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Blackburn Defeats West Bromwich Albion 2-0 in Premier League

Jan. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Blackburn beat West Bromwich Albion 2-0 today at Ewood Park to climb to seventh in English soccer’s Premier League.

Gabriel Tamas put the ball into his own net after 41 minutes, with Junior Hoilett getting the second goal two minutes after halftime.

Blackburn moves to 31 points, nine points above the three-team relegation positions. West Brom remains 15th in the 20-team standings, on 25 points.

There was almost a goal in the opening minute today as West Brom took advantage of a mistake by Morten Gamst Pedersen, but Paul Robinson tipped Peter Odemwingie’s shot wide.

Blackburn, which included loan signings Roque Santa Cruz and Jermaine Jones, then started to take control with West Brom goalkeeper Boaz Myhill forced to make several saves.

Myhill was unable to stop Blackburn taking a lead four minutes before halftime. David Dunn crossed the ball and Tamas headed into the net under pressure from Santa Cruz.

Early in the second period, Hoilett got his first-ever league goal -- firing in from 20 yards.

Both goalkeepers made further saves, including one from Robinson to turn a 25-yard Jerome Thomas shot past the post.

Jones was adjudged to have fouled Odemwingie after 64 minutes, but while TV replays showed the incident had occurred in the penalty area only a free kick just outside the box was awarded.

Kean Contract

Last week, Blackburn manager Steve Kean signed a new contract until June 2013. He was named interim manager in December after Sam Allardyce was fired and was then signed through the end of this season.

Yesterday, Manchester United maintained its two-point lead atop the standings with a 5-0 win against Birmingham, while second-place Arsenal beat Wigan 3-0. Manchester City lost ground following a 1-0 loss at Aston Villa.

Tottenham tied 1-1 at Newcastle, Liverpool defeated Wolverhampton Wanderers 3-0, and West Ham drew 2-2 at Everton. Sunderland beat Blackpool 2-1, while Fulham defeated Stoke 2-0. Fourth-place Chelsea is at Bolton tomorrow.

To contact the reporter on this story: James Cone in London at jcone@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net.

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