Preston 0 – 3 Blackburn

Blackburn secured an emphatic 3-0 victory over 10-man Preston in the Lancashire derby at Deepdale.

Goals from Adam Armstrong, Ben Brereton and Tyrhys Dolan secured Rovers their first victory over their Lancashire rivals in five years.

The decisive moment came just before half-time as Preston defender Joe Rafferty was sent off for fouling Sam Gallagher in the box.

Ben Brereton (right) celebrates scoring Blackburn’s second goal

Armstrong fired home the subsequent penalty before Blackburn’s lead was doubled by Brereton shortly after the break. Former Preston youngster Dolan then compounded the Lilywhites’ misery with a third in the closing stages.

Tony Mowbray’s side dominated early possession with midfielder Lewis Holtby, returning from illness, finding useful pockets of space in the opposition half.

The visitors had the first attempt as Brereton’s low-driven effort drifted harmlessly wide of Declan Rudd’s goal.

Preston, winless in five at Deepdale before Saturday’s win over Sheffield Wednesday, struggled to gain a foothold and in-form Rovers striker Armstrong had a fierce effort from distance well blocked by Ryan Ledson.

Rovers captain Darragh Lenihan’s superbly struck volley was saved and Armstrong was foiled on the rebound as the away side looked to make early pressure pay.

Armstrong then fired over from 20 yards following a swift Rovers counter.

Soon after, right-back Ryan Nyambe picked out a delightful through-ball in behind the Lilywhites defence but Patrick Bauer covered well to block Armstrong’s shot.

Preston were then dealt a huge blow on the stroke of half-time. Gallagher escaped brilliantly to burst in behind Rafferty and was too powerful and quick for the left-back, who was dismissed for pulling the Rovers forward down.

Armstrong made no mistake from the spot with a crisply struck effort low past Rudd’s right hand to score his 12th Championship goal of the season.

Preston came out fighting in the second half and almost found an equaliser through Tom Barkhuizen’s curled effort that skimmed the post.

But the impressive Brereton doubled Rovers’ lead just moments later. Joe Rothwell drove at pace before cleverly splitting the Preston defence and Brereton calmly turned and slotted home.

Blackburn looked to inflict further damage as Holtby’s floated pass narrowly evaded full-back Barry Douglas.

The visitors then secured their third 15 minutes from time as teenage substitute Dolan, who signed for Rovers this summer after failing to earn a professional deal at North End, tapped into an empty net as Brereton beat the offside trap.

Gallagher was then denied a deserved goal by the offside flag as Mowbray’s men pushed for a fourth late-on, but the match ultimately ended in a 3-0 away victory for Rovers.

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