Blackburn relegated to League One despite beating Brentford

Blackburn Rovers

Blackburn players fell to their knees at the final whistle against Brentford

Blackburn were relegated to League One on goal difference, despite beating Brentford at Griffin Park, after Nottingham Forest’s win over Ipswich.

Rovers began in the final relegation place, level on points with Forest with an inferior goal difference.

Charlie Mulgrew’s free-kick and Danny Guthrie’s strike put Rovers ahead, before Lasse Vibe flicked one back.

Craig Conway’s spot-kick made it 3-1, as Bees’ Harlee Dean saw red but Forest and Birmingham wins sent Rovers down.

With Birmingham only leading 1-0 against Bristol City at Ashton Gate, a goal for the Robins would have sent Blues down instead of Blackburn – but Harry Redknapp’s side held on.

Blackburn had lifted themselves out of the drop zone earlier in the day thanks to Mulgrew’s superb free-kick into the top corner.

Blackburn<!–

Blackburn fans looked nervously at their phones hoping for better news elsewhere, but it never came

Guthrie’s scuffed effort, which Bees keeper Daniel Bentley should have kept out, doubled their lead, but Britt Assombalonga’s goal to put Forest ahead at the City Ground dropped Rovers back into the bottom three.

There was further anguish for Tony Mowbray’s side when Vibe got in front of a defender at the near post to turn in Dean’s delivery.

Mowbray threw on attack-minded Lucas Joao, Marvin Emnes and Conway in a bid to improve their goal difference.

Emnes was then fouled in the box by Dean, who was given his second yellow card, and Conway blasted home the penalty.

But Rovers, with an inferior goal difference to Forest of just two goals, were relegated to the third tier for the first time in 37 years.

Blackburn’s blues

Tony Mowbray<!–

Blackburn won four of their 16 matches under former Coventry City manager Mowbray

It has been a season-long struggle for Blackburn, both on and off the pitch, having failed to rise above 20th in the table all season.

Supporters have also protested against owners Venky’s, who have seen the club slide from the Premier League to the third tier in their seven years at the helm.

Some fans voiced their concern prior to the match that relegation this season could lead to potential administration.

Away from the boardroom, the Lancashire side began the season with Owen Coyle at the helm, who could claim he was not backed in the transfer market, having spent £250,000 of the £10m he recouped in the transfer market.

Coyle left in February after losing just under half his matches in charge and was replaced by Mowbray with the club three points off safety with 15 games to play.

Mowbray had moved to Ewood Park five months after resigning as manager of League One side Coventry, a club that were also relegated this term and with controversial owners of their own.

The new manager’s change to a back three proved important in Rovers giving themselves a chance of survival, but it was too late for the 1994-95 Premier League winners.

Danny Graham<!–

Blackburn striker Danny Graham holds his head in his hands after a missed chance against Brentford

Blackburn manager Tony Mowbray:

“I am disappointed now but we have to try to keep the spirit we showed here and, if we do, the club will be very strong in League One next year.

“It’s decided over 46 games and at the end of the season everyone at the club from the players to the medical team and the analysts have not been good enough to stay in this division.

“We have to take it on the chin. It’s going to be a huge summer for us in terms of recruitment, and conversations with the owners are coming – we have to recruit well, be strong next year and bounce back.

“We need to keep our under-contract players. If we do, we will hopefully be too strong for a lot of clubs in League One. We just need to turn the ship around and get promotion.”

Brentford boss Dean Smith:

“We wanted to finish the season on a high but there were a lot of tired legs out there – at the end they were putting their bodies on the line and that showed how much it mattered to do their best for the other clubs down there.

“It was what we were doing when we didn’t have the ball that annoyed me in the first half. I gave them a rocket at half-time and we started the second half quite well but couldn’t make our possession count.

“I feel for Tony. He has done a great job there and if he’s allowed to keep the players he has, and the club keep him, then I’m sure they’ll be knocking on the door to come back up next season.”

Live Text

Match ends, Brentford 1, Blackburn Rovers 3.

Second Half ends, Brentford 1, Blackburn Rovers 3.

Corner, Blackburn Rovers. Conceded by Daniel Bentley.

Attempt saved. Elliott Bennett (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Craig Conway.

Foul by Florian Jozefzoon (Brentford).

Ryan Nyambe (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt blocked. Darragh Lenihan (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Craig Conway.

Attempt missed. Craig Conway (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left following a corner.

Corner, Blackburn Rovers. Conceded by Nico Yennaris.

Attempt blocked. Lucas João (Blackburn Rovers) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Marvin Emnes.

Attempt missed. Marvin Emnes (Blackburn Rovers) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Jason Lowe with a headed pass.

Attempt blocked. Marvin Emnes (Blackburn Rovers) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Substitution, Brentford. Florian Jozefzoon replaces Sergi Canos.

Goal! Brentford 1, Blackburn Rovers 3. Craig Conway (Blackburn Rovers) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the centre of the goal.

Second yellow card to Harlee Dean (Brentford) for a bad foul.

Penalty conceded by Harlee Dean (Brentford) after a foul in the penalty area.

Penalty Blackburn Rovers. Marvin Emnes draws a foul in the penalty area.

Harlee Dean (Brentford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Lucas João (Blackburn Rovers).

Corner, Blackburn Rovers. Conceded by Andreas Bjelland.

Craig Conway (Blackburn Rovers) is shown the yellow card.

Harlee Dean (Brentford) is shown the yellow card.

Attempt blocked. Nico Yennaris (Brentford) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Jota.

Corner, Brentford. Conceded by David Raya Martin.

Attempt saved. Jota (Brentford) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Andreas Bjelland.

Attempt missed. Sergi Canos (Brentford) right footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses the top right corner. Assisted by Lasse Vibe with a cross.

Substitution, Blackburn Rovers. Marvin Emnes replaces Danny Graham.

Attempt missed. Alan McCormack (Brentford) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left following a corner.

Corner, Brentford. Conceded by Ryan Nyambe.

Offside, Blackburn Rovers. Danny Graham tries a through ball, but Lucas João is caught offside.

Attempt missed. Yoann Barbet (Brentford) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Jota with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Brentford. Conceded by David Raya Martin.

Attempt saved. Lasse Vibe (Brentford) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Josh Clarke.

Attempt missed. Nico Yennaris (Brentford) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Alan McCormack with a cross.

Attempt blocked. Lucas João (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Sam Gallagher with a headed pass.

Lasse Vibe (Brentford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jason Lowe (Blackburn Rovers).

Substitution, Blackburn Rovers. Lucas João replaces Elliott Ward.

Attempt missed. Sergi Canos (Brentford) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Romaine Sawyers.

Substitution, Brentford. Alan McCormack replaces Konstantin Kerschbaumer.

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