Birmingham City 1-2 Blackburn Rovers: Tony Mowbray ends his tenure with victory

Ben Brereton Diaz celebrates
Ben Brereton Diaz’s 24th goal of the season could have been his best

Blackburn Rovers gave outgoing manager Tony Mowbray one last memory to savor as two marvelous first-half strikes helped his side beat Birmingham City.

Rovers had the best chances of the first half and eventually took the lead when John Buckley exploded into the top corner from 30 yards out.

Top scorer Ben Brereton Diaz doubled the lead with an excellent strike into the top corner just before half-time.

Kristian Pedersen marked his last game for City with a late consolation as he entered the box and saw his low left-footed shot go into the bottom right corner.

The win sees Rovers finish the season in eighth place, with Leaving Mowbray 267 games after his appointment in February 2017.

Blues boss Lee Bowyer – who doubted his future at St Andrew’s – saw his side finish 20th, having won just one of their last 10 games.

Neil Etheridge made good saves from Sam Gallagher and Ryan Hedges as Rovers had the better of a chance, with Hedges proving a particular thorn in City’s side early on.

It was Hedges who released the ball for Buckley’s spectacular opener and he should have gotten the second shortly before Brereton Diaz found the net, as he blazed when unmarked at eight meters.

Jordan James produced the Blues’ best effort in the first half when he forced Thomas Kaminski around the post shortly after losing a goal.

Lyle Taylor nearly pulled one back four minutes after the break, but Kaminski did well to save his header at the far post, while at the other end Etheridge did well to fend off efforts from Brereton Diaz and Hedges.

Pedersen, whose contract ends this summer, capped off his four-year Blues career with his second goal in three games as his side’s poor form continued until the end of the campaign – amid reports of a possible takeover at St Andrew’s.

Birmingham City manager Lee Bowyer told BBC WM:

“I think it’s another one of them where we don’t do too much harm, I don’t think any of the goalkeepers really touched the ball in the first half.

“Both teams canceled each other out and two brilliant moments put us two behind without doing anything wrong.

“Those are two incredible strikes from distance, the two best strikes I’ve seen all season from a mile across the country.

“But fair play to the players at half time, they got up and took a chance in the second half and we got a goal back but just couldn’t equalise.”

Blackburn Rovers manager Tony Mowbray told BBC Radio Lancashire:

“It was a good performance, a good win for us, just a bit too late in the season.

“I think at the end of the day if you break it down we didn’t score enough goals, and to be fair today we scored two World Goals, they were both goal contenders in the season for us and you don’t get them every week.

“It’s been 13 times since we scored, as long as it lasts, and if you don’t score you can’t win.

“For us it was a good day, I was delighted with the goals we scored, delighted with the overall level of control we had.

“The season is over, we just missed out and hopefully this club can build on the points accumulation this year and next season take it into the 70s or 80s.”



Training 4-1-4-1

  • 1Etheridge
  • 2Hake
  • 4Robert
  • 50Gordon
  • 3Pedersen
  • 34Sunjic
  • 7ChongReplaced bybellinghamto 60′minutes
  • 19james
  • 21BacunaReplaced byEntranceto 59′minutes
  • 25Hernandez
  • 33taylorReplaced byhoganto 90′minutes


  • 5Friend
  • 6Woods
  • 9hogan
  • 24Graham
  • 27true man
  • 35Entrance
  • 39bellingham


Training 4-2-3-1

  • 1Kaminsky
  • 15Brown
  • 5Ayala
  • 16Wharton
  • 3Pickering
  • 27Travis
  • 20EdunBooked at 43 minsReplaced byDuckto 45′minutes
  • 19Hedges
  • 21Buckley
  • 22Brereton DiazReplaced byMarkandayto 66′minutes
  • 9GallagherReplaced byValleyto 77′minutes


  • tenDolan
  • 11Rankin Costello
  • 18Markanday
  • 23Duck
  • 26Lenihan
  • 37Valley
  • 45Eastham

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