Blackburn Rovers 0 v 1 Burnley (Sky Bet Championship)
Derby day arrived in East Lancashire with Burnley visiting Ewood Park unbeaten in the last four games against Blackburn Rovers and looking for their second away win in a row in this fixture.
There were a number of players on show that had played for both clubs including David Jones, Michael Keane and Blackburn’s Nathan Delfouneso and Shane Duffy. So both clubs are aware of what this fixture means to the supporters.
Blackburn Rovers started the game the better of the two sides and it was Jordan Rhodes who had the first effort at goal on ten minutes, when he collected an Olsson cross at the end of the Burnley area, but his shot when over Tom Heaton’s crossbar.
Rovers then had a couple of corners, before Ben Marshall struck a left footed shot from outside the area, which was well blocked by Burnley’s Andre Gray on seventeen minutes.
The visitors started to come more into the game on the half hour mark when Scott Arfield found Sam Vokes at the edge of the Rovers area. But his right-footed effort was well blocked by Blackburn captain Grant Hanley.
Burnley then had three changes in three minutes, the first chance fell to George Boyd who’s first time shot from the edge of the Blackburn area was blocked by the defence.
Sam Vokes had the second chance on thirty-six minutes following a David Jones pass, but his shot from outside of the area went wide of Steele’s left-hand post.
Scott Arfield then had a great chance a minute later following an excellent pass from Joey Barton, but has shot from the left-hand side of the Rovers area was well saved by Steele.
On forty-three minutes, Blackburn should have taken the lead when a Craig Conway cross from deep found Jordan Rhodes on the edge of the six yard box, but his free header went just over Tom Heaton’s crossbar.
Just two minutes later, Rhodes missed an even easier chance to give Blackburn the lead following a great pass from Tom Lawrence. The striker found himself clear at the edge of the Burnley area, but he put his shot just over Heaton’s crossbar to make the half-time score 0-0.
The second half began as the first finished, as Craig Conway collected the ball on the left-hand side of the box, before sending a well struck shot just over the top left-hand side of Tom Heaton’s crossbar.
On fifty-five minutes, Tom Lawrence missed the chance of the match after Jordan Rhodes put him clear inside the area with only Heaton to beat. However Lawrence went for power and blasted the ball over the Burnley crossbar from six yards.
On the hour, Jordan Rhodes had another opportunity from the middle of the Burnley area, but his left-footed shot was well saved by Tom Heaton in the Burnley goal.
On sixty-three minutes, Burnley took the lead following a free-kick into the Rovers area which Craig Conway head back across the box, Ben Mee missed kicked his shot before laying the ball back to Scott Arfield who curled the ball into the goal to put Burnley 1-0 ahead.
Rovers captain Grant Hanley then went close on seventy-four minutes but his shot from eight years was blocked by former Burnley loan player Nathan Delfouneso as his captain’s shot went out for a goal kick.
Eight minutes later, Craig Conway collected the ball on the left-wing before cutting into the middle of the pitch and shooting from 35 yards, his effort beat Tom Heaton but struck the Clarets crossbar and bounced free.
In the final minute, Shane Duffy should have brought Blackburn level but his header from Six yards was well saved by Tom Heaton as he tipped the ball over the bar for a corner, to leave the final score 1-0 to Burnley.
The victory moved the Clarets to second in the Championship league table and saw 4,800 travelling Burnley supporters return to Burnley in 60 coaches down the M65. Sean Dyche now has a week to prepare the squad for a home clash with Huddersfield town at Turf Moor on Halloween.
Speaking after the match Burnley manager Sean Dyche said, “That one is for the players, staff, but it’s mainly for the fans. I said before the game, I wasn’t looking for headlines; it’s the people’s game and you want to come out on the right side of it, and we have again.
Credit to Blackburn because they have opened us up for a few chances and certainly a great one in the second half. But other than that we handled them pretty well and we’ve scored a sublime goal.
Scott Arfield illuminated the derby with a fabulous curling effort midway through the second half, before sprinting eighty yards to celebrate with the Clarets fans. The control and detail in the technique was fantastic. I wasn’t so keen on the celebration, although I understand why.
Dyche added: “How we didn’t get a penalty is beyond me. I’ve seen it back and Joey Barton is fouled. If it’s not, there’s some afters and someone trips him up and should be sent off. If that had been Joey Barton tripping someone up, I think he gets sent off.”
Blackburn Rovers – Steele, Marshall, Duffy, Hanley, Olsson, Delfouneso, Evans, Akpon, Lawrence, Rhodes, Conway, (Subs) Taylor, Henley, Spurr, O’Sullivan, Raya, Williamson, Kilgallon
Burnley – Heaton, Darikwa, Duff, Keane, Mee, Barton, Jones, Arfield, Boyd, Vokes, Gray (Subs) Gilks, Lowton, Taylor, C.Long, Henning, Ward, Kightly
Goals – (Burnley) Arfield (63)
Attendance – 19,897