A fantastic solo goal from on loan Liverpool wonder kid Harvey Elliott clinched a crucial three points for Blackburn Rovers, as Tony Mowbray’s side found their first win in seven games.
Their opponents, Derby County, needed the points more in their worrying battle against relegation, but the Rams did take an early lead courtesy of Tom Lawrence.
Lawrence’s strike was cancelled out before half time thanks to Sam Gallagher, as the towering forward nodded in Barry Douglas’ teasing corner.
This result means Blackburn have now scored six goals this season against Derby.
Blackburn Rovers: Kaminski; Nyambe, Harwood-Bellis, Branthwaite, Douglas, Travis, Johnson, Holtby, Elliott, Armstrong, Gallagher.
Derby County: Marshall; Byrne, Wisdom, Clarke, Forsyth, Lawrence, Bird, Shinnie, Sibley, Jozwiak, Roberts.
Story of the match
Prior to kick-off, Derby manager Wayne Rooney described Blackburn as a “tough game”,and explained that “they play a similar way to Norwich, but maybe not with their quality.”
Rooney’s side took an early lead thanks to Lawrence. Graeme Shinnie found himself with possession on the wing, and delivered a teasing ball to the front post, which the Welshman attacked and poached past a helpless Thomas Kaminski.
Derby prevailed, as Shinnie once again threatened Blackburn’s fragility with a long-range strike, but Kaminski was equal to the test.
Next up to ponder the idea of doubling the advantage was Patrick Roberts, as the Man City loanee latched onto Nathan Byrne’s pass before firing narrowly wide of the target.
The Rams were made to rue their missed chances however, as Blackburn snatched back an equaliser. Ryan Nyambe did excellently to win a corner, which Douglas delivered into the box onto the head of the towering Gallagher, who was composed in nodding past David Marshall before reeling away in jubilance.
Heading into the second half, and Mowbray’s half time words clearly had a positive effect, as Blackburn played on the front foot. A long ball from Kaminski found Lewis Holtby, who slid the ball into Adam Armstrong but he was denied by the legs of Marshall.
However, a moment of magic and Rovers were in charge. Gallagher was influential in taking back possession, before feeding Elliott, who cut inside from the wing, danced past two men before rifling his strike past a stranded Marshall. That was one way to mark his 50th senior appearance.
Another game, another loss for Derby as Rooney’s men suffered their fourth defeat in five games. With the Rams now just one place above the relegation zone, it’s a distressing time to be a Derby fan, with no end in sight to their dismal season. The main positive is that performance wise, Derby weren’t relegation worthy, having the majority of possession and managing six shots on target. It was just a lack of being clinical in front of goal, but Derby now must improve in a crucial few weeks for the club.
A huge result for Blackburn, not for their position in the table but for the morale of the club. Fans were beginning to turn against Mowbray, but hopefully now with a turn of form and some confidence back in the players, Blackburn can begin to rebuild for next season.
Whilst the former Southampton prodigy didn’t get the winning goal, he was hugely influential throughout the 90, he snatched himself the equaliser and played a huge part in Elliott’s eventual winner.