Preston 4-1 Blackburn: North End too good in derby
Tom Barkhuizen, Callum Robinson, Louis Moult and Alan Browne score for Preston
Last Updated: 24/11/18 6:24pm
Preston extended their unbeaten run to eight games as they sealed a hard-fought 4-1 Lancashire derby win over Blackburn at Deepdale.
Goals from Tom Barkhuizen, Callum Robinson, Louis Moult and Alan Browne stretched the home side's positive record as they produced a star-studded performance when it mattered most.
Blackburn, whose only consolation came through a second-half Danny Graham goal, are now without an away win since October 6.
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The hosts flew out of the blocks and into a 2-0 lead inside the first 10 minutes. Barkhuizen opened the scoring for the Lilywhites after just two minutes, sweeping home at the far post, from Browne's low cross.
Robinson doubled the lead on eight minutes, with his ninth Championship goal of 2018-19, firing home from 15 yards following a through ball from Republic of Ireland team-mate Browne.
Blackburn looked to rally quickly, and defender Darragh Lenihan missed an excellent chance, heading wide from Harrison Reed's deep corner on 22 minutes.
Tony Mowbray's side continued to search for a route back into the game, with skipper Charlie Mulgrew forcing a fine save from Preston keeper Declan Rudd from his free-kick, six minutes later.
Rudd was called into action again on 37 minutes, to save with his legs from Bradley Dack's low drive.
Rovers started the second half determined to make an immediate impact, and half-time substitute Graham pulled one back just three minutes after the restart. The veteran striker took advantage of some slack Preston defending, to head home a Reed free kick.
The visitors continued to pile on the pressure in their search for an equaliser, and Rudd had to be alert to save Elliott Bennett's long-range strike on 55 minutes.
Preston worked hard in midfield to disrupt Blackburn's momentum in the second half and Robinson almost grabbed his second goal of the game on the hour-mark, but he dragged his effort just wide of David Raya's goal.
Neil's side secured the three points on 74 minutes, as substitute Moult turned in Barkhuizen's deflected shot following a great run and cross from Ben Pearson.
Browne capped a man-of-the-match performance with a fourth Preston goal on 85 minutes.
The midfielder linked up brilliantly with Moult on the edge of the Blackburn area, before driving past two tired challenges and crashing an effort beyond Raya.
The hosts almost grabbed a fifth goal in added time, with substitute Brandon Barker slaloming his way into the penalty area, but the Manchester City loanee could not find a finish from 15 yards.
Alex Neil: "I thought it was a good performance today. We started great, got a 2-0 lead, created some great chances and finished our chances really well.
"We started brightly in the second half, but then they got their goal, and that stage we have a decision to make as to whether or not we go for it. But we were aggressive, we wanted to win, and I think that we fully deserved it."
Tony Mowbray: "Much of our defending was uncharacteristic of ourselves today. I felt that we did not deal with their front player at all today.
"There were also some individual errors and collectively we played too deep and invited trouble."