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."



Formation 4-2-3-1

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


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


Formation 4-1-4-1

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


  • 4Johnson
  • 10Graham
  • 13Leutwiler
  • 19Downing
  • 27Travis
  • 37Rankin-Costello
  • 39Buckley
Steve Martin

Match Stats

Home TeamPrestonAway TeamBlackburn
Shots on Target

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

1West Brom147612617927
4Sheff Wed147341810824
6Bristol City136522017323
9Nottm Forest136431712522
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