Report: Blackburn Rovers 0-2 Millwall

MILLWALL stunned Blackburn Rovers with two breathtaking goals to extend their unbeaten run in the Championship to 11 matches.

Chris Wood and James Henry both scored long-range efforts of the highest quality to move the Lions up to sixth in the league table – and secure their first win at Ewood Park since 1986.

With Liam Trotter out injured, manager Kenny Jackett was boosted ahead of kick-off by the return of Jimmy Abdou from paternity leave and he lined-up alongside Josh Wright in the centre of midfield.

Henry, who made his comeback from a hamstring injury as a second-half substitute against Leeds United last weekend, replaced Liam Feeney on the right side of midfield as Millwall made two changes to their starting line-up.

It was from Henry’s quick free-kick in the seventh minute that Andy Keogh thought he had given the visitors the lead, glancing a header in at the near post, but his effort was ruled out for offside.

Incredibly, Millwall – and the same combination of players – were denied again by the officials when Keogh nodded in Henry’s pinpoint cross, only to see the linesman’s flag raised again as he wheeled away in celebration.

The Lions were not perturbed by those early disappointments and continued to carve out chances. After Ruben Rochina’s low drive had been tipped behind by David Forde at the other end, Wood had a shot parried by Paul Robinson in the 30th minute.

In the same passage of play, Keogh’s attempted flick from close range was hooked over his own crossbar by Martin Olsson and behind for a corner.

Blackburn rallied as half-time approached, forcing a string of corners, and Mark Beevers made a crucial block to clear Rochina’s dangerous low cross before Markus Olsson blasted over from the edge of the area five minutes before the break.

Rovers picked up where they had left off after the restart and Jordan Rhodes, who was quiet in the opening period, headed over Rochina’s cross in the first minute of the second-half.

Forde made two crucial saves in quick succession to keep the home side at bay as they pushed for the opening goal; first to deny Olsson in the 48th minute and then substitute Josh King, parrying both shots behind from a tight angle.

Millwall attacks were becoming less frequent but Chris Taylor went close when he cut inside from the left flank and curled a shot towards the far corner, but the ball drifted inches wide with Robinson rooted to the spot.

Blackburn appeared to be building up a head of steam after Danny Murphy, Rochina and King all had efforts on goal, but it was the visitors who broke the deadlock in stunning fashion.

In the the 72nd minute, Wood charged at the Rovers defence, nutmegged Grant Hanley and, without breaking stride, unleashed an unstoppable drive into the roof of the net from 20-yards out.

Wood had a second goal ruled out off for offside – the Lions’ third of the game – after he converted Josh Wright’s through-ball in the 85th minute.

But Millwall were not to be denied a killer second goal. In the last minute of normal time, Henry picked up possession on the edge of the area and arrowed a rocket into the far corner to seal a memorable win.

Blackburn Rovers: Robinson, Henley, Hanley, Dann, Olsson, Formica (Gomes, 72mins), Murphy (Vukcevic, 84mins)  Etuhu, Olsson (King, 54mins), Rhodes, Rochina. Subs not used: Kean, Givet, Pedersen, Lowe.

Millwall: Forde, A.Smith, Lowry, Abdou, Shittu, Beevers, C.Taylor (Malone, 87mins), Wright, Keogh, Wood, Henry. Subs not used: M.Taylor, J.Smith, Osborne, Racon, N’Guessan, Feeney.

Staff

(@NewsAtDen)