Championship
BlackburnBlackburn Rovers4ReadingReading3

Blackburn Rovers 4-3 Reading: Sam Gallagher heads in late Rovers winner

By Adam WilliamsBBC Sport
Blackburn v Reading
Blackburn surrendered 2-0 and 3-1 leads before eventually coming out on top

Blackburn shook off the disappointment of missing out on the play-offs as they eventually saw off Reading in a seven-goal contest.

Sam Gallagher headed in the winning goal late on after Rovers had taken an early 2-0 lead through Ben Brereton and Adam Armstrong.

An eventful opening quarter saw John Swift reduce the deficit for Reading with a brilliantly struck direct free-kick before Joe Rothwell restored Blackburn's two-goal advantage early in the second half.

Sam Baldock came off the bench for Reading to head one back and then provided the cross for Yakou Meite to nod in an equaliser, but Gallagher won it for Blackburn with a back-post header from Harry Chapman's deep cross.

Blackburn saw their top-six hopes ended after defeat by Millwall on Tuesday but they were out of the blocks quickly with a response.

First Brereton was allowed acres of space to roll in a low finish and then Armstrong netted his 15th league goal of the season with a left-foot strike from just outside the penalty box.

Reading responded well and Swift scored arguably the pick of the goals with a perfect placed free-kick from 30 yards out over the wall and into the bottom left corner.

But they could not claw themselves level before Rothwell hit a left-foot drive from a quickly taken free-kick that took a touch off the head of Reading captain Liam Moore before going in.

Reading once again found some fighting spirit as Baldock headed in at the near post from Jordan Obita's cross and soon after floated a ball to the back post for Meite to head past Christian Walton for his 13th Championship goal of the campaign.

That leveller spurred the visitors on and Michael Olise went close to completing a remarkable comeback only for Walton to make a full-stretch save as he tipped his shot behind for a corner.

But, just as Reading looked the more likely to win it, Blackburn took their next chance.

Substitutes Chapman and Gallagher combined to ensure Rovers collected just their third win in the past 12 games while Reading fell to a second defeat in five days.

Blackburn manager Tony Mowbray told BBC Radio Lancashire: "If I was a neutral, I would've thought it was a great game of football.

"We started amazingly well, got 2-0 up really early and it was looking like it could be three, four, five or six. But they scored a goal out of absolutely nothing and it gave them a bit of belief they could get something.

"It was the same after our third goal. We let them back in and put ourselves under a huge amount of pressure.

"Sometimes we can look good, we can dominate and I thought we played some good attacking football and yet we were scrambling to win it at the end."

Reading manager Mark Bowen told BBC Radio Berkshire: "It really was a game of massive peaks and troughs.

"There were periods where we looked ragged and we looked as if we weren't engaging and the commitment to get up for challenges wasn't there.

"Then all of a sudden, we flicked a switch and we had periods where you think we're back on, controlling our own destiny and we're on top in the game.

"That was the case overall for both teams really. But when you get back to 3-3 with guts and resolution, you think there's only one team to go on and win it, but again we failed to make a key decision at a key time which has ended up costing us the game.

"I bang on all day long that we're seeking consistency and we need to learn to see games out."

Line-ups

Blackburn

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Walton
  • 2Nyambe
  • 26Lenihan
  • 41Carter
  • 37Rankin-Costello
  • 22HoltbySubstituted forBuckleyat 69'minutes
  • 27Travis
  • 4JohnsonSubstituted forDavenportat 70'minutesBooked at 71mins
  • 8RothwellSubstituted forChapmanat 78'minutes
  • 20BreretonSubstituted forGallagherat 69'minutes
  • 7A ArmstrongSubstituted forValeat 78'minutes

Substitutes

  • 9Gallagher
  • 11Chapman
  • 13Leutwiler
  • 18Davenport
  • 19Downing
  • 31Bennett
  • 38Magloire
  • 39Buckley
  • 44Vale

Reading

Formation 4-4-2

  • 33Cabral Barbosa
  • 2Gunter
  • 4Morrison
  • 16McIntyreSubstituted forMooreat 36'minutes
  • 24BlackettSubstituted forObitaat 59'minutes
  • 21Olise
  • 10SwiftSubstituted forOshoat 83'minutes
  • 8Rinomhota
  • 27RichardsSubstituted forMcClearyat 59'minutes
  • 19Meite
  • 47PuscasSubstituted forBaldockat 59'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Walker
  • 5Miazga
  • 6Moore
  • 9Baldock
  • 11Obita
  • 12McCleary
  • 18Boyé
  • 20Araruna Hoffmann
  • 34Osho
Referee:
Tim Robinson

Match Stats

Home TeamBlackburnAway TeamReading
Possession
Home63%
Away37%
Shots
Home17
Away13
Shots on Target
Home5
Away3
Corners
Home5
Away4
Fouls
Home15
Away13

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Blackburn Rovers 4, Reading 3.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Blackburn Rovers 4, Reading 3.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Garath McCleary (Reading) left footed shot from outside the box is too high.

  4. Post update

    Jack Vale (Blackburn Rovers) hits the bar with a right footed shot from the left side of the box. Assisted by Sam Gallagher.

  5. Post update

    Attempt missed. Yakou Meite (Reading) header from very close range is too high. Assisted by Gabriel Osho with a headed pass following a set piece situation.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Darragh Lenihan (Blackburn Rovers).

  7. Post update

    Yakou Meite (Reading) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  8. Post update

    Attempt missed. Liam Moore (Reading) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

  9. Goal!

    Goal! Blackburn Rovers 4, Reading 3. Sam Gallagher (Blackburn Rovers) header from very close range to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Harry Chapman with a cross.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Joe Rankin-Costello (Blackburn Rovers).

  11. Post update

    Garath McCleary (Reading) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, Reading. Gabriel Osho replaces John Swift.

  13. Post update

    Lewis Travis (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Yakou Meite (Reading).

  15. Post update

    Attempt missed. Darragh Lenihan (Blackburn Rovers) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Lewis Travis following a set piece situation.

  16. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Darragh Lenihan (Blackburn Rovers) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.

  17. Post update

    Lewis Travis (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Yakou Meite (Reading).

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Blackburn Rovers. Harry Chapman replaces Joe Rothwell.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Blackburn Rovers. Jack Vale replaces Adam Armstrong.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Leeds44269970343687
2West Brom452216775433282
3Brentford452491279364381
4Fulham4523111163471680
5Nottm Forest4418161057451270
6Cardiff451816116558770
7Swansea451716125852667
8Preston451811165853565
9Millwall451617125350365
10Blackburn451712166460463
11Bristol City451711175964-562
12Derby441613155860-261
13Wigan451513175655158
14QPR45169206574-957
15Reading451511195854456
16Sheff Wed451511195764-756
17Stoke45158225867-953
18Huddersfield451312205166-1551
19Middlesbrough451214194660-1450
20Birmingham451214195372-1950
21Charlton451212215061-1148
22Luton45139235180-2948
23Hull45129245784-2745
24Barnsley441013214668-2243
View full Championship table

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