Blues arrived in all black in sub-zero temperatures at Ewood Park, looking to build on their victory over Sheffield Wednesday at the weekend.

Blackburn have always been a bogey team at their place, with Blues winning only once in 29 games. However, after a poor first 10 minutes to the game Blues looked very likely to break that form.

The best chances came from Juninho Bacuna and Siriki Dembele. Bacuna blazed over from a great position and also dragged his across goal shot just inches wide of the post. Dembele then hit the woodwork in what was a encouraging half from Rooney’s troops.

However, Blues’ defence completely collapsed after the interval with Sammie Szmodics netting a brace and James Hill firing home in just 15 minutes of play.

Siriki Dembele pulled one back for Blues with Lukas Jutkiewicz going close from a close range header.

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Rooney then made a triple substitution to inject some more legs into the side with Miyoshi, Burke and Hogan coming on for Bielik, Juke and Stansfield.

Blues then decreased the deficit to 3-2 with Dembele cutting inside and firing into the top corner with a rocket.

With the game very much open and Blues in the ascendency, it proved too much of a mountain to climb as Harry Leonard firing home in stoppage time to make it 4 to the good. Game over.


Rovers showed they have an array of finishers in their side, something Blues are lacking. That showed with the contrast of shots in the game – 11 for Rovers and 26 for Blues.

Had Blues took their chances in the first half the game could have been a different story. Although it was a disappointing result and maybe the scoreline flattered Blackburn, there are positives to take.

When in attack we look very dangerous, however, countless individual mistakes from the likes of John Ruddy for the first goal and Dion Sanderson and Emmanuel Aiwu cost us last night.

It came down to a lapse in concentration and if you defend like that you’re going to suffer, there’s no getting away from it.

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Blackburn Rovers (3-4-3): Leo Wahlstedt, James Hill, Hayden Carter, Harry Pickering, Lewis Travis (captain) (Arnor Sigurdsson 46), Sondre Tronstad, Adam Wharton, Callum Britain, Sammie Szmodics, Tyrhys Dolan (Harry Leonard 16), Andrew Moran.

Substitutes not used: Joe Hilton, Patrick Gamble, Dilan Markanday, Jake Garrett, Tom Atcheson, Semir Telalovic, Leo Duru.

Bookings: Tronstad 31, Travis 33, Wharton 80, Leonard 87.

Blues (4-2-2-2): John Ruddy, Cody Drameh, Dion Sanderson (Captain), Emanuel Aiwu (Ethan Laird 62), Lee Buchanan, Krystian Bielik (Koji Miyoshi 76), Jordan James (Gary Gardner 85), Juninho Bacuna, Siriki Dembele, Jay Stansfield (Scott Hogan 76), Lukas Jutkiewicz (Oliver Burke 76).

Substitutes not used: Neil Etheridge, Marc Roberts, Emmanuel Longelo, Ivan Sunjic.

Bookings: Aiwu 28, Bielik 35.