A hattrick from Adam Armstrong gave Blackburn a comfortable 5-2 victory against Lee Bowyer’s Birmingham City.
As expected, Blues went for a team of youth and peripheral players, as they had nothing left to play for. Blackburn on the other hand, approached the game with a full strength first team.
Blackburn started the game with an intense flurry of chances and possession. The best opportunity to take an early lead came just 3 minutes into the match when Adam Armstrong struck the crossbar from a free kick.
After absorbing the early pressure, Bowyer’s men began to take control of the game. The young lads had dominance in possession with a few tidy passes.
This was rewarded when Rovers keeper Kaminski blundered the ball and it fell perfectly to Danish Centre Back Kristian Pedersen, who slotted home tidily.
The Blues lead only lasted a matter of minutes however. Jon Leko made a clumsy foul inside the penalty area, and Armstrong buried the equaliser from the spot.
Blackburn reassumed control over the match and took the lead on the brink of halftime. Ex Blues player Sam Gallagher played a terrific pass which was capitalised on by Ben Brereton.
Bowyer made two changes early in the second half. Lukas Jutkiewicz and Alen Halilovic came on for Leko and Cosgrove. It didn’t take very long for Juke to get on the scoresheet in a brilliantly worked goal.
Ryan Stirk (who seems the star out of the youth players) picked out a great pass into wing back Steve Seddon. Seddon took his time before whipping in a fantastic ball with his wand of a left foot. As per usual, Juke was hanging at the back stick and comfortably headed home the equalising goal.
This goal did come against the run of play, and Blackburn again responded well to being pegged back. They kept adding pressure, knowing that the Blues youth would eventually crack.
They were correct. All the Midfielders allowed Armstrong far too much space, and he made them pay for it, scoring his second from 25 yards.
This was game over for Blues, who never seemed to be able to recover. Substitute Harvey Elliott chipped Connal Trueman to make it 4-2 in the 83rd minute.
The final goal came two minutes later when Armstrong completed the hattrick with a very tidy finish.
These last two matches certainly won’t have been the way Bowyer wanted to end the season, but it doesn’t mean that much and shouldn’t be used to put negative light on the job Bowyer has done.
The fairly new Boss will be aiming to have a successful pre season and see how far Blues can go in the 2021/22 campaign, which fans should be optimistic about.
Possession – Blackburn = 52%, Blues = 48%
Shots – Blackburn = 18, Blues = 5
Shots On Target – Blackburn = 8, Blues = 3
Blues Position – 18th (=)