Brereton Diaz bags brace as Blackburn brush aside Rotherham
Ben Brereton Diaz’s double helped Blackburn to an emphatic 3-0 victory over Rotherham at Ewood Park as they continued their win or lose sequence of results under Jon Dahl Tomasson.
Chile striker Brereton Diaz took his tally for the season to seven with a first-half penalty and a close-range finish after the break before Sammie Szmodics added the third.
The victory put Rovers just outside the play-off places on goal difference, leaving new Millers boss Matt Taylor still looking for his maiden win following the midweek home draw with Millwall in his first game.
Tomasson will be delighted with the win but will be hoping for some greater consistency in results.
Rovers have now won seven of their Championship games but lost six in an up-and-down campaign.
Each of their last four league wins have been followed by a defeat, a sequence Tomasson will hope they can break when they go to local rivals Wigan on Tuesday.
The Millers were the more threatening team in the early stages with Oliver Rathbone seeing his curling effort tipped away by Rovers keeper Thomas Kaminsky and Tom Eaves striking a post with a shot.
Rovers had not managed an attempt on goal when they were awarded a penalty in the 20th minute as Grant Hall pulled over Tyler Morton to leave referee Oliver Langford with an easy decision to point to the spot.
Brereton Diaz sent Viktor Johansson the wrong way with an emphatic penalty.
The goal lifted Rovers and Dominic Hyam went close to a second when he hooked the ball over the bar following a corner.
Rotherham remained a threat however and kept the Blackburn defence on their toes. Ben Wiles curled a shot just wide, before Kaminsky darted off his line to save at the feet of Wiles who had been put through by Dan Barlaser’s pass.
Scott Wharton made a vital interception to deny Chiedozie Ogbene’s shot after he had raced past Daniel Ayala and into a dangerous position. From the corner Wes Harding headed over.
Rovers pressed for a second goal early in the second half.
Brereton Diaz sent over a dangerous low cross but none of his team-mates were far enough forward to convert. Then Szmodics sent a diving header wide from Ryan Hedges’ cross before Sam Gallagher fired a 20-yard shot straight at Johansson.
It was no surprise when Brereton Diaz put Rovers 2-0 up after 64 minutes. Lewis Travis sent Szmodics away down the right wing and his superb cross invited a first-time finish from Brereton Diaz who muscled his way in front of Brooke Norton-Cuffy to score from six yards.
Brereton Diaz limped off injured but it did not stop Blackburn from adding a third in the 75th minute when the impressive Szmodics slotted home after a pass from substitute Tyrhys Dolan.