Blackburn 2-0 Derby: Joe Rothwell and Bradley Dack earn Rovers win
Derby left three points adrift of play-off places after defeat at Ewood Park.
Last Updated: 09/04/19 11:08pm
Two goals late in the second half gave Blackburn a deserved 2-0 win over Sky Bet Championship play-off hopefuls Derby.
Joe Rothwell's deft finish in the 76th minute - his first for the club - gave Rovers a lead they had been threatening for some time, and Bradley Dack's finish one yard out in stoppage time gave the scoreline a more accurate look.
In truth, they should have beaten Frank Lampard's subdued side more comfortably and saw three efforts cleared off the line in the second half.
Derby's top six chances have been dented by this inept display and they will have to play better to gatecrash the play-offs.
They are three points off the top six after seeing their winless away run stretch to seven, while Rovers remain 16th after ending a run of three straight defeats.
Blackburn recalled Dack as five changes were made from the defeat to Stoke. Former England international Ashley Cole replaced the injured Scott Malone - one of two Rams changes.
Lampard's men were strangely lacklustre, with Rovers registering early chances through Danny Graham's effort that hit the side netting, and Craig Conway's floating cross that forced Kelle Roos into a fine intervention to tip away.
However, Derby wasted a clear chance as the half wore on when Tom Lawrence played in Harry Wilson on the right but the Rams' top scorer drilled wide when well placed.
They would have paid a heavy price had Roos not superbly tipped behind to deny Amari'i Bell a goal on his 50th Rovers appearance.
Derby registered their first shot on target just after the break through a Lawrence snapshot from 20 yards that David Raya had to palm behind.
But the hosts proceeded to pile on the pressure and a towering Graham header from Conway's corner was blocked in the six-yard box as Derby struggled to stem the tide.
They went closer still in the 68th minute when Harrison Reed drove forward and lifted in a perfect cross for Rothwell, whose controlled volley was thwarted by a vital Jayden Bogle block on the line.
But Blackburn got the goal they so richly deserved 14 minutes from time as Graham cushioned the ball to Rothwell, who raced clear and delicately lifted the ball above Roos and in off the post.
The visitors barely flickered and Rovers' midfielder Lewis Travis saw his low shot on the counter blocked on the line by Duane Oliver.
But it did not matter as Blackburn made sure of the points in injury time when Joe Nuttall's shot was blocked and Dack reacted quickest to tap in his 16th of the season.
Tony Mowbray: "(Danny) Graham's strength and power created it (our first goal) and Rothwell ran in behind and finished it with great aplomb. He dinked it over the goalie and I thought it epitomised his performance. He's an exciting talent, he's exceedingly fast, he keeps the ball really tight. We want him running towards the opposition goal rather than across the pitch.
"When you've been on the run we've been on, you do half look over your shoulder. Tonight, we got to 50 points - though we went down two seasons ago with 51 - but we've got to keep playing, express ourselves and pick up as many points as we can."
Frank Lampard: "The performance wasn't good, and we've not been like that. Our performances have been good in the last batch of games. Today it wasn't, and you drop your standards in this league, if a lot of your players in the team are not at their best, it's hard to win games so I can't complain tonight.
"This is the Championship and we see teams across the board have these moments. Finding the consistency is everyone's battle but we're not in a position to moan because we know what we're capable of and we have to get back to it quickly."