We are getting to the stage of the season where those sides harbouring hopes of a promotion push can ill afford any slip ups, and Bournemouth made sure they did that comfortably here.
In truth, the visitors often looked comfortable in this one, as Blackburn once again displayed the many of the symptoms that have seen their own play-off hopes drop away so drastically in the past few months, enjoying plenty of possession, but struggling to create many clear cut chances in front of goal, and failing to take the ones that they did.
All that meant that when Bournemouth did show that ruthlessness in the final third with a goal in either half from Phil Billing and Arnaut Danjuma enough to secure the Cherries a win that keeps them within a point of the sixth-placed Reading in the play-off chase.
It was the visitors who started this one stronger with the majority of possession, but with the exception of an unsuccessful penalty shout when the returning David Brooks was brought down on the edge of the area, they were unable to pose much of an early threat to the Rovers defence.
Blackburn would gradually start to grow into the game, and top scorer Adam Armstrong – himself returning from injury – was held up by the offside flag when he looked to have been played in by Harvey Elliott.
Those two then linked up again moments later with a well worked free kick routine that the Bournemouth defence had to be alert to clear behind with Tyrhys Dolan waiting to get on the end of Armstrong’s pull-back, before Elliott curled over from the resulting corner.
It would however, be Bournemouth who took the lead on the half-hour, as a move which started with Adam Smith breaking down the right before working it across the face of the Blackburn area to Danjuma. The Dutchman then cut into the box and though his shot was blocked by Darragh Lenihan, the ball fell to the feet of Billing, who emphatically fired into the back of the net to continue his impressive form in front of goal, and give the Cherries the advantage.
Blackburn would respond well to going behind, and Lewis Holtby – an early substitute for the injured Joe Rothwell – produced a good diving save from Bournemouth stopper Asmir Begovic, before that man Elliott, curled a long range effort towards goal with the Bosnian ‘keeper at full stretch to beat the ball away.
Ultimately though, Bournemouth would look relatively comfortable in taking that one-goal advantage into the break with the exception of those rare Blackburn flurries, and it would to be a similar story after half time, with Rovers pushing forward but failing to really trouble the visitor’s defence, Armstrong curling a free kick comfortably over from the edge of the area the closest either side came to scoring in the first ten minutes of the second period.
Up the other end, Danjuma again looked a threat as he broke into the box down the right, winning a corner from which a training ground routine saw Billing fire well over from 20 yards out.
Moments later, Blackburn would have their best chance of the game to equalise, Elliott again involved as his cross to the back post was nodded down by substitute Sam Gallagher to Armstrong, with Cameron Carter-Vickers producing an excellent block to deny the Blackburn forward.
But having failed to make their rare chances tell, Blackburn were then punished with 15 minutes remaining on the clock, as Danjuma pounced on a loose ball on the edge of the Rovers area to ruthlessly fire into the bottom corner, deservedly getting himself on the scoresheet, and doubling Bournemouth’s advantage to all but seal the three points for the visitors.
Indeed, things could have got even better for Danjuma and Bournemouth – who took complete control after that second goal – with the attacker dragging an effort wide when he looked certain to make it 3-0 after being teed up by substitute Sam Surridge.
In the end though, with Begovic producing a brilliant save from an Armstrong penalty before Bradley Johnson saw an effort cleared off the line with the Bosnian in no man’s land, those two goals were enough to secure a third straight win for Bournemouth, and condemn Rovers to an eighteenth league defeat of the season – more than the whole of last season – with six games still to play.