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Blackburn Rovers 1 – 3 Sheffield Wednesday

Championship

Two bizarre goalkeeping errors by Blackburn’s Aynsley Pears helped Sheffield Wednesday to a win which moves them out of the Championship bottom three for the first time since the opening day of the season.

The Rovers stopper gifted Josh Windass the opening goal, and after Sammie Szmodics had levelled and Marvin Johnson restored the visitors’ lead, Pears sliced an attempted clearance into his own net to give their beleaguered opponents breathing space.

The win, only Wednesday’s second in their last eight games, came in front of more than 7,000 travelling fans at Ewood Park and edges them a point above the drop zone.

Defeat means Blackburn still need four points from their last two games to be certain of safety, even though Szmodics’ goal made him joint-top scorer – with Erling Haaland – in the top four divisions this season, with 31 in all competitions.

Wednesday knew they needed a win to retain any realistic hopes of staying up after a run of just one win from their previous seven games, despite manager Danny Rohl reviving the team since he took over in October.

They got off to a great start courtesy of some slack defending from Blackburn, and principally Pears, with six minutes on the clock.

The keeper raced off his line to head clear but unwisely nodded it to defender Dominic Hyam. His bid to clear was charged down by Anthony Musaba and Windass pounced to brilliantly lob the ball into the empty net from 40 yards out.

The lead only lasted three minutes as Szmodics continued his remarkable season with another clinical finish, racing clear on to Callum Brittain’s excellent first-time volleyed pass to clip a shot past Wednesday keeper James Beadle.

Windass and Liam Palmer both missed chances to restore the lead but Wednesday looked to be up against it as they lost defender Michael Ihiekwe and his replacement Bambo Diaby to injury.