm Venky’s on Friday in a deal worth 54 million pounds ($86.30 million).

Company directors Balaji Rao and Venkatesh Rao, whose family owns Venky’s, were welcomed on to the pitch by Rovers fans before kick-off. A report in the Indian Express newspaper on Sunday said the new owners would look to rename the club’s stadium.

Pedersen struck first nearly two minutes into first-half injury time, when his delivery from a free kick by the touchline was misjudged by Villa keeper Brad Friedel and the ball sailed into the top corner.

Pedersen sealed the three points for Rovers in the 66th minute, reacting sharply from close range to turn in a wayward shot by defender Ryan Nelsen.

Blackburn moved from 16th, one point above the relegation zone, to 11th on 18 points, with Villa in 13th place on 17 points.

Later on Sunday, Manchester City were aiming to go fourth as they faced Fulham at Craven Cottage (4 pm).

Bureau Report