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Blackburn 5-2 Birmingham: FLW reports as Armstrong’s hat-trick sees Rovers sign off in style against a young Blues side



It can often be the case that final day games between sides with nothing to play for can go slightly mad at times, and that was certainly the case.

But with Birmingham using that situation to once again give some of their fringe players a run-out, Blackburn took full advantage of that to rather run riot here, with Adam Armstrong unsurprisingly at the heart of all that.

With Birmingham once again starting with the same youthful feel to their side as in their defeat to Cardiff last week, it was Blackburn who started the brighter, Lewis Travis winning a free kick that  Armstrong rattled against the bar from 25 yards within two minutes.

But after what had become an increasingly open first 15 minutes lacking in chances, it was in fact the visitors who would open the scoring.

A free kick from wide on the Birmingham left was sent into the area, where just a day after being named his club’s player of the season, Blackburn ‘keeper Thomas Kaminski failed to hold the cross in tricky conditions, dropping the ball at the feet of Kristian Pedersen, who had the simple task of tapping into an empty net.

Rovers however, would not be behind for long, as Amari’i Bell was brought down inside the Birmingham penalty area by Jonathan Leko as he cut in from the left, with referee Keith Stroud pointing to the spot, allowing Armstrong to smash home his 27th goal of the season and level for the hosts.

After that, chances would start to become more frequent, Ben Brereton dragged wide from a Ryan Nyambe knockdown inside the Birmingham area for the hosts, while at the other end, Ryan Stirk’s effort from 25 yards nearly cracked the back stanchion  of Thomas Kaminski’s goal.

Sam Gallagher then tested Birmingham ‘keeper Connal Trueman from the edge of the area, before  Bell did well to find Armstrong in the visitor’s area, but he and Brereton were unable to combine to get the ball over the line as the Blues managed to scramble the ball clear.

But then, with the final act of the half, Rovers would complete the turnaround, as a lovely ball over the top from Gallagher found Brereton, who was able to get the better of Kristian Pedersen for pace, before producing a composed finish to roll the ball past Trueman and into the bottom corner to put the hosts in front.

The break saw Gary Gardner – standing in for absent Birmingham manager Lee Bowyer – turn to the bench, bringing on Lukas Jutkiewicz and Alen Halilovic, and it didn’t take long for that move to make an impact.

Within five minutes of the restart, Seddon produced an excellent cross from the left which landed straight on the head of Jutkiewicz, who having got in between the Rovers’ centre backs, had the simple task of nodding home from close range to equalise for the visitors.

Rovers would respond well to being pegged back with a decent spell of pressure, although it would take them until the hour mark to get a sight of goal, when Armstrong brought a decent reaction save out of Trueman from inside the area.

Eventually though, with 20 minutes remaining on the clock, Rovers would retake the lead as Adam Armstrong, made it 28 for the season, and remarkably given how many he had scored from range last campaign, his first from outside the area in 2020/21, as he took advantage of too much time and space 20 yards out to emphatically fire into the bottom corner.

Having taken the lead again, Rovers would the proceed to seal the win in emphatic fashion, as two of those bidding farewell to Ewood Park came off the bench to give the club the perfect parting gift.

In his 219th and final appearance after eight seasons at the club, Corry Evans final outing saw him produce one of his biggest impacts, first producing an outstanding through ball to find Harvey Elliott inside the area, and with the teenager audaciously dinking the ball over Trueman to net his seventh goal to go alongside his 11 assists during his remarkable season on loan at Ewood Park from Liverpool.

Evans though, was not done there, as he again played provider, this time teeing up Armstrong inside the area, with the striker firing through the legs of Trueman to complete his second hat-trick in as many games at Ewood Park, and his third of the campaign in total, which, given the speculation that continues to surround the striker and a summer move to the Premier League, may yet prove to be the perfect way for Blackburn Rovers to remember him by as well.

UCLan Sports Journalism graduate, been writing for Football League World since March 2019. I've previously worked for the likes of Blackburn Rovers and Opta, among others.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Blackburn 5-2 Birmingham: FLW reports as Armstrong’s hat-trick sees Rovers sign off in style against a young Blues side

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