Midfielder Joey Barton enjoyed his first taste of the East Lancashire derby – especially after coming out on the winning side.
A veteran of Manchester and Tyne-Wear tussles in his time with Manchester City and Newcastle United, the 33-year-old proved a key figure for the Clarets, and claimed the Sky Sports’ man ofthe match award.
I thought it was a pen, but justice has prevailed so no problemJoey Barton
He might have also won a penalty for his side, after having his standing leg taken away by Grant Hanley, who then kicked out at Barton – who showed remarkable restraint to get on with the game.
Rovers fans called for a spot kick after Tom Lawrence went down under slight contact from Barton at the other end, and Barton said: “This was a great battle.
“Credit to Blackburn they made it the encounter (it was) but you see Scott (Arfield) do that every day in training. Brilliant. Top drawer.”
Asked if he should have had a penalty, he added: “I don’t know. I thought it was a pen, but justice has prevailed so no problem.
“The ref’s got lots of decisions to make but I thought he was excellent.”
Of Hanley’s off the ball trip, behind the referee’s back, Barton said: “At the end of the day that’s football and I’m not going to complain about it.
“We’ve won the game, three big points for us.”
And of the incident at the other end of the pitch, Barton felt the referee had got that decision right: “I think he was looking for it the boy.
He went down and asked the question.
“I thought the ref was excellent.
They’re big decisions and some you win some you don’t.”