Watch: Stunning Liam Cullen goal ends Swansea hoodoo at Blackburn
Liam Cullen scored the only goal as Swansea beat Blackburn 1-0 for their first Ewood Park victory since 1971.
The Welshman’s second of the season – a sumptuous curling strike in the 28th minute – was the perfect response to a fast Rovers start that saw Callum Brittain and Sammie Szmodics both spurn chances to put the hosts ahead.
Swansea’s Jamie Paterson should have profited from a defensive lapse early in the second half but was denied by Leo Wahlstedt and they had to show their character to weather a late Rovers storm that saw substitute Harry Leonard twice miss glorious chances.
The visitors held on to win their third consecutive game on the road and climb up to 13th, a place and a point behind Blackburn who will rue the chances missed at either end of this encounter.
Rovers missed a gilt-edged opportunity in the first minute when Tyrhys Dolan’s left-wing cross fell perfectly to Brittain six yards out but he steered the ball beyond the post.
Their dominance continued and Szmodics almost finished off a well-worked corner but though his shot beat Carl Rushworth, Jamal Lowe brilliantly cleared off the line.
Swansea looked in danger of being overrun but Cullen flashed one wide from the right soon after, before Lowe twice had the ball in the net only to be denied both times by the offside flag.
There was no reprieve in the 28th minute though as Swansea moved the ball brilliantly to Cullen on the right who cut back on to his left foot before whipping a superb strike into the far corner from 20 yards.
Swansea’s Liam Cullen with his second goal of the campaign this afternoon 🙌🏴 pic.twitter.com/CeUVXghpKU
— welshfootie (@welshfootie) October 28, 2023
The visitors had a further sight of goal just before the break when they worked the ball to Jerry Yates just outside the area but his shot did not have the power to trouble Wahlstedt.
Rovers made alterations at half-time and one of the substitutes, Andrew Moran, set Szmodics up in the 54th minute but he blazed over.
Swansea should have made doubled their advantage two minutes later when Scott Wharton gifted the ball to Paterson on the edge of his own area but Wahlstedt produced a stunning save with his outstretched leg to divert behind.
The hosts looked the more dangerous as the game wore on and Leonard’s run and cross found Szmodics whose first-time strike was well held by Rushworth.
Leonard missed an even better chance in the 75th minute when Adam Wharton’s pass set him clear but he hammered wide of the left post.
A frantic finish saw Harry Darling’s 82nd-minute header cleared by Harry Pickering, before Blackburn passed up another great opportunity when Leonard met James Hill’s 90th-minute cross perfectly only to power his header straight at the grateful Rushworth.
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