Blackburn Rovers moved back into second place in the Championship after a controlled display against Hull City secured their fourth win in a row.
Sammie Szmodic’s classy first half proved enough for Rovers to comfortably frustrate the Tigers team at bay.
Top scorer Ben Brereton denied Diaz and Sam Gallagher further goals after a break from Nathan Baxter stopped the team.
Hull never threatened to repeat their defeat at Rovers in last season’s corresponding fixture in January – after owner Acun Ilicali had completed his takeover – failing to produce an attacking effort all afternoon, as Jacob Greaves and Dimitrio Pelkas missed with free headers.
It brings Rovers’ 11-time winning streak to second, three points clear of Queen’s Park Rangers, and two points behind leaders Burnley.
In-form Rovers began brilliantly with Szmodic – in the side missing last Saturday’s back-to-back win over Birmingham – epitomizing his confidence in possession and a fine move ahead for the visitors.
Picking up a perfectly weighted pass from Adam Wharton beyond the Hull defensive line, Szmodics found the bottom left corner of the net with a footed effort for the fourth goal of the season.
The Tigers followed up with a third straight victory and Blackburn’s first consecutive league win since 1970, but there was only occasional danger in the first half when Thomas Kaminski snatched away Ryan Longman’s early cross and widened an effort with his boots at the crucial moment. .
They were fortunate not to fall further behind after half-time when Baxter fired a shot from Brereton Diaz from 12 yards after some poor defending.
Meanwhile, boss Andy Dawson made a double substitution at the break showing Hull’s lackluster pep-up and it seemed to be having an effect, only for the boots from a corner and Pelkas to waste good chances with a stray header.
Baxter then had to be at his most agile to stop Rovers extending their lead – pushing back Brereton Diaz’s effort from 12 yards before Gallagher was denied in a one-on-one after being found by the Chile forward.
Hull had more possession than they had in the contest but suffered their first defeat in three games after Rovers could find no way to let go of the narrow advantage they slipped to.
Meanwhile, Hull boss Andy Dawson told BBC Radio Humberside:
“I was disappointed with the first half – we showed them too much respect, we were certainly a little aggressive.
“I think the one thing we’ve done badly lately is keep the ball and I think we turned it over too cheaply. That’s the last thing you want to do against a possession-based team.
“We had a really good half and created a couple of excellent chances but the edges are small – we came up against a really good team today.”
Blackburn Rovers head coach Jon Dahl Tomasson told BBC Radio Lancashire:
I think it is well deserved – great praise for the player.
“In the first half we went tactical, the game continued and we scored a great goal – we had more goals and we killed the game before half time.
“To win big and do well.”
- 6I will figure it outCorruptela at 78minsSubstitutesCoylebut 90′minutes
- 5JonesSubstitutesFlemingbut 45′minutes
- 24SirSubstitutesTufanbut 45′minutes
- 15the woodsCorruptella in 29mins
- 8DochertySubstitutesStupiñánbut 67′minutes
- 16LongmanSubstitutesSinikbut 80′minutes
- 16WhartonCorruptela at 61mins
- 36WhartonSubstitutesAyalabut 62′minutes
- 10DolanSubstitutesCarterbut 62′minutes
- 8SzmodicsSubstitutesDickbut 71′minutes
- 9GallagherSubstitutesGoodbyebut 71′minutes
- David Webb
- Pay attention to:
Match ends, Hull City 0, Blackburn Rovers 1.
Second Half ends, Hull City 0, Blackburn Rovers 1.
The effort is fruitless. Ben Brereton (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Foul by Ryan Woods (Hull City).
Bradley Dack (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Substitution, Hull City. Lewie Coyle replaces Tobias Figueiredo.
Foul by Dogukan Sinik (Hull City).
Lewis Travis (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Corner, Hull City. Courtesy of Daniel Ayala.
Hand ball by Ben Brereton (Blackburn Rovers).
He gave up trying. Regan Slater (Hull City) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. He was assisted by Dimitris Pelkas.
Substitution, Hull City. Dogukan Sinik takes the place of Ryan Longman.
Foul by Dominic Hyam (Blackburn Rovers).
Dimitris Pelkas (Hull City) wins the free kick on the left wing.
Tobias Figueiredo (Hull City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Tyler Morton (Blackburn Rovers) wins the free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Tobias Figueiredo (Hull City).
Foul by Jack Vale (Blackburn Rovers).
Cyrus Christie (Hull City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Dominic Hyam (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.