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Stoke beats Blackburn 2-1 in Premier League

Updated: January 02, 2012, 12:08

Stoke City's Peter Crouch, left, celebrates with team mate Jonathan Walters after scoring a goal against Blackburn during their English Premier League soccer match at Ewood Park, Blackburn, England, Monday Jan. 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Tim Hales)

BLACKBURN, England(AP) Peter Crouch scored twice in the first half to give Stoke a 2-1 victory at Blackburn and halt the host's momentum following a stunning win at Manchester United.

Rovers began well and Christopher Samba headed against the bar before seeing a goal disallowed. But it was Stoke that took the lead in the 17th minute through Crouch, and the tall striker added a second on the stroke of halftime by finishing off a counterattack.

Substitute David Goodwillie pulled one back with 21 minutes to go, but it was not enough to prevent a third successive home defeat for Blackburn, which beat United 3-2 at Old Trafford on Saturday.

Ayegbeni Yakubu, who has scored 13 goals for Blackburn this season, should have equalized in the 79th minute when a long throw-in fell to the striker virtually on the goalline, but his shot was blocked by Jonathan Woodgate and the rebound fell into the arms of Thomas Sorensen.

After Stoke weathered an early storm, Dean Whitehead clipped the ball into the area and Crouch chested it down and planted a volley into the bottom corner for his 100th goal in league football.

Stoke had been pegged back in their own half for a substantial period of time before adding the second, as Matthew Etherington ran virtually from his own box before crossing for Crouch, who finished the chance in a similar way to the first goal.

With rain pouring down in the second half, Blackburn's goal came after a corner was headed toward goal by Grant Hanley and Goodwillie eventually turned it in just ahead of Yakubu for his first Premier League goal.

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