- English Football League - Championship
- Wednesday, March 17th 2021
- Ewood Park
James Crawley reports from Ewood Park
Report: Blackburn Rovers 0-0 Bristol City
Wednesday, March 17th 2021
City stretched their unbeaten away run to four games with a goalless draw against Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park.
Famara Diédhiou was denied a late winner when he saw a late strike pushed on to the post by keeper Thomas Kaminski.
Kaminski was on hand to thwart Kasey Palmer on a handful of occasions, while Lewis Holtby struck wide with the hosts' best chance in the second half.
But the defensive display was crucial to securing a rare draw for the Robins – this being only their fourth share of the spoils this season - and with it a second-successive clean sheet.
Manager Nigel Pearson made one change to his starting XI and it came in goal as Max O’Leary replaced Dan Bentley who had been unwell.
It meant Academy goalkeeper Harvey Wiles-Richards was called to the substitutes bench as he was involved in a first team matchday squad for the first time. There were also places on the bench for the returning Ádám Nagy and Zak Vyner, who have completed their return to play concussion protocols.
Palmer kept his place in the starting XI with the creative midfielder in fine form and City’s attacks early in the game looked to go through him in particular.
For the home side, a half-chance went begging when Adam Armstrong, with 20 goals in all competitions this season, mistimed his contact in the box, while at the other end Palmer did well to drive into the penalty area but his poked effort was held by Kaminski.
City would survive a free kick on the edge of the area after Antoine Semenyo fouled Armstrong, but Blackburn couldn’t capitalise from their promising position as the Robins wall did its job.
O’Leary was called into action when he parried a Rovers corner. The ball would land to Bradley Johnson whose effort was blocked by the ever-reliable City captain Tomas Kalas.
There were signals that City might have a job on their hands as Blackburn grew in confidence but not before Semenyo dragged a shot wide, as did Nahki Wells who looked to capitalise after a superb sliding tackle from Palmer won possession back deep in Rovers’ half.
However, it was the hosts who ended the half on top with City weathering the mini storm. They produced rugged defending in those latter stages and could do little but lump balls forward every time they thwarted Rovers’ attacks, but they held firm to go into the break goalless.
But City could have led through a goalkeeping error when Kaminski almost lost out to Wells in an early chance in the second half. The Rovers shotstopper received a backpass but took too long with his control and Wells got a touch to the ball as he charged down Kaminski but the Rovers man was able to recover.
O’Leary was untroubled as an Armstrong header sailed harmlessly over the crossbar, while back at the other end Palmer forced Kaminski into another stop. Han-Noah Massengo drove forward, finding Wells to his left who was able to cross for Palmer but his spinning first-time effort was comfortable for the Rovers keeper.
Kaminski then tipped away a threatening Palmer corner but the signs suggested some fresh legs could be the answer to finding a breakthrough on the night and Pearson soon introduced Liam Walsh and Callum O’Dowda who replaced Henri Lansbury and Wells, respectively.
The pair were involved in some intricate play almost immediately as the Robins looked to put the hosts on the back foot and again Palmer saw another sight of goal soon after, but it was low and easy enough for Kaminski who got down quickly.
The game ebbed and flowed though and half-chances went amiss for Mowbray’s men with Adrian Mariappa blocking a Holtby strike before Ben Brereton misguided a free header before a trio of changes for the home side. Notably the towering Sam Gallagher was introduced as Rovers hoped to find luck in the air from wide deliveries.
Pearson introduced Vyner inside the 77th minute as he replaced Palmer but the next best opening fell for the hosts with Holtby spinning away from Kalas but he fired wide from close range.
Nagy replaced Semenyo late on as Pearson’s side looked for a winner and it nearly fell for Diédhiou. The striker netted the late winner in the reverse game in BS3 but on this occasion his effort was turned on to the post by Kaminski.
In reply, Holtby struck a deflected effort into the body of O’Leary but more resilient defending from the Robins ensured they would hold on for a point and another clean sheet.
- Joe Rothwell, Bradley Johnson, Adam Armstrong, Ben Brereton, Harvey Elliott
- Antoine Semenyo, Henri Lansbury, Nahki Wells, Kasey Palmer