Birmingham City player ratings vs Blackburn Rovers: Four score 8/10s and several 7s but one 5

Player ratings from Birmingham City vs Blackburn Rovers in the Sky Bet Championship.

Birmingham City earned a relieving 1-0 victory over Blackburn Rovers on Tuesday evening, putting an end to a 388-minute goal drought with an eventual Andre Dozzell breakthrough late in the second half. It was a painful return to St Andrew's @ Knighthead Park for ex-manager John Eustace as Blues dominated Blackburn throughout and easily could have won by three or four if more composure was shown.

Birmingham were the side with a stronger intensity and desire to attack from the offset and they really should've gone into the interval one or two up. Once again though, as seen plenty in recent weeks, a lack of clinical finishing let them down and it was made far more difficult to claim the three points that it needed to be.

Winter signing Paik Seung-ho was the standout figure before a pre-planned substitution in the 66th minute as he glided with the ball effectively and displayed quick thinking to beat the Blackburn press. The South Korean managed the shot on target, too, as struck a 30-yard free-kick with power but Rovers goalkeeper Aynsley Pears did well to keep ahold of it.

Tyler Roberts had the first clear-cut opportunity of the night and he simply had to score as Koji Miyoshi fed a cute ball into the channel. Roberts lacked composure, however, as he fired a few inches wide of the bottom left corner. A near miss from range followed for Jay Stansfield before Marc Roberts went agonisingly close, clipping the woodwork with a glancing header from a Miyoshi cross.

Blackburn did manage to carve out one good opportunity just before the break as top scorer Sammy Szmodics tried his luck from the edge of the area but the ball fizzed over the crossbar. Szmodics had another chance for Blackburn just after the interval as he broke free on the right and struck powerfully. John Ruddy dived across well to make the necessary stop.

More chances went begging for Blues in the 51st and 53rd minutes as a Dozzell cross from a 25-yard wide free-kick was met by Marc Roberts but the central defender failed to keep his header under the crossbar. Tyler Roberts then had a clear-cut opportunity as Blackburn shotstopper Pears passed the ball right into his path but the shot was wayward.

Mowbray, albeit from a distance due to his touchline ban, called for some reinforcements to try and break the duck but even that didn't help initially as Siriki Dembele wasted yet another opportunity. Fed by Tyler Roberts, the winger had only the 'keeper to beat but he leaned back and his resultant shot soared wildly into the Lower Tilton. Dembele had an additional shot in the 75th minute after a handball shout but it was drilled wide.

Finally, painstakingly, Dozzell broke the deadlock for Blues in the 77th minute, reacting quickest to a failed Blackburn clearance and poking home to send the St Andrew's faithful into a frenzy. Substitute Juninho Bacuna did excellently to beat Callum Brittain before crossing low into the danger area. Stansfield and Dozzell saw shots blocked before the ball ricocheted back to Dozzell to score.

Eustace's side hardly looked like scoring but then out of nowhere they had a massive chance to equalise with the last touch of the game. Dominic Hyam received a flick on and had a free header from merely 10 yards but it was a poor finish, allowing Ruddy to save. Had that gone in, the stadium would have turned mightily sour.

It should have been a more comprehensive win for Birmingham but the most important thing is moving away from danger. These crucial three points see Blues move six points clear of 22nd-placed Queens Park Rangers. Here are our player ratings.

ATTENDANCE: 18,117 (734 away).

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