Rovers end tough week on a high
Managerless Blackburn put two days of off-field turmoil behind them to record a first win in seven matches - 3-1 against npower Championship strugglers Barnsley.
Henning Berg was sacked as manager on Thursday following one win in 10 games at the helm.
Rovers' senior coaching staff were also shown the door and, under the caretaker control of reserve-team boss Gary Bowyer, it was the only signing of Berg's 57-day reign that opened the scoring at Oakwell.
On-loan Manchester United forward Josh King's bundled home before the half hour and a sublime individual effort on the stroke of half-time from Ruben Rochina gave Blackburn breathing space.
Stephen Dawson reduced the arrears during a lacklustre second half, the closing stages of which were marred by the sight of Barnsley forward Marcus Tudgay receiving lengthy treatment following a collision with Rovers goalkeeper Jake Kean and leaving the field on a stretcher.
That reduced Keith Hill's side to 10 men having used all their substitutions and, in the eighth of nine additional minutes, Jordan Rhodes muscled his way on to Jason Lowe's long ball to seal Blackburn's triumph and send Barnsley to the foot of the table.
Stephen Foster returned to the heart of the Barnsley defence after suspension ruled him out of the Boxing Day defeat to Birmingham, while Scott Wiseman, Matty Done and Craig Davies were restored to Hill's starting line-up.
Bowyer tweaked Blackburn's attack by selecting Rochina and Simon Vukcevic in support of top scorer Jordan Rhodes.
Colin Kazim-Richards and Diogo Rosado dropped to the bench while David Dunn, Morten Gamst Pedersen, Gael Givet and Dickson Etuhu were among a host of senior players absent from the squad.
Barnsley almost took the lead in the ninth minute when Scott Dann's botched clearance presented Davies with an opportunity but Rovers managed to scramble clear.
More slack defending, this time a poor backpass from Martin Olsson, presented Dawson with a shooting opportunity but Grant Hanley was in place to head clear.
Davies had the ball in the net with 17 minutes played but the whistle had gone for a foul on Adam Henley and Blackburn then began to make most of the running.
Rhodes uncharacteristically skied over after Rochina released Henley in the 23rd minute and Barnsley could not claim the opening goal was not on the cards when it arrived.
Straight from a Kean clearance, King raced clear of the Tykes backline and, although Luke Steele save his initial effort, the rebound struck him and bobbled into the net.
Rovers remained on the front foot and were rewarded in style by Rochina.
Wiseman backed off the advancing former Barcelona B playmaker, who stormed into the penalty area and lashed past Steele at his near post.
Kean saved well from Tudgay on the stroke of half-time but that did not persuade Hill against making a double substitution at the break as Reuben Noble-Lazarus and John Stones replaced Done and Wiseman.
Kazim-Richards was also on at the interval for the injured Vukcevic and almost extended Blackburn's lead in the 54th minute, seeing a shot deflected behind.
That opportunity was inventively set-up by Rochina and Blackburn let the initiative slip after he limped off midway through the half.
Barnsley sensed the opportunity and, with 14 minutes to go, Dawson lashed home emphatically from 20 yards.
The host's charge for an equaliser was concluded without Tudgay - leading to the huge allocation of injury time that Rhodes crowned with his 12th Blackburn goal in 21 starts.