Blackburn Rovers 1-2 Burnley
Burnley produced an outstanding performance to defeat Blackburn Rovers 2-1 at Ewood Park and finally put an end to 35 years of hurt against their East Lancashire rivals.
Second half goals from Captain Jason Shackell and leading goalscorer Danny Ings completed an excellent comeback after Jordan Rhodes had put the home side ahead in the first half.
In a win that will go down in Burnley history, the Clarets now move eight points ahead of Derby in third going into the remainder of the season.
With a fully fit squad to choose from, Clarets boss Sean Dyche named an unchanged starting 11 for the eighth successive match.
Blackburn manager Gary Bowyer made five changes from the team that lost 4-0 at Bolton, including handing a debut to on-loan defender Michael Keane.
The contest started at a blistering pace as Tom Heaton was forced into a diving save to keep out Jordan Rhodes’ header only four minutes in.
Burnley thought they had taken the lead four minutes later after Scott Arfield drove into the area and directed a low cross into the path of Sam Vokes to tap home.
The travelling Clarets fans’ joy was short lived however with the linesman judging the striker to be in an offside position.
Burnley continued to look dangerous on the attack, particularly from the right hand side, and had two opportunities to work Paul Robinson in the Blackburn goal when first Ings and then Arfield got on the end of Kieran Trippier’s crosses to head just off target.
As the Clarets started to dominate possession, Blackburn looked to strike on the counter attack and had an attempt of their own when Luke Varney sent a curling shot over the bar after 17 minutes.
The two East Lancashire rivals continued to exchange chances with both sides’ top scorers, Ings and Rhodes, seeing their attempts narrowly miss the target.
And it was Rhodes who gave the home side the lead after 24 minutes.
The Scotland international received a pass from Jason Lowe inside Burnley’s penalty area before turning sharply and sending a low shot into the bottom corner.
Six minutes before the interval, the Clarets had a chance to level the scores when Ings raced through on goal.
The England U21 international had pounced on Craig Conway’s clumsy backpass only to see his finish saved by the legs of Robinson and bounce just too far away from the striker to convert the rebound.
One minute before half time it took a goal line clearance from Ben Mee to keep the score at 1-0 as the full back positioned himself perfectly to clear Lowe’s prodded effort that was destined for the net.
Ings’ pace again caused problems for the Blackburn defence and could have seen the Clarets awarded a penalty four minutes into the second half.
The striker got on the end of Tripper’s lofted through ball and appeared to be hauled down by Grant Hanley, however referee Mike Dean waved away the protests.
Rovers should have doubled their lead when Rhodes found himself on one with Heaton after 55 minutes.
David Jones’ wayward pass had allowed Rhodes to be threaded through on goal before the forward’s finish struck the post and went out of play.
It was a narrow escape for Burnley who responded by introducing Ross Wallace and Ashley Barnes into the action with just over 20 minutes to go.
And it only took two minutes for Wallace to make an impact as the winger produced a cross of the highest quality to assist the Clarets equaliser.
Skipper Jason Shackell rose highest in the Blackburn area to head home Wallace’s inswinging free kick, claiming his second career goal against Burnley’s local rivals and giving the Clarets a deserved equaliser.
Six minutes later Burnley sent the 4,500 plus travelling fans into jubilation as top-scorer Ings’ low shot was too powerful for Robinson and put the Clarets in front.
It was the substitutes who created the goal yet again as Wallace’s pull back was poked by Barnes into the path of Ings who fired home his 20th league goal of the season.
Blackburn looked to force an equaliser in stoppage time however Heaton was up to the task, firstly tipping over Lowe’s strike from range then comfortably collecting substitute Rudy Gestede’s header.
It was not enough however and Burnley secured victory over their rivals for the first time since 1979.
Burnley: Heaton, Trippier, Duff, Shackell, Mee, Marney, Jones, Arfield, Kightly (Wallace 67), Ings, Vokes (Barnes 67)
Subs not used: Cisak, Stanislas, Edgar, Treacy, Long
Goals: Shackell 73, Ings 79
Booked: Arfield 74
Blackburn: Robinson, Spurr, Hanley, Lowe, Dunn (Feeney 71), Rhodes, Varney (Gestede 81), Keane, Henley, Evans (Taylor 92), Conway
Subs not used: Kane, Eastwood, Olsson, Williamson
Goals: Rhodes 24
Booked: Varney 55, Feeney 71
Referee: M. Dean