Ben Brereton Diaz is only behind Aleksandar Mitrovic in the Championship scoring charts
Ben Brereton Diaz's 17th Championship goal of the season clinched victory for Blackburn over Preston in the Lancashire derby as they moved up to fourth in the table.
Both teams struggled to create clear-cut chances on a rain-soaked pitch at Ewood Park.
But Brereton Diaz struck eight minutes into the second half when he headed home from Reda Khadra's cross.
It was the striker's fourth goal in as many matches and Blackburn have now won four of their past five matches.
Preston were unable to find an equaliser but will feel they should have been awarded a penalty when Ryan Nyambe appeared to handle the ball in the area.
At the other end, goalkeeper Daniel Iversen produced a fine save to prevent Brereton Diaz adding a second.
The win boosted Rovers' promotion bid, leaving them seven points behind second-placed Bournemouth.
They have responded superbly to a humiliating 7-0 home defeat at home against leaders Fulham, taking 12 points from a possible 15 in their five matches since that debacle.
Preston recently drew with Fulham and beat Bournemouth, but they have been inconsistent this season and this defeat leaves them in 18th place.
- Line-upsMatch StatsLive Text
- 13Pears26LenihanBooked at 16mins25van HeckeBooked at 65mins16Wharton2Nyambe27TravisBooked at 68mins8RothwellSubstituted forEdunat 85'minutes3Pickering21BuckleySubstituted forJohnsonat 66'minutes22Brereton7KhadraSubstituted forDolanat 76'minutes
- 12Iversen14Storey6Lindsay3CunninghamSubstituted forSinclairat 78'minutes22OlosundeSubstituted forLedsonat 82'minutes13McCannSubstituted forJohnsonat 78'minutes4Whiteman32Earl8Browne9EvansBooked at 83mins19Riis JakobsenBooked at 65mins
Referee:Gavin WardAttendance:18,487Match StatsHome TeamBlackburnAway TeamPrestonPossessionHome43%Away57%ShotsHome6Away10Shots on TargetHome3Away1CornersHome2Away1FoulsHome10Away9Live TextPost update
Match ends, Blackburn Rovers 1, Preston North End 0.
Second Half ends, Blackburn Rovers 1, Preston North End 0.
Offside, Blackburn Rovers. Bradley Johnson tries a through ball, but Ben Brereton is caught offside.
Alan Browne (Preston North End) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Tayo Edun (Blackburn Rovers).
Attempt blocked. Liam Lindsay (Preston North End) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.
Alan Browne (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Bradley Johnson (Blackburn Rovers).
Attempt missed. Lewis Travis (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top right corner.
Attempt saved. Ben Brereton (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Harry Pickering.
Substitution, Blackburn Rovers. Tayo Edun replaces Joe Rothwell.
Foul by Liam Lindsay (Preston North End).
Tyrhys Dolan (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Ched Evans (Preston North End) is shown the yellow card.
Foul by Joshua Earl (Preston North End).
Lewis Travis (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt blocked. Daniel Johnson (Preston North End) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Joshua Earl.
Substitution, Preston North End. Ryan Ledson replaces Matthew Olosunde because of an injury.
Substitution, Preston North End. Daniel Johnson replaces Alistair McCann.
Substitution, Preston North End. Scott Sinclair replaces Greg Cunningham.
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