Hull City undone as in-form Blackburn Rovers claim fourth consecutive Championship victory
The hosts, who are reportedly set to announce Liam Rosenior as their new manager, had enjoyed a mini resurgence under interim head coach Andy Dawson.
But they never looked capable of consolidating upon their two-game winning run and lacked the imagination and strength of mind to land a glove on their well-organised opponents.
Blackburn manager Jon Dahl Tomasson must have been especially happy by the manner in which his players quickly subdued an enthusiastic crowd at the MKM Stadium.
Rovers’ core gameplan – to stifle into submission Hull’s central three midfielders – was obvious from the outset.
And it nearly yielded handsome dividends when Ben Brereton Diaz chested the excellent Scott Wharton’s reaching cross towards an onrushing Szmodics.
The former Colchester playmaker struck cleanly, but goalkeeper Nathan Baxter parried – with Brereton Diaz denied on the follow-up by Jean Michael Seri.
Two minutes later, Szmodics enjoyed better fortune following Wharton’s deft pass into the right channel – an area that Blackburn had clearly identified as a significant Hull weakness.
This time the 27-year-old elected to hit across the face of goal and neatly found the bottom-right corner.
Hull responded, and at least had more possession of the ball – fleetingly in the first half; far more so in the second – than their belligerent opponents had hitherto allowed.
But, aside from a flash-across-goal attempt from Jacob Greaves on the left, their final ball was continually not good enough.
Hull, unsurprisingly, had greater urgency in the second half, but they looked vulnerable the more they pressed for an equaliser.
No better was that evidenced than when they lost possession in a poor area after 53 minutes. Brereton Diaz played in Sam Gallagher, but Baxter did well to smother.
Baxter’s intervention inspired the hosts, who had a fine spell that peaked when Dimitrios Pelkas headed Regan Slater’s right-wing delivery over the crossbar.
Expertly marshalled by Tyler Morton at the back, Blackburn had neither the inclination nor the need to kick on for a second.
Even in spite of the introduction from the substitutes’ bench of leading scorer Oscar Estupinan, Hull were essentially defeated long before the final whistle as Blackburn marched on.