Blackburn Rovers moved back into second place in the Championship after a controlled game against Hull City secured a fourth win in a row.
Sammie Szmodic’s classy finish early in the first half proved enough as Rovers kept a disappointing Tigers side at bay.
Top scorer Ben Brereton Diaz and Sam Gallagher were denied further goals after the break by clever crosses from Nathan Baxter.
Hull never threatened in their win over Rovers in the corresponding fixture last season in January – after owner Acun Ilicali took over – failing to produce a goal all afternoon as Jacob Greaves and Dimitrios Pelkas conceded a free header.
Rovers’ 11th win of the season moves them back into second place, three points ahead of Queens Park Rangers, and two points behind leaders Burnley.
In-form Rovers got off to a good start with Szmodics – back in the side after missing out on last Saturday’s win at Birmingham – showing their confidence in winning and completing a fine move to put the visitors ahead.
Receiving a pass from Adam Wharton beyond Hull’s defensive line, Szmodics found the bottom left-hand side of the net with a right-footed effort for his fourth goal of the season.
The Tigers were chasing a third straight win and a league title to beat Blackburn for the first time since 1970, but they posed only a brief threat in the first half when Thomas Kaminski headed home Ryan’s early cross. Longman and Greaves are still trying their best. .
They were fortunate not to fall behind before half-time when Baxter pushed home Brereton Diaz’s shot from 12 yards after some poor defending.
Interim boss Andy Dawson made a double change at the break in a bid to shore up Hull’s deficit and it looked to be having an effect, only for Greaves to head over from a corner and Pelkas to dive over to spoil the chances. with heads out of the way.
Baxter then had to be at his best to stop Rovers extending their lead – pushing away Brereton Diaz’s effort from 12 yards before denying Gallagher one-on-one after being found by a defender Chile.
Hull enjoyed more possession as the game progressed, but lost for the first time in three games after finding Rovers unwilling to relinquish their narrow lead.
Hull interim manager Andy Dawson told BBC Radio Humberside:
“I was disappointed with the first half – we showed them too much respect, we weren’t really aggressive enough.
“I think the one thing we’ve done really well recently is keep the ball and I think we’ve turned it over very cheaply. That’s the last thing you want to do against a team that have property.
“We had a very good performance in the second half and created a few good chances but they were small – we met a good team today.”
Blackburn Rovers head coach Jon Dahl Tomasson told BBC Radio Lancashire:
“I think it was well deserved – a big credit to the players.
“We got the tactics right in the first half, controlled the game and scored a good goal – we could have scored more and killed the game before half-time.
“It was a good win and a good performance.”
- 6FigueiredoRecorded in 78 minutesIt has been replacedCoyleto 90′minutes
- 5JonesIt has been replacedFlemingto 45′minutes
- 24SeriIt has been replacedTufanto 45′minutes
- 15WoodsRecorded in 29 minutes
- 8DochertyIt has been replacedEstupiñánto 67′minutes
- 16LongmanIt has been replacedSinikto 80′minutes
- 16WhartonRecorded in 61 minutes
- 3To choose
- 36WhartonIt has been replacedSendto 62′minutes
- 10DolanIt has been replacedCarterto 62′minutes
- 8SzmodicsIt has been replacedDuckto 71′minutes
- 9GallagherIt has been replacedValeto 71′minutes
- David Webb
Game over, Hull City 0, Blackburn Rovers 1.
Second Half ends, Hull City 0, Blackburn Rovers 1.
Attempt blocked. Ben Brereton (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Foul by Ryan Woods (Hull City).
Bradley Dack (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Difference, Hull City. Lewie Coyle replaces Tobias Figueiredo.
Foul by Dogukan Sinik (Hull City).
Lewis Travis (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Corner, Hull City. Hosted by Daniel Ayala.
Handball by Ben Brereton (Blackburn Rovers).
The attempt failed. Regan Slater (Hull City) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Dimitris Pelkas.
Difference, Hull City. Dogukan Sinik replaces Ryan Longman.
Foul by Dominic Hyam (Blackburn Rovers).
Dimitris Pelkas (Hull City) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Tobias Figueiredo (Hull City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Tyler Morton (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Tobias Figueiredo (Hull City).
Foul by Jack Vale (Blackburn Rovers).
Cyrus Christie (Hull City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Dominic Hyam (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.