Report and highlights from the Sky Bet Championship clash between Blackburn Rovers and Bristol City at Ewood Park as Tony Mowbray’s side played out a goalless draw with Nigel Pearson’s Robins on Wednesday night.
Wednesday 17 March 2021 22:56, UK
Blackburn’s winless home league run stretched to six games following an uneventful 0-0 draw with Bristol City.
The result and entertainment were no surprise considering the form of the respective teams. No team had picked up fewer points than Blackburn in the previous 10 Sky Bet Championship games and the Robins only have four more themselves in that time.
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It showed as these out-of-form mid-table sides struggled to create anything of note. Neither looked like conceding, but there was little by way of inspiration in an insipid encounter.
The closest either side came was in the closing minutes when Famara Diedhiou’s shot was tipped onto a post.
But anything other than a draw would have been unjust.
Blackburn are enduring their worst home run in the league since the end of 2004, while Bristol City remain unbeaten on the road since Nigel Pearson took charge.
Rovers were without Bradley Dack after his cruciate ligament injury but recalled top scorer Adam Armstrong and Lewis Holtby made his first start of the year as part of six changes.
Max O’Leary played in goal for the visitors after illness ruled out Daniel Bentley.
Armstrong misdirected an inviting Barry Douglas cross wide, while former Blackburn loanee Kasey Palmer poked straight at goalkeeper Thomas Kaminski early on.
Rovers’ top scorer saw a shot well blocked by Adrian Mariappa in a first half that never got going.
The best chances fell towards the end when Palmer dispossessed a dozing Bradley Johnson but Nahki Wells could only lash wide from 20 yards.
At the other end, a surging Joe Rothwell run opened up space for Joe Rankin-Costello on the right but O’Leary pushed his near-post shot around the post.
It was a similarly laboured affair after the restart. Armstrong headed wide when well-placed in the 55th minute and a delightful Holtby cross only needed a touch to yield an opener moments later.
The Robins made a rare foray forward on the hour mark, with Wells crossing from the left for Palmer, whose first-time drive was directed straight at a grateful Kaminski.
Palmer tried his luck from 25 yards shortly afterwards too, but the keeper made a comfortable diving save.
In the final 10 minutes, Holtby showed his class with a superb touch to bring the ball under control in the area, yet could only find the side-netting.
Bristol City almost snatched the points after an errant clearance found Diedhiou four minutes from time. He took aim and hammered goal-wards from 25 yards but Kaminski pulled off a terrific save, diving to his left to tip the ball onto the post and preserve the point.
What the managers said…
Blackburn’s Tony Mowbray: “There was a lot of good stuff, there was 90 per cent of what we need, we’re just lacking that individuality, that bit of class that teams at the top end of this table have. We’ve felt that all year really. It wasn’t a tight game really, it was a one-sided game but we couldn’t break it down, so it was a frustrating night for us. They weren’t even trying to score by the end.
“Listen, you have to score. I don’t feel we get a scruffy goal sometimes. There was enough play around their box, enough balls going in their box. It didn’t break for us. We had enough half-efforts, half-chances. There were enough chances for us to score but it wasn’t to be. The way we’re asking the team to perform and play, there’s a big percentage right, and yet you get judged ultimately on results.”
Bristol City’s Nigel Pearson: “It turned out to be a decent point. A different sort of game than we’ve had of late. We’ve lost a lot of games this year so it was a good, fighting point. They’re a decent side, pass the ball well but we made it particularly difficult for them. If you’re a possession-based person you might say they might have nicked it, but I don’t think they created too many open goal-scoring situations. We had some reasonable chances but it was a hard-fought game.
“I’m very satisfied with the application and intent we showed. Maybe if we had been able to win more points like tonight, we would be in a better place. All I’m interested in and pleased about is that we showed a collective desire to not lose the game and when you’ve got the players we’ve got, you’ve always got a chance of winning too, so it’s a positive night in many ways.”
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