West Bromwich Albion 1 - Blackburn Rovers 1

Date: Wednesday 15th February 2023 
Competition: Sky Bet Championship
(4-3-3) Griffiths 5.7, Furlong 5.2, O'Shea 6.3, Pieters 5.9, Townsend 6.0, Chalobah 5.6 (Molumby, 52 5.9), Yokuslu 6.2, Albrighton 4.1 (Diangana, 63 6.4), Wallace 6.4, Thomas-Asante 6.7 (Dike, 81 4.6), Swift 6.2
Unused subs: Button, Ajayi, Grant, Reach
Manager: Carlos Corberán  5.8
(4-2-3-1) Pears, Rankin-Costello (Brittain, 68), Carter, Wharton (Hyam, 45), Pickering, Travis, Morton (Gallagher, 82), Thomas (Hedges, 63), Dack (Szmodics, 64), Brereton Díaz, Dolan
Unused subs: Hilton, Buckley
Scorers: Molumby (73); Brereton Díaz (89)
Referee: David Webb 3.5
Attendance: 21,840   Home Fans 6.4   Away Fans 4.0

Brendan Clegg:

Very frustrating one after we’d just done enough to get our noses in front - late equalisers are always painful.

I thought Corberan got the lineup right - Griffiths had to come in, as did Swift and BTA. Albrighton left and Wallace right was sensible too and if an eyebrow was raised about Chalobah coming in for Molumby then his edging of being just about our best player in the first half justified the selection.

We were the better team in the first half but had JG to thank for an incredible save in the opening few minutes… not a bad way to start.

Blackburn pressed us high and in numbers aggressively as Blues had done but they were far more patient - and to be fair decent - with the ball at the back, sucking us in rather than going long.

They kept the ball in deep areas for long periods without hurting us but as we changed things around we caused problems… a couple of close corners that we may have scored from and some wicked Wallace crosses we probably should’ve put away. Swift had an acrobatic effort that probably looked closer than it was and as went in the break we had to be happy - Albrighton perhaps being the only player looking leggy and not sharp.

In the second half we looked strong and after continued pressure and with the introduction of Grady and Mulumby we finally got the goal, scrappy as it was.

After that we looked mire likely to get another with set pieces being a big threat. A shame then that we contrived to give away a poor goal through sloppy game management in the 89th minute. Molumby with a poor pass, Furlong going to ground and not winning the ball, a cheap free kick in an area Diaz has the quality to hurt you and then a weak wall and, unfortunately, weak wrists to stop it.

Corberan must’ve been gutted. 2 points dropped against a rival and proper mid table form over 5 games. We’ve simply not been able to cope with the injuries to Phillips and Palmer and now maybe Chalobah is on that list too.

However... I’d give the same 11 as started tonight (marginal exception of maybe Grady over Albrighton in home games) another couple of goes as it’s the best we have and they nearly did it again.

  • Griffiths- 6 Better than Button but a clean sheet would’ve been so good.
  • Furlong - 6 Generally okay
  • Dara - 6 Guilty of over playing a bit.
  • Pieters - 6 Ditto bit we limited them
  • Townsend - 6 Got caught a couple of times but overall put the yards in.
  • Yokuslu- 7 Some big challenges and useful play.
  • Chalobah - 6 Some very good use of the ball.
  • Wallace - 7 Always on the move and dangerous
  • Swift - 6 Some good touches but needed him to score one of his chances
  • Albrighton- 5 Looked a lot more leggy and old
  • BTA - 7 Didn’t always look after it or make the right decisions but miles better than anything else. Give him games to get back in the groove.
  • Mulumby - 5 Hero and villain. Passing was poor all night when he came on but loved the goal
  • Grady - 7 Used it so much better and was an outlet
  • Dike - 5 No real impact

Ancient Baggie:

Really disappointing to throw away 2pts like that. I felt we were a bit passive early on although we did have one or two decent chances that we should really have done better with and Chalobah looked promising. Pleased to see Griffiths given his chance and although he was understandably a bit nervous thought he did OK generally. In my opinion we look a far better team when we pass forward quickly.

Unfortunately we spent a lot of time going sideways and backwards and didn't create much in the way of pressure on what I must say was a very poor Blackburn side. When we got the breakthrough I really couldn't see them getting back into it but another really sloppy attempted sideways pass in the 87th minute gave them a chance to break on us and resulted in a soft free kick. Inevitably they scored from it, I haven't seen it back but apparently Griffiths maybe should have done better with it?

My general takeaway is we still need to be better with the ball especially playing out from fullbacks. Swift has to start because he makes things happen and I'd give Gardner Hickman a start at fullback.