Preston North End 4-0 Ipswich Town: Blues suffer their worst defeat of the season at Deepdale
Andy Warren hands out his player ratings following Ipswich Town’s 4-0 defeat at Preston.
Ipswich Town suffered their worst defeat of the season this afternoon as they were beaten 4-0 by Preston North End.
The Blues’ relegation to League One was confirmed last weekend following the 1-1 draw with Birmingham, with the Blues enduring a nightmare afternoon in the first of four dead rubbers.
Callum Robinson and Lukas Nmecha both scored twice as Preston cut through the Blues time and again, with Paul Lambert’s men offering little in reply.
Kayden Jackson had the best chance, as he rattled the bar after stealing the ball from Preston goalkeeper Declan Rudd, but that was as good as it gout on a miserable afternoon.
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Three games remain for Lambert’s men, starting with Monday’s visit of Swansea, before games against promotion-chasing Sheffield United and Leeds.
Lambert named a side made up of 11 players who will be with the Blues next season, with Idris El Mizouni given his first start after three good appearances from the bench.
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But the visitors were tied up in knots early on as the movement of Preston’s front four caused trouble from the first whistle, with Robinson making their early pressure count as he found the net with an excellent drive from the edge of the penalty area.
Ipswich had pockets of play in response but it was the hosts who continued to control the game, with Ben Davies’ seeing a header bounce back off the post and Lukas Nmecha threatening on the last shoulder.
The Blues found their rhythm, with Teddy Bishop and Alan Judge linking up well to produce a chance for El Mizouni, which Davies deflected wide for a corner before Nsiala had a header held by Declan Rudd.
Then it was 2-0, as a ball in from the right flank was headed up in the air by Toto Nsiala and then Josh Emmanuel, with Robinson taking a touch before finding the top corner superbly for his second of the afternoon.
The Ipswich midfield were being bypassed as Preston flew forward, with Bialkowski required to make an excellent double save as he palmed Robinson’s driven effort up in the air before scrambling back to deny Nmecha’s close-range header.
Lambert’s visitors ended the half with their best spell of play, with Bishop curling an effort wide following a neat spin, Downes firing just over the top and captain Luke Chambers seeing his header turned round the post by goalkeeper Declan Rudd.
James Bree replaced Emmanuel at the break but the Aston Villa loanee was soon lying on the turf after missing a tackle which allowed Preston to break, Robinson to shoot and Nmecha to clear up the rebound after the initial shot was spilled by Bialkowski.
The game was up by this point but the Blues’ afternoon was summed up by Kayden Jackson, who hassled well to force Jordan Storey and goalkeeper Rudd to allow the ball to run free, only for the striker to make space to shoot and fire the ball off the underside of the bar.
Nmecha had the freedom of the Ipswich penalty area to slam home number four of the afternoon, completing a miserable afternoon.
PNE: Rudd; Fisher, Storey, Davies, Rafferty; Ledson, Johnson; Nmecha, Robinson (Stockley 76), Gallagher (Moult 71); Maguire (Ginnelly 73)
Subs: Crowe, Earl, Huntington, O’Reilly
Ipswich Town: Bialkowski; Emmanuel (Bree 46), Chambers. Nsiala, Kenlock; Downes, Skuse, Bishop (Chalobah 76); El Mizouni (Keane 59), Judge, Jackson
Subs: Gerken, Ndaba, Nolan, Dozzell
Att: 12, 546 (428 away)