Stoke city vs Blackburn rovers highlights
Stoke survived a late onslaught to end Blackburn‘s five-match winning run and hold on for a 3-2 victory of their own on Friday night.
Jon Dahl Tomasson’s men enter the game in high spirits following last weekend’s 1-0 win against Sheffield United, with Harry Pickering getting the decisive goal inside the opening five minutes.
Rovers are currently fourth in the table only two points behind third-place Middlesbrough heading into the business end of the season.
Meanwhile, Stoke city find themselves in 16th place and recorded an emphatic 5-1 in at Sunderland last time out, with Tyrese Campbell and Dwight Gayle both bagging braces.
Alex Neil‘s side dealt a major blow to the Black Cat’s hopes of finishing in the play-offs and will have to be at their best again when they face Blackburn. Jon Dahl Tomasson’s team last tasted defeat in a 4-0 hammering at Rotherham United in mid-January.
Previous match history and standings in table
The reverse fixture between the two sides ended with the Potters claiming all three points in a 1-0 win back in August.
Jon Dahl Tomasson’s men who had won four in the Championship in succession and one in the FA Cup were 2-0 down at the break after Ki-Jana Hoever attacked two crosses from the left to score his first two goals in a Potters shirt.
A third from Tyrese Campbell looked to have sealed all three points for Stoke, but Ben Brereton Diaz and Sam Gallagher struck in the closing minutes of the game to make for a tense finale that, ultimately, the hosts came out on top in.
The Potters move up to 13th, nine points outside the top six with 10 games to play, with Blackburn’s automatic promotion hopes taking a hammer blow as a result of their first league defeat since January 14.
They stay fourth, nine points off the top two, but having played one game more than all of their closest promotion rivals.
It would have made sense if Blackburn on a run of five straight wins in all competitions had flown out of the traps at the bet365 and taken control of the game against a side whose faint play-off hopes appear to be gradually slipping away.
But, in the Championship, proceedings are rarely as cut-and-dried as that. It was Stoke 5-1 winners away at Sunderland last Saturday who first marked their territory when Will Smallbone crashed a shot off the crossbar and Stoke who struck first when Hoever brilliantly guided the ball in after being located by Gayle.
With Rovers unable to make in-roads, or even exit their own half at times, the Potters continued in the ascendancy and doubled their lead on 44 minutes when However again rampaged forward on the right to head home a cross, this time provided by captain Josh Laurent.
That goal came within a minute of Smallbone being denied what looked to be a stonewall penalty by referee Matthew Donohue after a trip by Dominic Hyam, while after the goal, Blackburn were denied a spot-kick of their own when Gayle raised his arm to block a Sammie Szmodics shot from the edge of the box.
It looked to be game over with 15 minutes of the 90 to play. Laurent kept the ball alive after a questionably Smallbone free-kick and weaved his way past several Rovers players before pulling the ball across the box where Campbell arrived to slam home.
But Blackburn had other ideas. Brereton Diaz came off the bench to head home his 11th league goal of the season after fellow sub Callum Brittian had hung up a beautiful ball for the Chilean international to attack, and Gallagher then headed in to mount what quickly became a feasible comeback late on.
Stoke, however, did everything in their power to shut up shop thereafter and held on to secure back-to-back wins for the first time since October.