Blackburn Rovers 5 Barnsley 2: Referee was conned by Rhodes, says Flitcroft

Barnsley manager David Flitcroft claimed Blackburn striker Jordan Rhodes was the culprit behind the red card for central defender Jean-Yves M’voto but Blackburn chief Gary Bowyer was adamant his striker would never go down when he had a chance of scoring.

Flitcroft said: “I got the opportunity to speak to Jordan Rhodes, who I know really well, and I’ve seen the incident.

“I’ve not seen Jean-Yves M’voto having to stretch or panic. Jordan didn’t have the pace to get past him or through him. What Jordan’s told me is that he’s backed into him and propelled himself forward, so he’s got a very good decision for his team.

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“That’s cute, clever and why Jordan will become a Premier League player. He’s incredible at this level and is one of the most honest kids I know. I looked him in the eyes and he had to tell me the truth and he did.

“Has the referee been conned? From what I know now, he has been. He’s got to make a split-second decision, I understand that.”

Flitcroft felt the sending off changed the game but refused to let that be an excuse for ‘atrocious’ defending for four of the five goals his side conceded.

He said: “What I’m not going to do is hide behind the referee’s decision. The first goal we conceded was a postage stamp finish but the four goals after that were atrocious but that’s what I’ll be concentrating on. We still had nine outfield players to defend against them and we didn’t do it well enough.”

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Chris Dagnall’s turn and shot put Barnsley ahead but the game changed after 16 minutes when M’voto brought down Rhodes, who was through on goal.

Tom Cairney dispatched the resulting free-kick and three further goals in 13 first-half minutes – two from Rhodes and one from Josh King – sealed the outcome.

Todd Kane grabbed his first for the club after 58 minutes before Tomasz Cywka grabbed a late consolation.

Blackburn Rovers: Kean, Kane, Grant Hanley, Dann, Spurr, King (Nunes 81), Lowe (Morris 74), Dunn (Taylor 66), Cairney, Judge, Rhodes. Unused substitutes: Best, Eastwood, Olsson, Givet.

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Barnsley: Steele, Kennedy, Mvoto, Wiseman, O’Brien, Dawson, Mellis (Perkins 32), Etuhu, Golbourne, O’Grady (Pedersen 41), Dagnall (Cywka 63). Unused substitutes: McCourt, Scotland, Alnwick, McNulty.

Referee: M Heywood (Cheshire).

Man of the match: Todd Kane.