Ben Brereton Diaz double helps Blackburn up to third with Birmingham thrashing



Posted Sunday, December 19, 2021 by PA

Ben Brereton Diaz double helps Blackburn up to third with Birmingham thrashing

Ben Brereton Diaz scored a brace as Blackburn climbed up to third in the Sky Bet Championship after thrashing Birmingham 4-0.

Before the game, Blues boss Lee Bowyer said Blackburn were clinical in every department and it took six minutes to prove that theory as the division’s form side opened up Birmingham, allowing John Buckley to score his first of the campaign.

Although the visitors rallied towards the end of the half and were unlucky when Chuks Aneke’s wonderful strike hit the crossbar, Blackburn ruthlessly put them to the sword with three second-half goals.

Reda Khadra’s composed finish made it 2-0 and Brereton Diaz slotted home a penalty on the hour before the Chilean striker capped a fine move with a close-range header, his 19th goal of the term, to round off a perfect afternoon.

Blackburn’s promotion push shows no signs of relenting after they registered a fifth consecutive clean sheet for the first time since 1996/97, and a fifth straight league win for the first time since 2000.

The last time that happened, they were promoted to the Premier League, and in such irresistible form, it is hard to make a case against a return.

Birmingham’s away woes continued with a sixth loss in nine, during which time they have netted just three.

Blackburn cut through the visitors to take an early lead as Jan Paul Van Hecke’s raking pass found Ryan Nyambe who surged forward and his cross was palmed by Matija Sarkic to Buckley who slotted into the bottom corner.

Scott Wharton lashed wide soon after when Sarkic diverted a corner straight to the defender but Rovers were given a reminder of the Birmingham threat when Aneke picked the ball up 25 yards out and curled a brilliant effort that cannoned off the crossbar with Thomas Kaminski well beaten.

Any hopes of a comeback were ruthlessly extinguished by Rovers in the 52nd minute when Darragh Lenihan’s ball in behind the defence found Khadra who rounded the goalkeeper and showed remarkable composure to sit a defender down before finishing confidently.

Rovers were rampant and scored a third from the spot in the 60th minute after Brereton Diaz was brought down by the hapless Sarkic. He picked himself up to send the goalkeeper the wrong way and place into the left corner.

Blackburn substitute Dan Butterworth’s thunderous strike rattled the crossbar in the 77th minute, but Rovers got their fourth two minutes later when his cross looped up and gave Brereton Diaz a simple header on the line for his 19th of the season.

It could have been even more emphatic, as the Chilean’s deft lob clipped the woodwork late on.

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