By James Kilpatrick
Blackburn 2-1 Leeds: Danny Graham, Darragh Lenihan sink Marcelo Bielsa's men
Blackburn record back-to-back wins in the Sky Bet Championship.
Last Updated: 22/10/18 4:24pm
Headers from Danny Graham and Darragh Lenihan saw Blackburn beat Leeds 2-1 at Ewood Park in the Sky Bet Championship on Saturday afternoon.
Graham gave Blackburn the ideal start with his early header (2) before Leeds equalised shortly before half-time through Poland international Mateusz Klich (45+1).
Although Leeds pushed hard to take the lead after gaining early momentum in the second half, it was Blackburn's Lenihan who delivered the decisive goal with his powerful header from six yards out (70).
The result means Marcelo Bielsa's side remain in fourth, with Blackburn moving up into fifth on 21 points.
Blackburn: Raya (7), Bennett (6), Mulgrew (7), Lenihan (7), Bell (6), Evans (6), Smallwood (6), Reed (7), Dack (7), Armstrong (8), Graham (7)
Subs: Brereton (6), Conway (7), Rodwell (6)
Leeds Peacock-Farrell (6), Berardi (4), Dallas (5), Jansson (6), Cooper (5), Klich (7), Philips, Alioski (5), Saiz (6), Roofe (7), Roberts (6)
Subs: Shackleton (5), Clarke, (5), Hernandez (5)
Man of the match: Adam Armstrong
The game started at a frantic pace and it was Graham who put the hosts ahead just two minutes in. Harrison Reed's corner was swung into the centre of the penalty box and Graham was there to power his header home to record his fourth goal of the season.
Leeds came close to equalising five minutes later through 19-year-old striker Tyler Roberts, but he was unable to turn in Kemar Roofe's dangerous drilled cross at the near post, and although Leeds were enjoying plenty of the ball, Blackburn came close to doubling their lead through Bradley Dack in the 25th minute, but he dragged his shot wide after a poor clearance from Bailey Peacock-Farrell landed straight into his path.
With Leeds continually pushing for a goal, they found it on the stroke of half-time through Klich. Roberts latched onto Samuel Saiz's dinked ball and squared it across for the Poland international who applied the simple finish.
Leeds started the second half brightly, but it was Blackburn who would come close to scoring again. Adam Armstrong was one of Blackburn's main threats off the flank and, just ten minutes into the second half, he snuck in behind Gaetano Berardi and drilled a shot on goal from a tight angle, but Peacock-Farrell was equal to it as he parried the effort away.
Derrick Williams, Jack Rodwell, Casey Palmer and Joe Rothwell were replaced by Amari’i Bell, Corey Evans, Richard Smallwood and Adam Armstrong.
Luke Ayling (suspended) and Jack Harrison (injury) dropped out with Kemar Roofe and Gaetano Berardi coming in to the starting XI.
For all of Leeds' dominance of possession, a lapse of concentration from a Blackburn corner saw the hosts re-take the lead through Lenihan - the unmarked centre-back rising highest to meet Craig Conway's set-piece and direct his header into the bottom corner.
The visitors came agonisingly close to equalising in the 84th minute through Klich, but his elegantly curled strike was finely tipped over the bar by David Raya as Blackburn held on to record an impressive victory.
Man of the Match - Adam Armstrong
Armstrong was a constant problem for the Leeds defence off the left wing. He led plenty of Blackburn attacks single-handedly and his pace and power gave Stuart Dallas a difficult afternoon.
He nearly came close to scoring in the second half and was also crucial in alleviating the pressure on the Blackburn defence at vital moments.
Tony Mowbray: "We'd had an international break to prepare. It gives the staff a good chance to study the opposition when you've got two weeks to watch five or six full games, try to pick their weaknesses and strengths.
"You come up with gameplans and we had two days to put it together. I'm just so pleased for the players really. The set-plays today are something we worked really hard on."
Marcelo Bielsa: "We needed to win this game, especially after the draw in the last home game. We didn't defend as well as we used to do. The offensive players created difficulties for our defence. We could have avoided the goals they scored. Our offensive play was good enough.
"What we can say is that we lost against a rival that is not better than us. Maybe a draw would have better reflected what happened in the game."
Blackburn travel to Swansea on Tuesday evening. Leeds, meanwhile, host Ipswich on Wednesday evening.