- English Football League - Championship
- Saturday, February 9th 2019
- Ewood Park
James Crawley reports from Ewood Park
Report: Blackburn Rovers 0-1 Bristol City
Saturday, February 9th 2019
Super sub Eros Pisano turned in from close range to gift City their eighth win in a row as they beat Blackburn Rovers 1-0 at Ewood Park.
The right-back replaced the booked Bailey Wright just after the hour-mark and was well-placed ten minutes from time as he steered in Callum O’Dowda’s corner.
The Robins had to deal with a large amount of Rovers pressure and had Frank Fielding to thank on occasion, as well as a hard to beat back four, while Famara Diédhiou was unlucky to see a header tipped over the crossbar.
Blackburn huffed and puffed late on but Tony Mowbray’s side couldn’t force an equaliser as Lee Johnson’s men closed the gap at the top half of the Sky Bet Championship.
The head coach named an unchanged starting XI from the side which beat Swansea City a week earlier, with consistency the key message ahead of kick off.
The first chance went their way too, in an open initial spell, the first falling to Josh Brownhill whose shot had to be blocked in the Blackburn box, while at the other end Adam Armstrong blazed wide after the ball fortuitously fell into his path.
The home side were looking to stamp their authority on the match; Mowbray’s Rovers were aggressive and quick to close down, throwing the ball forward at every opportunity yet City remained defensively solid.
They were nearly undone when Bradley Dack managed a low ball across the City six-yard box, where Harrison Reed was just inches from making contact with the ball before Frank Fielding could claim it.
Rovers seemed content with playing direct but City were edging closer to unlocking the backline, almost breaking the deadlock when Wright’s header had to be headed away from the goalmouth; Andreas Weimann had been his target but for the positioned Jack Rodwell.
Further opportunities went the way of the Robins but David Raya was equal to Brownhill’s well-struck free kick, both Marlon Pack and O’Dowda fired wide and Diédhiou headed narrowly over the bar as the sides went in at the break goalless.
City weren’t far from the next level and needed to pick up where they left off, only the hosts had other ideas. Almost immediately after the second half kicked off Mowbray’s side threatened with Dack down the right, only for his ball across the face of goal missing a player in blue and white.
Fielding was then rooted to his spot as he watched Reed’s cross-shot sail across the six-yard box, before Dack’s effort was blocked and Rodwell tried his luck from 30 yards but his shot went high over the bar.
City withstood the pressure and only the fingertips of Raya denied a downward Diédhiou header as the visitors looked to turn the game back in their favour.
Rovers had other ideas but for the in-form Fielding between the sticks. He first beat Elliott Bennett in a race after the Rovers man had robbed Jay Dasilva – the last line of City’s defence - of the ball, while minutes later Dack weaved in and out of a crowded penalty area before Fielding’s quick fingers denied him at the near post.
By now Johnson had made all three changes, with Pisano, Kasey Palmer and Matty Taylor all on the field, with City’s Italian right-back in the right place at the right time to give City an 80th-minute lead.
He had forced the corner which led to his goal and he made no mistake from close range to turn in O’Dowda’s inswinging set piece.
Blackburn threw themselves forward in the last embers but could do nothing stop the City rot as the Robins stretched the unbeaten run to 14 games.
- Lewis Travis, Richard Smallwood, Bradley Dack
- Pisano (80')
- Bailey Wright, Andreas Weimann, Jamie Paterson