Blackburn Rovers 2 - West Bromwich Albion 1
A deeply disappointing result, but not an unexpected one having seen the starting lineup and bench.
I thought the starting 11 looked like it would struggle for legs - Morrison or Barry can just about play in a midfield 3 with legs around them but to put them together I thought was encouraging us to be overrun, especially with HRK and Jrod in our front 3 as both also are very slow by modern player standards.
A point of personal annoyance was also there again - the bench looked totally bereft of pace or variety. Surely we need 1 or 2 max from Brunt, Livermore, Hoolahan and Harper - Sako being the only attacking option and once again the pace of Edwards, Burke or Leko nowhere to be seen.
The first ten minutes Blackburn absolutely battered us as Barry and Mozza couldn't cover ground quick enough and they should've been one-up but Graham missed a one-on-one.
We gradually gained control through the quality on the ball and positioning of the above two but constantly had nothing to hit pace-wise on the break, except for the odd foray forward from Phillips, so we didn't look dangerous.
We probably in the end shaded the first half but it was a terrible game - Blackburn's system being better than ours but their quality being not good enough to hurt us.
2nd half we conceded directly from a corner early doors (an incredibly poor goal) and quickly after conceded a second on the counter having looked to be in control of the situation - Gibbs seemingly going to sleep and then Bartley offering the meekest of resistance.
At 2 down we made a couple of loony subs in my opinion - Brunt and Livermore on for Tosin and Mozza.
We won a penalty through Barnes in a brief period - our most dangerous of the whole match - straight after those subs when, through apparent confusion, nobody seemed to know where they were playing; Brunt at left back - Gibbs on the wing, Barnes through the middle and Phillips at right back but seemingly our furthest player forward. Barnes won it and JRod converted with his only real contribution of the game.
For another 5 mins we probably should've scored in amongst the chaos as Blackburn went to pieces but poor decision making and quality cost us.
There was then a lull before Livermore got himself sent off moronically for an ego-mad 'look how strong I am' WWE impression, and enough time for a final strange sub taking off Jrod (ineffective but our most prolific player on the pitch all the same) for a leggy Hobbit who seemed to get in the way.
A late flurry with a couple of goal-bound shots blocked and it was over - our quality unable to belie our other faults this time.
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