BlackburnBlackburn Rovers1Aston VillaAston Villa0

Blackburn Rovers 1-0 Aston Villa

Danny Graham
Danny Graham's 13th goal of the season moved Blackburn level on points with Nottingham Forest

Blackburn Rovers boosted their hopes of staying in the Championship with a narrow win against Aston Villa.

After dominating the first half, Rovers led when Danny Graham converted a Jason Lowe cross to lift Ewood Park.

Villa's Sam Johnstone had earlier saved well from Ryan Nyambe, while the hosts' David Raya denied Jonathan Kodjia.

Rovers remain in the drop zone on goal difference, but will stay up if they better Nottingham Forest's final-day result, after the Reds lost at QPR.

Tony Mowbray's 22nd-placed Rovers travel to Brentford on Sunday, 7 May, while 21st-placed Forest host Ipswich in their final game and 20th-placed Birmingham - who are not yet safe - travel to Bristol City.

Blackburn could survive even with a defeat at Brentford, should Forest lose by two goals more than Rovers, while victories for both sides would leave Birmingham needing a win to avoid the drop.

News of Birmingham's opening first-half goal against Huddersfield had dampened the mood around the ground at the end of an impressive first half for Rovers, in which Nyambe, Graham and Jason Lowe all had chances.

Villa came into the game on the back of a derby win against Birmingham, and having conceded, brought on Gabriel Agbonlahor in a bid to change the game and they rallied, despite losing Kodjia to injury.

However, Blackburn showed their mettle to keep Steve Bruce's side at bay and they survived the five minutes of added time to given themselves significant hope for the final day.

Mowbray's Teesside grit

Mowbray's upbringing in the steel town of Redcar has long been a source of personal inspiration as a player and a manager, and he has sought to spread some of that grit and effort throughout his squad.

After leading his side on a seven-game unbeaten run since his arrival in late February, Rovers then lost three games in a row to dent their hopes.

However, they have regrouped to record two wins and two draws to give their survival bid a huge lift.

Blackburn manager Tony Mowbray:

"Danny Graham has been unavailable for most of my time at the football club and is way off fitness-wise where he should be, but players like Graham, when you need a goal and you need to win a football match, you have to have him on the pitch.

"The last couple of home games have been nervous for us, but I thought we started really well today on the front foot, played a lot of the first half in their half, asked questions of them.

"Whilst it didn't get us a goal first half, it gave us a momentum that we took into the second half, got the goal and saw the game out."

Aston Villa boss Steve Bruce:

"That's arguably the worst we've played since I've been here, but a big club like ours, away from home, four wins all season, is nowhere near good enough to where we should be.

"Too many times I've seen us play the way we did today, where we haven't done enough in every department.

"We were absolutely hopeless. Hopeless. And unfortunately away from home I've seen that too many times. Not good enough and I've been here the best part of six months and too many times I've come away like that and thought, 'Dear oh dear, that was inept'."



Formation 3-4-3

  • 33Raya
  • 26Lenihan
  • 15Ward
  • 14Mulgrew
  • 24Nyambe
  • 6LoweSubstituted forAkpanat 87'minutes
  • 23Guthrie
  • 5Williams
  • 19GallagherSubstituted forLucas Joãoat 90+2'minutes
  • 12GrahamSubstituted forConwayat 75'minutes
  • 31Bennett


  • 1Steele
  • 4Hoban
  • 17Emnes
  • 18Lucas João
  • 21Akpan
  • 28Mahoney
  • 32Conway

Aston Villa

Formation 4-4-2

  • 34Johnstone
  • 21Hutton
  • 12Chester
  • 2Baker
  • 3Taylor
  • 7Bacuna
  • 14HourihaneSubstituted forAdomahat 72'minutes
  • 22Gardner
  • 5LansburySubstituted forAgbonlahorat 64'minutes
  • 26KodjiaSubstituted forGrealishat 72'minutes
  • 9Hogan


  • 6Elphick
  • 11Agbonlahor
  • 16Bree
  • 23Amavi
  • 31Bunn
  • 37Adomah
  • 40Grealish
Geoff Eltringham

Match Stats

Home TeamBlackburnAway TeamAston Villa
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Blackburn Rovers 1, Aston Villa 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Blackburn Rovers 1, Aston Villa 0.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Lucas João (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Craig Conway.

  4. Post update

    Gary Gardner (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Danny Guthrie (Blackburn Rovers).

  6. Substitution

    Substitution, Blackburn Rovers. Lucas João replaces Sam Gallagher.

  7. Post update

    Alan Hutton (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Elliott Bennett (Blackburn Rovers).

  9. Post update

    Alan Hutton (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Elliott Bennett (Blackburn Rovers).

  11. Post update

    Corner, Blackburn Rovers. Conceded by Jack Grealish.

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, Blackburn Rovers. Hope Akpan replaces Jason Lowe.

  13. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Craig Conway (Blackburn Rovers) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Charlie Mulgrew.

  14. Post update

    Attempt missed. Albert Adomah (Aston Villa) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right following a set piece situation.

  15. Post update

    Alan Hutton (Aston Villa) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Elliott Bennett (Blackburn Rovers).

  17. Post update

    Corner, Blackburn Rovers. Conceded by Jack Grealish.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Gabriel Agbonlahor (Aston Villa).

  19. Post update

    Darragh Lenihan (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Blackburn Rovers. Craig Conway replaces Danny Graham.

As It Stood

4Sheff Wed452491259431681
12Aston Villa451613164647-161
17Bristol City45159216065-554
21Nottm Forest45139235972-1348
View full Championship table

Top Stories

Elsewhere on the BBC