Everton down Rovers
Liverpool - Everton plunged Blackburn firmly into the relegation mire as goals from Leon Osman and Leighton Baines sealed a 2-0 win at Goodison Park on Saturday.
David Moyes' side went into this encounter with five wins from their last seven matches and that run was rarely threatened by woeful Blackburn.
While Everton's recent revival has helped move them to a comfortable spot in the table, Rovers' miserable 2011 form has seen them fall in the opposite direction.
They have lurched from bad to worse this calendar year and had only a solitary point at Arsenal to show for six away matches before this one.
Steve Kean's team, who had not won since beating West Brom on January 23, looked every inch a team short of confidence, flair and ideas and rarely threatened Everton in a game that saw the home side dominate.
Blackburn are now just two points and two places above the relegation zone with five matches to play.
Jermaine Beckford, leading Everton's 4-5-1 formation, linked up superbly with Osman on several occasions but could not make them count as he thrashed one effort over the bar.
Blackburn showed a brief moment of flair just before the break as Roque Santa Cruz missed a decent opportunity but Osman also squandered a decent chance in injury time as he shot straight at Rovers' keeper Paul Robinson.
After the interval, Everton redoubled their efforts to find the first goal and looked more confident and energetic than the visitors despite a decent curled effort from Rovers midfielder David Dunn that just went wide.
Jack Rodwell's presence in midfield became more important and Magaye Gueye also showed impressive speed and vision in attempting to get forward.
He had one shot that just whistled over the top of Robinson's crossbar, while a Baines effort from 30 yards only just shaded wide of the post.
However, the impression that Everton would eventually break Blackburn down was finally confirmed in the 54th minute when a Gueye short corner was cleverly picked up by Osman and after comfortably wriggling past Ruben Rochina, he hit a low effort that went in via a slight deflection off Chris Samba.
The impressive Gueye made way for Seamus Coleman shortly after Everton's opener.
Coleman frequently caused problems down the right wing and it was the Irishman who won Everton a penalty with 17 minutes remaining.
Decent link-up play between Baines and Osman saw the loose ball dribble towards Coleman and Phil Jones's late challenge brought him down in the box allowing Baines to convert from the spot.
Soon after, Everton almost gift-wrapped Blackburn a chance to get into the game when a defensive mix-up between Baines and Phil Jagielka saw the ball fall to Morten Gamst Pedersen but he failed to find the target from 10 yards out.
Everton substitute Apostolos Vellios also saw an effort go close as he managed to get a head to a Tony Hibbert cross, but Robinson managed to pull off a stunning stop.