Soccer  

Rotherham United 4-0 Blackburn Rovers: Hakeem Odoffin’s early strike sets Millers on way to thumping win

Shane Ferguson scores Rotherham's third goal against Blackburn
Rotherham’s third goal was scored by Shane Ferguson direct from a corner

Hakeem Odoffin scored after 33 seconds as Rotherham United thrashed third-placed Blackburn Rovers to move four points clear of the Championship relegation zone.

The defender fired the Millers ahead with a sweet strike from the edge of the box as they made the perfect start trying to end a winless run of four defeats in six league games.

Rovers responded and dominated possession with Bradley Dack and Ryan Hedges wasting excellent first-half chances.

But Ollie Rathbone’s thunderous 18-yard shot made it 2-0 soon after the interval, Shane Ferguson scored with an inswinging corner and Conor Washington’s sharp turn and strike sealed an impressive victory.

Rovers, who could have gone to within six points of second-placed Sheffield United before the 15:00 GMT kick-offs, made an encouraging response to conceding the quickest goal in the Championship this season, but faded miserably after going 2-0 behind.

Blackburn’s second-half performance lacked conviction and composure, and backed up the statistics that had seen them fail to take a point from any game in which they conceded first this season.

Rotherham took full advantage of dismal early defending, setting the tone for a display full of spirit and confidence.

A sloppy long pass gifted possession to the Millers, allowing Leo Hjelde to race down the left. Although his cross lacked precision, Dom Hyam’s poor clearance fell to Odoffin who cut across the ball with his right foot to power the hosts ahead.

Blackburn responded well but clearly missed the goal threat of leading scorer Ben Brereton Diaz, whose partner is expecting their first child.

The impressive Dack’s creativity and composure brought control in midfield and the visitors dominated possession, spurning several excellent openings to draw level before the break.

Sam Gallagher’s touch let him down after being played through by Dack, who himself wasted a glorious opportunity when he headed wide at the near post, while Hedges was thwarted by an excellent block by onrushing keeper Viktor Johansson.

But the hosts, with debutant Sean Morrison outstanding in defence, held out and Rathbone smashed in their second goal via the underside of the bar to settle any nerves – and Rovers barely threatened thereafter.

Ferguson’s corner delivered to the near post deceived scrambling Rovers keeper Thomas Kaminski to make it 3-0, before Washington rounded off a slick team move – and performance – with a fine low strike into the corner.

Line-ups

Rotherham

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Johansson
  • 21PeltierSubstituted forHardingat 88′minutes
  • 23MorrisonSubstituted forWoodat 80′minutes
  • 24Humphreys
  • 29HjeldeSubstituted forBramallat 89′minutes
  • 22OdoffinSubstituted forLindsayat 90+1′minutes
  • 4Barlaser
  • 18RathboneBooked at 73mins
  • 11Ogbene
  • 14Washington
  • 17FergusonSubstituted forKiosoat 88′minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Harding
  • 3Bramall
  • 5McCart
  • 6Wood
  • 16Lindsay
  • 26Hemfrey
  • 30Kioso

Blackburn

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Kaminski
  • 11Rankin-Costello
  • 4Ayala
  • 5HyamSubstituted forPhillipsat 59′minutes
  • 3Pickering
  • 6Morton
  • 30Garrett
  • 19HedgesSubstituted forDolanat 56′minutes
  • 23Dack
  • 29Vale
  • 9GallagherSubstituted forMarkandayat 56′minutes

Substitutes

  • 7Edun
  • 10Dolan
  • 13Pears
  • 17Carter
  • 18Markanday
  • 27Travis
  • 33Phillips

Referee:
Dean Whitestone

Attendance:
10,345

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