Championship
PrestonPreston North End3BlackburnBlackburn Rovers2

Preston North End 3-2 Blackburn Rovers: Barkhuizen double inspires Preston comeback

Daniel Johnson scoring for Preston
Daniel Johnson's penalty was the midfielder's eighth goal of the season

Match-winner Tom Barkhuizen said they "showed what the real Preston is" as they came from two goals down to beat Blackburn in the Lancashire derby and go second in the Championship.

Blackburn opened the scoring inside the first 30 seconds when Sam Gallagher's header went in off Preston keeper Declan Rudd, and Gallagher then doubled Rovers' lead by curling an effort into the far corner - with the hosts booed off at the break.

"The first half was an absolute shambles, it was borderline a disgrace," Barkhuizen told BBC Radio Lancashire.

"We came in at half-time and the gaffer [Alex Neil] gave us an absolute rollicking, which he doesn't do very often, and we went out and showed him what we really are, and I think he'll be happy."

The Lilywhites pulled one back with a Barkhuizen header eight minutes after the restart, and the hosts equalised through Daniel Johnson's penalty after Elliott Bennett brought down Alan Browne in the box.

Preston's comeback was complete eight minutes from time when Barkhuizen found the top corner with a superb first-time finish.

"Second half we came out and showed what the real Preston is and took the three points," said Barkhuizen.

Neil's side went into the game unbeaten in their last nine at home in the league, but Deepdale was stunned by the visitors when Gallagher met Adam Armstrong's cross with a powerful header.

The opener went down as a Rudd own goal but there was no doubt about Blackburn's second as Gallagher crowned a fine Rovers first-half display.

Asked about the first 15 minutes, Neil said: "I was sort of shell-shocked myself at the side because I don't think that's happened since I've been here.

"We had a real honest chat and I said a few things that I thought needed saying, but what good teams do is react and I think the reaction was emphatic.

"It's a good situation [being second] but I'm not really looking at the table, it's just another good three points on the board for us."

Preston, who had won four of their last five league matches against Blackburn, improved dramatically in the second period as Barkhuizen pulled one back by scoring from Sean Maguire's header back across goal.

And once Johnson had equalised from the spot, it seemed as if the writing was on the wall, with Barkhuizen adding his second of the game to lift Preston up to second in the table while Blackburn drop to 17th.

Blackburn Rovers boss Tony Mowbray told BBC Radio Lancashire:

"We've been dominant against a lot of teams recently. (But our) inability to win games when we're on top (cost us). It's football, you have to accept it and move on.

"(We have to) understand what we're good at, what works, how to get better. Maybe we need to be a bit cleverer and manage games like they do."

On referee Steve Martin's decision to award Preston a penalty: "I do think (the referee's) performance was so naive it was unbelievable to watch and he should go and watch it back. Just an opinion, but I think he was really poor today."

Line-ups

Preston

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Rudd
  • 2Fisher
  • 21Bauer
  • 16Hughes
  • 15Rafferty
  • 4Pearson
  • 12GallagherSubstituted forStockleyat 29'minutes
  • 8Browne
  • 11Johnson
  • 24MaguireSubstituted forPottsat 90'minutes
  • 29Barkhuizen

Substitutes

  • 14Storey
  • 18Ledson
  • 20Stockley
  • 28Hudson
  • 35Nugent
  • 39Bodin
  • 44Potts

Blackburn

Formation 4-1-4-1

  • 1Walton
  • 2Nyambe
  • 24Tosin
  • 3Williams
  • 17Bell
  • 29Evans
  • 7Armstrong
  • 31Bennett
  • 23DackBooked at 87mins
  • 8RothwellSubstituted forGrahamat 84'minutes
  • 9GallagherBooked at 68mins

Substitutes

  • 4Johnson
  • 10Graham
  • 13Leutwiler
  • 19Downing
  • 27Travis
  • 37Rankin-Costello
  • 39Buckley
Referee:
Steve Martin
Attendance:
19,165

Match Stats

Home TeamPrestonAway TeamBlackburn
Possession
Home57%
Away43%
Shots
Home12
Away8
Shots on Target
Home8
Away1
Corners
Home6
Away5
Fouls
Home8
Away17

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Preston North End 3, Blackburn Rovers 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Preston North End 3, Blackburn Rovers 2.

  3. Post update

    Alan Browne (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Bradley Dack (Blackburn Rovers).

  5. Substitution

    Substitution, Preston North End. Brad Potts replaces Sean Maguire.

  6. Post update

    Ben Pearson (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Bradley Dack (Blackburn Rovers).

  8. Post update

    Foul by Patrick Bauer (Preston North End).

  9. Post update

    Derrick Williams (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  10. Post update

    Corner, Preston North End. Conceded by Christian Walton.

  11. Post update

    Attempt saved. Darnell Fisher (Preston North End) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top left corner.

  12. Booking

    Bradley Dack (Blackburn Rovers) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  13. Post update

    Ben Pearson (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Bradley Dack (Blackburn Rovers).

  15. Post update

    Patrick Bauer (Preston North End) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Danny Graham (Blackburn Rovers).

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Blackburn Rovers. Danny Graham replaces Joe Rothwell.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Ben Pearson (Preston North End).

  19. Post update

    Ryan Nyambe (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  20. Goal!

    Goal! Preston North End 3, Blackburn Rovers 2. Tom Barkhuizen (Preston North End) right footed shot from the left side of the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Alan Browne.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1West Brom147612617927
2Preston1474327161125
3Leeds14743178925
4Sheff Wed147341810824
5Fulham146532314923
6Bristol City136522017323
7QPR137242323023
8Charlton146442116522
9Nottm Forest136431712522
10Swansea136431713422
11Birmingham147161416-222
12Hull145452020019
13Brentford135351511418
14Cardiff134631919018
15Millwall144641619-318
16Derby144641620-418
17Blackburn144371721-415
18Luton144282125-414
19Wigan134271017-714
20Huddersfield143471621-513
21Reading133371419-512
22Middlesbrough142661117-612
23Stoke1422101325-128
24Barnsley141581227-158
View full Championship table

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