Blackburn Rovers 2-0 Hull City
Hull City’s winless and goalless run extended to six matches as two goals in four second-half minutes earned Blackburn a comfortable victory. Daniel Ayala’s bullet header from a Joe Rothwell corner and Chile international Ben Brereton Diaz’s fine curling finish consigned the Tigers to a fourth defeat in six.
Richie Smallwood was handed the captain’s armband against his former club as Grant McCann made two changes from the goalless draw with Swansea City. Matt Smith also came in as George Moncur dropped to the bench, with Tom Huddlestone rested and Andy Cannon returning to the matchday 18.
The Tigers, who arrived at Ewood Park on the back of two creditable scoreless draws against AFC Bournemouth and the Swans, started positively in East Lancashire. Lewie Coyle’s sumptuous crossfield pass, executed first time on the half-volley, perfectly picked out the run of Keane Lewis-Potter, who checked inside Ryan Nyambe before blazing high over the bar.
Leighton Clarkson volleyed well wide from a partially-cleared corner as Rovers responded, with Tyrhys Dolan showing quick feet before curling a delightful right-footed effort inches wide. The Tigers controlled the rest of the half; Matt Smith span on a sixpence before seeing a drive blocked by Ayala and Lewis-Potter jinked away from Dolan before skying from 25 yards.
The visitors continued to ask questions, with Josh Magennis’ fizzing shot from the edge of the box beaten away by Rovers keeper Thomas Kaminski. Dolan reminded the Tigers’ defence of his talents six minutes before the break with another jinking run and bending shot, reminiscent of his earlier one, which Matt Ingram swatted away.
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Blackburn Rovers: Thomas Kaminski; Ryan Nyambe, Darragh Lenihan ©, Daniel Ayala, Harry Pickering; Lewis Travis, Joe Rothwell, Leighton Clarkson (Dan Butterworth 54’), John Buckley (Reda Khadra 54’), Ben Brereton Diaz, Tyrhys Dolan (Jacob Davenport 89’).
Subs not used: Aynsley Pears, Hayden Carter, Connor McBride, Tyler Magloire.
Hull City: Matt Ingram; Lewie Coyle, Di’Shon Bernard, Jacob Greaves, Callum Elder; Richie Smallwood ©, Matt Smith (George Moncur 67’), Greg Docherty; Mallik Wilks (Tyler Smith 77’), Josh Magennis (Ryan Longman 68’), Keane Lewis-Potter.
Subs not used: Nathan Baxter, Josh Emmanuel, Andy Cannon, Sean McLoughlin.
Attendance: 9,140 (463 Hull City supporters).