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Blackburn Beats Sunderland 2-0 to Pull Clear of Relegation Zone

March 21 (Bloomberg) -- Blackburn Rovers beat Sunderland 2-0 to log consecutive wins in English soccer’s Premier League for the first time this season and move six points clear of the relegation zone.

Second-half goals by Junior Hoilett and Ayegbeni Yakubu at Ewood Park last night secured the home victory that lifted Blackburn to 28 points. Queens Park Rangers, Wigan and Wolverhampton Wanderers, who occupy the bottom three places, all have 22 points, with Bolton on 23 points in 17th place.

“There is still a lot of football to be played,” Blackburn manager Steve Kean told reporters. “We looked at this month as an opportunity to put points on the board and possibly put a little bit of gap between the teams around us.”

Having picked up its first shutout of the season against Wolves on March 10, Blackburn kept consecutive clean sheets in the league for the first time since April 2010. It was also the first time since November that year that Blackburn won consecutive league games.

Last night’s other scheduled Premier League match between Aston Villa and Bolton was postponed following the March 17 heart attack suffered by Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba, who is being treated in intensive care at a London hospital.

Blackburn and Sunderland players wore T-shirts saying “Pray for Muamba” before the match. Yakubu revealed a similar shirt after scoring his 14th league goal of the season.

Second-place Manchester City, which trails leader Manchester United by four points, hosts fifth-place Chelsea in one of today’s four matches. Liverpool visits QPR, Tottenham hosts Stoke and Arsenal travels to Everton.

To contact the reporter on this story: Dan Baynes in Sydney at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at

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