Hull City 0-1 Blackburn: Rovers back up to second after victory seals fourth win in a row

Sammie Szmodics scores for Blackburn
Sammie Szmodics made a fine move to put Blackburn ahead against Hull City

Blackburn Rovers moved back into second place in the Championship after a controlled display against Hull City secured a fourth straight win.

Sammie Szmodic’s classy finish early in the first half proved enough as Rovers comfortably held off a disappointing Tigers side.

Top scorer Ben Brereton Diaz and Sam Gallagher were denied further goals after the break by smart stops from Nathan Baxter.

Hull never threatened to repeat their win over Rovers in last season’s corresponding fixture in January – after owner Acun Ilicali had completed his takeover – failing to get an effort on target all afternoon as Jacob Greaves and Dimitrios Pelkas missed with free heads.

Rovers’ 11th win of the season moves them back into second place, three points clear of Queens Park Rangers and two points behind leaders Burnley.

In-form Rovers started brightly with Szmodics – back in the side after missing last Saturday’s win over Birmingham – underlining their confidence in possession and finishing a sweet move to put the visitors in front.

Receiving a perfectly weighted pass from Adam Wharton past the Hull defensive line, Szmodics found the bottom left corner of the net with a right-footed effort for his fourth goal of the season.

The Tigers were chasing a third straight win and back-to-back league wins over Blackburn for the first time since 1970, but they posed only the occasional threat in the first half with Thomas Kaminski clearing Ryan Longman’s early cross and Greaves making a great effort at their best. .

They were lucky not to fall further behind just before half-time when Baxter pushed away Brereton Diaz’s shot from 12 yards after poor defending.

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Caretaker boss Andy Dawson made a double change at the break in a bid to boost Hull’s miserable display and it appeared to be working, only for Greaves from a corner and Pelkas’ diving miss to miss good chances with wayward headers.

Baxter then had to be at his best to stop Rovers extending their lead – pushing away Brereton Diaz’s effort from 12 yards before denying Gallagher in a one-on-one after being found by the Chilean forward.

Hull enjoyed more possession as the match wore on but suffered a first defeat in three games after finding Rovers unwilling to let their narrow advantage slip away.

Hull interim boss Andy Dawson told BBC Radio Humberside:

“I was disappointed with the first half – we showed them too much respect, we definitely weren’t aggressive enough.

“I think the only thing we’ve done very impressively recently is keep the ball and I think we’ve turned it over too cheaply. That’s the last thing you want to do against a possession-based team.

“We had a really good run in the second half and created some brilliant chances but it’s the small margins – we faced a very good team today.”

Blackburn Rovers manager Jon Dahl Tomasson told BBC Radio Lancashire:

“I think he deserved it – big credit to the players.

“We got the tactics right in the first half, controlled the game and scored a great goal – we should have scored more and killed the game before half-time.

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“It was a great win and a good performance.”

Lining up

Vessel

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 13Baxter
  • 33Christy
  • 6FigueiredoReservation at 78 minutesSubstituted forCoylein the 90′minutes
  • 5JonesSubstituted forFlemingin the 45′minutes
  • 4Greaves
  • 24SeriSubstituted forTufanin the 45′minutes
  • 15WoodsReservation at 29 minutes
  • 8DochertySubstituted forThey were visitingin the 67′minutes
  • 20Pelkas
  • 27Cataloguer
  • 16LongmanSubstituted forSinikin the 80′minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Ingram
  • 2Coyle
  • 7Tufan
  • 11Sinik
  • 17McLoughlin
  • 19They were visiting
  • 21Fleming

Blackburn

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Kaminsky
  • 27Travis
  • 5Hyam
  • 16WhartonReservation at 61 minutes
  • 3Pickering
  • 6Morton
  • 36WhartonSubstituted forAyalain the 62′minutes
  • 10DolanSubstituted forCarterin the 62′minutes
  • 8SzmodicsSubstituted forDuckin the 71′minutes
  • 22Brereton
  • 9GallagherSubstituted forValleyin the 71′minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Ayala
  • 13Pears
  • 17Carter
  • 18Markanday
  • 23Duck
  • 29Valley
  • 30Garrett

Referee:
David Webb

Presence:
18,843

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