Championship
BlackburnBlackburn Rovers1MiddlesbroughMiddlesbrough0

Blackburn Rovers 1-0 Middlesbrough: Sam Gallagher's strike moves hosts up to second

By Alex WinterBBC Sport
Blackburn's Sam Gallagher stepped up to the goalscoring plate in the absence of Rovers top scorer Ben Brereton Diaz, who is on international duty with Chile
Blackburn's Sam Gallagher stepped up to the goalscoring plate in the absence of Rovers top scorer Ben Brereton Diaz, who is on international duty with Chile

Sam Gallagher scored a second-half winner to send Blackburn Rovers second in the Championship as they edged past Middlesbrough.

The 26-year-old took advantage of Paddy McNair's error to swivel and score his sixth goal of the season with a low shot.

Until that point, Boro were much the better side in the second half but a lengthy delay after a fan was taken ill halted their momentum and, moments after the restart, Gallagher struck.

Matt Crooks had a golden chance to equalise towards the end of the 12 minutes of stoppage time but headed a free-kick from the right over the bar from inside the six-yard box.

Midfielder Crooks should also have scored with an earlier header from eight yards out, only for Lewis Travis to head off the line, and his Boro team-mate Aaron Connolly saw a right-footed shot deflected just wide after a slick move down the right.

It was just a second defeat for Chris Wilder as Middlesbrough manager since his appointment in November, as his side missed the chance to climb into the play-off places.

They also missed opportunities to clear their lines before conceding what proved to be the winning goal.

There was no obvious danger as a ball was played back towards the top of the Boro penalty area but McNair aimed a wild hack at it, made no significant contact, and it fell for former Southampton striker Gallagher to shoot across goalkeeper Joe Lumley into his right corner.

The visitors pressed for an equaliser in the closing stages of what proved to be an hour-long second period, but on-loan Brighton forward Connolly fired over from a tight angle before Crooks somehow missed the best chance of the night.

The extensive stoppage time was caused by an eight-minute period of treatment for a Blackburn supporter near the dugouts, midway through the second half, with the individual conscious as medical staff led them away on a stretcher.

Both sets of players took on liquids and tried to stay warm during the unexpected delay after half-time
Both sets of players took on liquids and tried to stay warm during the unexpected delay after half-time

Blackburn boss Tony Mowbray:

"Scoring the goal was always going to be difficult for us, without Ben Brereton and Joe Rothwell. But, although he's missed a fair whack of the season, Sam Gallagher's goals per starts is pretty good.

"Gallagher is fast, strong, good in the air, with a rocket in his right foot. I'm always encouraging him to hit it because when you watch it in training it's like a bazooka, his right foot. It's a great strike.

"He has all the attributes to be a top player. His ambition has to be to get to the Premier League. Hopefully with this club. Look at this monster of a boy who can run like the wind with a rocket in his boots. Why can't he play in the Premier League? He's working really hard and I'm delighted he's getting the rewards."

Middlesbrough manager Chris Wilder told BBC Radio Tees:

"I didn't enjoy watching my team's performance. There were so many things wrong. We started off on the back foot, they jumped on us and we were never bright enough or quick enough.

"We were in the ascendancy after half-time, we tightened up, we played quicker and pushed a good team back. That's what I was looking for from the beginning.

"We had two incredibly good chances but we didn't deserve anything out of the game."

Line-ups

Blackburn

Formation 3-4-1-2

  • 1Kaminski
  • 26Lenihan
  • 25van Hecke
  • 16WhartonBooked at 90mins
  • 2NyambeBooked at 37mins
  • 27TravisBooked at 50mins
  • 4Johnson
  • 20EdunBooked at 90mins
  • 21BuckleySubstituted forZeefuikat 89'minutes
  • 7KhadraSubstituted forButterworthat 77'minutes
  • 9Gallagher

Substitutes

  • 5Ayala
  • 6Davenport
  • 11Rankin-Costello
  • 13Pears
  • 14Butterworth
  • 35Garrett
  • 42Zeefuik

Middlesbrough

Formation 3-5-2

  • 1Lumley
  • 2DijksteelSubstituted forWatmoreat 89'minutes
  • 6Fry
  • 17McNairBooked at 90mins
  • 35JonesBooked at 90mins
  • 25CrooksBooked at 15mins
  • 16HowsonSubstituted forBalogunat 80'minutes
  • 7TavernierBooked at 29mins
  • 3TaylorBooked at 4minsSubstituted forCoburnat 90+11'minutes
  • 11Sporar
  • 26ConnollyBooked at 26mins

Substitutes

  • 10Payero
  • 14Peltier
  • 18Watmore
  • 22Bamba
  • 28Daniels
  • 37Coburn
  • 47Balogun
Referee:
Darren England
Attendance:
14,670

Match Stats

Home TeamBlackburnAway TeamMiddlesbrough
Possession
Home32%
Away68%
Shots
Home15
Away9
Shots on Target
Home3
Away1
Corners
Home6
Away7
Fouls
Home14
Away14

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Blackburn Rovers 1, Middlesbrough 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Blackburn Rovers 1, Middlesbrough 0.

  3. Post update

    Corner, Blackburn Rovers. Conceded by Dael Fry.

  4. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Deyovaisio Zeefuik (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.

  5. Post update

    Attempt missed. Matt Crooks (Middlesbrough) header from very close range is just a bit too high. Assisted by Marcus Tavernier with a cross following a set piece situation.

  6. Substitution

    Substitution, Middlesbrough. Josh Coburn replaces Neil Taylor.

  7. Booking

    Tayo Edun (Blackburn Rovers) is shown the yellow card.

  8. Post update

    Isaiah Jones (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Tayo Edun (Blackburn Rovers).

  10. Booking

    Isaiah Jones (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Isaiah Jones (Middlesbrough).

  12. Post update

    Tayo Edun (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  13. Post update

    Attempt missed. Aaron Connolly (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses the top right corner. Assisted by Matt Crooks.

  14. Post update

    Dael Fry (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Daniel Butterworth (Blackburn Rovers).

  16. Post update

    Duncan Watmore (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Scott Wharton (Blackburn Rovers).

  18. Booking

    Patrick McNair (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Patrick McNair (Middlesbrough).

  20. Post update

    Deyovaisio Zeefuik (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

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