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Ben Brereton Diaz on target as Blackburn beat Millwall

Ben Brereton Diaz (second right) celebrates his goal (Tim Markland/PA)
Ben Brereton Diaz (second right) celebrates his goal (Tim Markland/PA)

Blackburn scored two quickfire second-half goals to return to winning ways with a 2-1 victory over Millwall.

After a poor first half, Rovers looked to have settled a contest desperately short of quality with a six-minute burst that saw Tyrhys Dolan profit from a defensive mix-up to slot home in the 57th minute before Ben Brereton Diaz tapped home his fifth of the campaign at the far post.

But Jake Cooper’s header in the 75th minute halved the deficit and Millwall pushed forward gamely to force an equaliser but they missed two stoppage-time chances as Rovers held on.

It summed up the game in which neither side convinced, but Rovers responded to their defeat at Luton last month and climbed into the top six in the Sky Bet Championship while Millwall dropped to 16th after a fourth defeat on the road this season.

Rovers made one alteration as Sam Gallagher returned from injury for Hayden Carter, while the Lions were unchanged.

In a dire opening half, Millwall striker Benik Afobe missed the best chance as he blazed over when set clear by Callum Styles while, at the other end, George Long made a smart save after Scott Wharton’s header ricocheted off Brereton Diaz.

After a half of inertia, Rovers were sent out earlier and looked lively, with Ryan Hedges firing just wide after Long’s clearance fell straight to him.

Hedges was in the action again in the 53rd minute, curling a fine low drive that forced Long into a sprawling save as Rovers turned up the heat.

They took the lead in the 57th minute with a sequence in keeping with the quality of the game as Lions defender Murray Wallace misjudged a long ball, allowing Sam Gallagher to cross into the box. Millwall seemed in control of the danger but a horrendous breakdown in communication between Long and Charlie Cresswell gifted the ball to Dolan who gleefully slotted home his third of the season from close range.

With the wind in their sails, Rovers looked for the killer blow. Hedges’ long range effort was brilliantly tipped over by Long but they got their second from the resulting corner as Afobe nodded the ball into the path of Brereton Diaz at the back post and he could hardly miss.

Despite a largely dismal display, Millwall were handed a lifeline by their captain Cooper, who rose highest to powerfully head home a Tyler Burey cross 15 minutes from the end.

The Lions had two stoppage-time chances but Zian Flemming could not direct his effort on target at the far post and Andreas Voglsammer lashed a vicious strike just over the crossbar.