Blackburn revived their ailing hopes of reaching the Championship play-offs with a dominant 4-1 win over Preston at Deepdale.
Victory in the Lancashire derby comes after a run of one win in nine, which left the top-six hopes of Tony Mowbray’s men hanging by a thread.
Rovers climb from ninth to seventh in the table as a result, three points behind Sheffield United, who occupy the last available play-off berth heading into the final two rounds of fixtures. Preston stay 15th.
Sam Gallagher headed Blackburn ahead (9) and John Buckley then doubled the lead with a low drive (12), before Alan Browne lashed in to halve the deficit for the hosts (29).
A header from Darragh Lenihan restored the two-goal lead before the half-time whistle (37) and shortly after the restart, Lewis Travis guided in a fourth after good work from Ben Brereton Diaz (52) to cap a memorable night.
Blackburn's remaining fixtures
- Bournemouth (H) – Saturday April 30, 3pm
- Birmingham (A) – Saturday May 7, 12.30pm
How Blackburn thrived under pressure on derby day
Given their blistering form throughout much of the first half of the season, a play-off spot had looked to be a certainty for Blackburn, before a disastrous first quarter of 2022 – during which they had won just four of their 19 league games and scored 10 goals along the way – left their hopes hanging by a thread.
The fact that a gap of six points separated them from the top six ahead of the trip to their near neighbours meant that victory was imperative. And it soon became clear the form book was about to be thrown out of the window.