Report | Blackburn Rovers 0 Swansea City 1
Swansea City got back to winning ways with a hard-fought victory over Blackburn Rovers as they claimed the spoils at Ewood Park for the first time in 52 years.
Liam Cullen’s curling effort gave the visitors the lead on the half-hour mark after Jamal Lowe had twice been denied by the assistant’s flag.
The Swans had chances to extend the lead with the best of these falling to Jamie Paterson early in the second half, when he picked the pocket of the defender but couldn’t apply the finish.
The home side – who came into the match on the back of three consecutive wins – put more pressure on in the second half, but failed to really test Carl Rushworth and the Swans were able to hold firm to claim their first win in Blackburn since 1971 and a third consecutive away win in the Championship.
Michael Duff made two changes to the side that lost out to Watford in midweek. Charlie Patino and Josh Tymon returned to the starting line-up with Jay Fulton and Kristian Pedersen dropping to the bench alongside Ben Cabango, who was named in the squad for the first time since picking up a hamstring strain.
The home side got off to a fast start and Callum Brittain probably should have given them the lead inside a minute when he poked Tyrhys Dolan’s cutback wide from close range.
Lowe was on hand to clear Sammie Szmodics' effort off the line after a cleverly worked corner routine, and Rushworth showed bravery when he raced out of his box to beat Szmodics to a through ball.
After seeing out the early pressure, the Swans began to impose themselves on proceedings. Lowe thought he’d given the Swans the lead when he turned Paterson’s knockdown in from close range, only to be thwarted by the offside flag.
And minutes later Lowe bent a right-footed shot around the keeper after spinning behind the defender to meet the ball, only to be denied by the flag again.
The Swans looked the most likely and scored a goal which did count just before the half-hour mark. The ball was worked down the left and then across to Cullen, who took a touch inside and curled a beautiful left-footed shot around the outstretched Leo Wahlstedt and into the bottom corner.
Rushworth had to be alert when another well-worked Blackburn corner routine almost gave James Hill a chance at the back post, while at the other end Jerry Yates’ effort from the edge of the box brought a straight-forward stop from the keeper.
The Swans began the second half as they’d ended the first and had a flurry of chances early on. Yates and Lowe combined down the left with the latter bursting into the box but he was eased out before he could get a shot away.
Paterson then pinched the ball back off Scott Wharton at the edge of his own penalty area, but he placed the shot wide of the far post via a touch off thee keeper, before Cullen’s unleashed a left-footed effort which was straight at Wahlstedt.
The home side wrestled back some control around the hour-mark but, while they had plenty of the ball in the Swans’ third, Duff’s side kept a good defensive shape and denied Rovers many opportunities to test Rushworth.
Two tame Szmodics efforts at the near post were the only saves the Brighton & Hove Albion loanee was forced to make while substitute Harry Leonard blasted wide after his run in behind the defence was picked out by Adam Wharton.
The Swans were able to see out a scrappy, stop-start final 10 minutes to take all three points and claim a third consecutive away win, with Rushworth denying Leonard's header from close range in the final moments.
Swansea City: Carl Rushworth, Harry Darling, Matt Grimes (captain), Jerry Yates (Ben Cabango 89’), Jamal Lowe, Jamie Paterson (Ollie Cooper 83’), Josh Tymon, Charlie Patino (Jay Fulton 72’), Liam Cullen, Harrison Asby, Bashir Humphreys.
Substitutes: Andy Fisher, Kristian Pedersen, Nathan Tjoe-A-On, Kyle Naughton, Liam Walsh, Cameron Congreve.
Blackburn Rovers: Leo Wahlstedt, Callum Brittain (Dilan Markanday 45’), Harry Pickering, James Hill, Sondre Tronstad, Arnor Sigurdsson (Andy Moran 45’), Sammie Szmodics (captain), Tyrhys Dolan (Adam Wharton 60’), Joe Rankin-Costello (Harry Leonard 64’), Scott Wharton, Hayden Carter.
Substitutes: Joe Hilton, Tom Atcheson, Jake Garrett, Semir Telalovic, Niall Ennis.
Attendance: 13,102 (561 away)