Ben Brereton Diaz takes tally to 20 as Blackburn beat Barnsley



Posted Thursday, December 30, 2021 by PA

Ben Brereton Diaz takes tally to 20 as Blackburn beat Barnsley

Ben Brereton Diaz struck his 20th Championship goal of the season as Blackburn beat struggling Barnsley 2-1 to move level on points with second-placed Fulham.

The Chile international’s clinical finish in the 65th minute settled a game that the hosts threatened to run away with but could not shake off the Tykes who put up a spirited display that belied their lowly position.

Joe Rothwell slotted in Blackburn’s opener after 24 minutes to cap a sustained spell of pressure.

Barnsley survived the onslaught and equalised through Carlton Morris’ deflected strike which breached the Rovers defence for the first time in nine hours.

But Blackburn’s star man showed why he is in demand, providing the extra quality to seal the points and a sixth consecutive league victory – the first time they have achieved that feat since November 2000, when they beat Barnsley.

Poya Asbaghi’s men are the only Championship side not to win away this season, losing two and drawing one of his three games in charge. He can be encouraged with the performance against the league’s most potent home attack, but they remain seven points from safety.

Callum Styles produced a sprawling save from Thomas Kaminski in the 15th minute as the strugglers made an assured start, but Rovers aggressively set about their business thereafter, with Rothwell surging into the area shortly afterwards, placing a 12-yard shot that struck a post and rolled agonisingly across goal.

John Buckley should have done better moments later but fired wide. The reprieve did not last, though, as Rovers hit the front in the 24th minute when Buckley intercepted another loose pass and set Rothwell clear and he calmly rolled the ball beyond Brad Collins for his second goal of the season.

Brereton Diaz was denied a tap-in in the 35th minute by a wonderful last-ditch challenge from Styles as Rovers threatened to run away with it.

They were made to pay for the missed chances in first-half stoppage time when the ball bounced to Morris 12 yards out and his fierce drive took a wicked deflection before hitting a post and creeping over the line.

Rovers burst back into life in the second half and Brereton Diaz was denied by another heroic intervention, this time from Michal Helik, before the Tykes had one of their best spells of possession.

But Blackburn have the quality to decide tight games and that was the case here, as Brereton Diaz raced down the left to meet Buckley’s pass before firing a low drive into the far corner.

Sam Gallagher stung Collins’ palms in stoppage time before Brereton Diaz lashed a glorious chance wide, and there was still time for Styles to fire just over at the death.

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