Blackburn Rovers’ winless run extended to seven Championship games as Manuel Benson’s sublime strike was enough to secure a 1-0 win for Burnley in the East Lancs derby.
The Belgian winger, on as a second-half substitute, cut inside on his favoured left foot and swung the ball into the top corner. It’s the third goal in three games that Benson has scored, all of which have been carbon copies.
It was incredibly harsh on Rovers, who had been the better side for the previous 66 minutes. Despite their dominance, Arijanet Muric’s goal remained untested.
LISTEN: Subscribe to The Inside Brockhall Podcast here
It was a familiar feeling for Rovers as they dominated possession and territory against their rivals, but the cutting edge in the final third evaded them. It’s the fourth match in their seven-match winless run that they have failed to find the net.
Blackburn pressed excellently and forced Burnley into errors as they tried to play out from defence. Tactically, it was a stark contrast to the passive approach at Turf Moor.
On the ball, they probed for the opener. Adam Wharton was central to their best play and looked the best player on the pitch despite being a teenager.
The best opening perhaps came from a raking Dom Hyam pass which sprung Ben Brereton Diaz in-behind but the ball wouldn’t drop for the Chilean to strike at goal as challenges came flying in. It was symptomatic of his and Rovers’ recent luck.
If you hadn’t watched Burnley this season, you’d have only anticipated one winner. But the Clarets have match-winners and Benson settled the contest with a fantastic curling strike as he dipped onto his left foot from the right wing.
Burnley managed the game expertly after that. The goal sucked the atmosphere out of Ewood Park and Rovers’ momentum was killed.
The defeat leaves Rovers eighth in the table with two matches to go. In reality, they need to beat both Luton Town and Millwall in their final matches to stand a chance of finishing in the top-six.
Download the LancsLive app for free on iPhone here and Android here.
Don’t miss a thing from the club you love! For all the latest updates on your team, sign up to our free newsletter packed with all the latest news here.
“There are two awards that you win this season, which is promotion and then the league. Then there are two more trophies to win, which are the two derbies. We’ve won all four this season.” #twitterclarets https://t.co/Q2qDQcskMb
— John McDougall (@_JohnMcDougall) April 25, 2023
More from Kompany
You have to celebrate, 44 games in, it’s a ridiculous season so the guys have to celebrate it.
I don’t know if the lads realise it – I think Jay Rod does, he realises what it means for the people of Burnley.
To win the title at Ewood Park, you couldn’t write it.
A day that will live forever for us and a tremendous achievement.
Kompany to come
He might be some time, but we’ll let you know when Vincent Kompany emerges for his post-match press conference
I haven’t seen it. I saw the handball.
I think a goal like that is class. He was even on the bench. Three strikers and a winger sitting on the bench. It was like Arjen Robben. We knew it but we couldn’t stop it when it’s a quality player.
Goal rocked them
It’s normal, people get disappointed. The fans stayed behind the team. The players went down for a minute but they tried to do something. That is football.
Cutting edge in the final third
It’s the most difficult thing, scoring goals. The way they played was excellent against the best team in the league. We were dominant before they scored. You need goals to win games.
JDT is here
Our fans were brilliant. When you lose a game you are disappointed especially against your rivals. We are in different places. We were the best team today. Before they scored the goal, they didn’t have a shot on goal. We were missing the quality in the final third to create a little bit more. They kept going until the end. I haven’t complained much about refereeing but it was handball again. Those moments need to be right. That is very disappointing. The linesman could see it. I have to wait 30 minutes to speak to them.
Reaction coming up
Ewood Park emptying of Rovers fans, but the celebrations are well under way in the away end with the travelling Clarets fans.
The players are enjoying the moment with the supporters and so they should – it was a hard fought victory this evening, but the game changed with Benson and Cork’s introduction, with Rovers simply not having an answer to deal with the former.
Rovers the better team for 66 minutes but didn’t have the quality to break Burnley down. A moment of magic won the game from Benson. They controlled it from then on. Two wins needed for the top-six.
Some after as Burnley players and staff break onto the pitch at the final whistle.
Off the bar!
Benson breaks from a corner with Pears up – he curls an effort from the left flank and it comes off the bar
Another pitch invader taken off
Handball claims waved away as the corner is cleared.
Play stopped after a pitch invader runs on and lets off a flare. Pears up for a Rovers corner.
Another Clarets sub
Harwood-Bellis on, Maatsen off
A pitch invader is taken off by security and has let a smoke bomb off
Zaroury comes off, Rodriguez on
Benson gets the ball in the box, takes aim, but it goes behind for a corner, which Burnley play short and hold up play to run the clock down
Four more minutes
Zaroury cuts inside and lets fly – it’s deflected as the Clarets win a corner
Travis makes way for Leonard with six to play. Rovers haven’t created anything since the opener.
Muric booked for timewasting
Not this time
Benson cuts inside from the right again but can’t repeat his earlier goalscoring feat this time
Benson exchanges possession with Brownhill in the box and is then held back by Travis – penalty? It’s not given, but the goalscorer certainly thought it was.
Muric claims Thomas’ delivery, before falling to the ground to eat up a few more seconds.
That goal has sucked the life out of the ground. Rovers need to get the place rocking again.
Brittain, Thomas and Dack replace Pickering, Hedges and Dolan.