Bradley Dack goal edges Blackburn Rovers past Cardiff
Bradley Dack scored the winner as Blackburn defeated struggling Cardiff 1-0 to end a run of back-to-back Championship defeats.
The midfielder’s 48th-minute strike had more than an element of fortune about it, finding the back of the net via a huge deflection to give him his fourth of the campaign.
It gave third-placed Rovers a much-needed win after a run of five defeats in seven and was just about deserved as they had controlled much of the game before Dack’s goal.
That said, they struggled to make the most of their possession and would have been behind but for an outstanding last-ditch challenge from teenager Jake Garrett in the first half, and further missed chances from Callum Robinson and Mark Harris.
Although Cardiff rallied after going behind, they could not fashion a telling contribution as their winless run stretched to seven.
Blackburn were without the suspended John Buckley, so Garrett deputised. The Bluebirds made four changes from the battling point at Coventry, including a recall for Robinson.
The hosts made a bright start and almost went ahead within two minutes when Sam Gallagher seized upon a poor Cedric Kipre backpass but Ryan Allsop adjusted well to clear the early shot with his feet.
Although second best in the opening exchanges, Cardiff were almost gifted an opener when Joe Rankin-Costello’s loose pass set the visitors clear and with Gavin Whyte set to pull the trigger, Garrett made a wonderful goal-saving intervention in the 17th minute.
It took until the 36th minute for Cardiff to test Thomas Kaminski and it was Robinson who found space on the left of the area but his low left-foot drive was well saved by the Rovers goalkeeper.
And despite having their backs to the wall for most of the half, Cardiff almost went in front in first half stoppage time when Robinson retrieved the ball on the halfway line, moved forward into space and found Harris with a delightful ball but his rasping drive flew just past Kaminski’s near post.
Cardiff’s good work was undone within three minutes of the restart as Rovers took the lead when Ben Brereton Diaz brilliantly controlled a long pass and laid the ball into the path of Dack on the edge of the area whose shot took a wicked deflection off Jack Simpson to completely wrong-foot Allsop to find the corner.
The Bluebirds responded well, but were indebted to Allsop who saved well to deny Brereton Diaz midway through the half.
Perry Ng swiped at a presentable opportunity late on as Cardiff pumped the ball into the box and with the last attack, Callum O’Dowda’s looping header was claimed by Kaminski.
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