REPORT: Blackburn Rovers 1-1 Leeds United

REPORT: Blackburn Rovers 1-1 Leeds United

All the action from Ewood Park.

Rovers 1 (McBride 73’)

Leeds 1 (Struijk 81’)

Blackburn XI: Kaminski (GK), Nyambe (Pike 70’), Pickering (Cirino 70’), Maglore, Davenport, Armstrong (Vale 71’), Garrett, Buckley (McBride 71’) Carter, Lenihan (C), Dolan (Brereton 45’) 

Subs not used: Eastham (GK), Stergiakis (GK), Annesley, Nolan, Butterworth. 

Leeds XI: Meslier (GK), Firpo (Dallas 61’), Koch (C), Raphinha (Roberts 61’), Llorente (Ayling 45’), Costa, Rodrigo (Greenwood 61’), Struijk, Harrison, Klich, Shackleton. 

Subs not used: Van Den Heuvel (GK).

Marcelo Bielsa’s side played out an entertaining draw away at Blackburn Rovers, as they continued their preparations ahead of the 2021/22 Premier League campaign.  

Both goals in the match came in the second half, with Connor McBride striking for the hosts via a deflected free-kick, before central defender Pascal Struijk levelled for the Whites. 

The first real chance of the game came the way of the Whites, as Raphinha broke down the wing and cut inside. He played a short pass to Mateusz Klich and the midfielder tried a chip, which was well turned behind by Thomas Kaminski between the Blackburn posts. 

As the game approached the 30 minute point, Rovers got forward into the Leeds box and had an effort of their own. John Buckley was the player with the chance, as he curled a shot on target. Illan Meslier saw it all the way and saved well. 

Some excellent one-touch link-up play between Rodrigo and Junior Firpo won the Whites a corner. From that, the ball fell to Raphinha to strike from range, which forced Kaminski into another solid save. 

That was to be the final effort of what had been a relatively even first 45 minutes at Ewood Park, as referee Darren Bond blew his whistle for the interval. 

HALF TIME: Blackburn Rovers 0-0 Leeds United

Luke Ayling was introduced during the break, in place of central defender Diego Llorente. The hosts made a change of their own as Ben Brereton entered the pitch, with Tyrhys Dolan the player the make way. 

As the rain lashed down over Blackburn 10 minutes into the second half, Leeds came close to taking the lead. A quick corner routine allowed Raphinha to drive into the box, he unleashed a left-footed effort which once again was well saved. Robin Koch was then denied by a block from the rebound. 

The following corner saw the impressive Kaminski save brilliantly once again, turning over Struijk’s header from Jack Harrison’s set-play and seconds later, Helder Costa stabbed an effort wide of the post from the edge of the box. 

On the hour mark, Bielsa went to his bench and made a triple change. Sam Greenwood, Stuart Dallas and Tyler Roberts all entered the match in place of Raphinha, Firpo and Rodrigo. 

Rovers were the next to go close in match, through Chilean international Brereton. The striker went on a solo run and struck left-footed across the ground, which forced Meslier into a low save. 

With 20 minutes remaining, Tony Mowbray went to his bench and made a quadruple change. McBride, Jack Vale, Dan Pike and Lenni Cirino replaced Ryan Nyambe, Harry Pickering, Adam Armstrong and Buckley. 

Within minutes of coming on, McBride opened the scoring. His free-kick from just outside the area deflected off the wall and wrong-footed Meslier before hitting the back of the net to put the home side ahead. 

In search of a leveller, Costa struck a powerful effort just wide of the post, then moments later Roberts latched onto a lovely pass from Dallas and looked to chip Kaminski but once again the ‘keeper pulled off another great stop. 

However, with 10 minutes to go, Leeds did level the game. Composed work from Harrison down the wing saw the full-back pick out the onrushing Struijk, who stroked home into the back of the net via a slight deflection. 

The 5,000 strong away end made themselves heard throughout and sang their side off the pitch, as the referee called an end to an entertaining second half display. 

FULL TIME: Blackburn Rovers 1-1 Leeds United

Venue: Ewood Park

Referee: Darren Bond