MORTEN Gamst Pedersen scored twice as Blackburn Rovers claimed all three points against Aston Villa in their first game under new ownership this afternoon.

Rovers were bought by Indian poultry company Venky's on Friday and new owners Venkatesh and Balaji Rao were given a warm reception after being presented to the crowd before kick-off.

The brothers then took their seat in the directors' box to see Rovers move up to 11th in the Premier League after Pedersen scored either side of half time to give Sam Allardyce's side all three points.

Villa had a chance on the break in the opening stages as Stewart Downing escaped Gael Givet but saw his shot turned wide by Paul Robinson.

Rovers had the better of the possession, though, and David Dunn fired a volley across the face of the goal before Pedersen put them ahead on the stroke of half time.

The Norwegian curled in a free kick from the right touchline and saw it sail over the head of former Rovers keeper Brad Friedel, who could only get a weak hand to the ball as it found the far corner for a virtual carbon copy of Pedersen's recent goal against Wigan Athletic.

Rovers lost Gael Givet to injury at half time and Villa immediately came close to levelling, with Robinson saving from Ashley Young before the same man headed against the bar from Downing's cross.

El-Hadji Diouf should have made it 2-0 when he allowed Richard Dunne to get back to block his shot when clean through, but the Senegal winger provided the cross in the 68th minute for Pedersen to score his second.

The ball broke to Ryan Nelsen, who fired his shot across the face of goal and Pedersen diverted it in from six yards.

The Norwegian limped off shortly afterwards to be replaced by debutant Herold Goulon, and El-Hadji Diouf should have made it 3-0 when he missed the target with a header from Michel Salgado's cross.

Rovers: Paul Robinson; Michel Salgado, Chris Samba, Ryan Nelsen, Gael Givet (Pascal Chimbonda 46); Junior Hoilett (Mame Biram Diouf 64), Phil Jones, Morten Gamst Pedersen (Herold Goulon 72), El-Hadji Diouf; David Dunn; Jason Roberts. Subs not used: Mark Bunn, Grant Hanley, Josh Morris, Nikola Kalinic.

Aston Villa: Brad Friedel; Luke Young, Richard Dunne, Ciaran Clark, Stephen Warnock; Stewart Downing, Jonathan Hogg (Chris Herd 81), Stephen Ireland (Robert Pires 69), Barry Bannan, Ashley Young; Gabriel Agbonlahor (Nathan Delfouneso 78). Subs not used: Brad Guzan, Eric Lichaj, Shane Lowry, Isaiah Osbourne.

Referee: Michael Oliver.

Attendance: 21,848.