West Bromwich Albion 4 - Blackburn Rovers 1

Date: Saturday 13th January 2024 
Competition: Sky Bet Championship
(4-4-1-1) Palmer 7.6, Furlong 6.6, Bartley 6.1, Kipré 7.3 (Taylor, 78 6.6), Townsend 7.4, Fellows 8.3, Yokuslu 7.9 (Wallace, 77 7.6), Mowatt 7.3, Reach 6.3 (Ávila Gordón, 59 6.9), Swift 6.4 (Chalobah, 59 6.4), Thomas-Asante 8.4 (Dike, 78 6.8)
Unused subs: Griffiths, Pieters, Malcolm, Heard
Manager: Carlos Corberán  7.8
Scorers: Fellows (11), Thomas-Asante (30, 63)
Referee: Stephen Martin 5.5
Attendance: 24,409   Home Fans 7.4   Away Fans 4.1
Submit your ratings for this game by clicking here: Ratings submitted so far: 8

Brendan Clegg:

I was a bit worried about this one going into it so it was just great to see that we were really bang at it and obviously it helped that their star forward was missing.

We dominated it. Blackburn tried to play decent football but we pressed them well, forced them into errors and they had no plan B.

I thought they were poor defensively and it felt like we could score with every attack. It felt like we won every first ball and header in their box all game.

Difficult to pick a standout player as we were strong everywhere but I though Fellows and BTA were our brightest 2. Fellows showing again that he’s got end product every time he gets the ball along with aggression, work rate and trustworthiness - I’ll take that over Sarmiento and, to be honest, Diagana every game.

I thought Swift looked rusty/careless at times again although his positioning and movement caused them problems, and I thought Reach looked physically weak but followed the Corberan instructions perfectly, blocking off zones well and keeping it simple.

Relieved to get through it with no injuries and with those players available given we’ve not made a signing which just feels negligent to be honest. Let’s hope that changes quickly and, as always, that the takeover happens.

We’ve got to follow this up next week and not chuck points away again.

  • Palmer - 7 One great save. Reliable.
  • Furlong - 7 Great game and I think benefits from having the uncomplicated Fellows ahead of him. Is always an option.
  • Bartley and Kipre - 7 Both solid, both picked up bookings that were harsh but also avoidable with a bit more composure
  • Townsend- 7 Cruised through it.
  • Mowatt - 7 Pulled all the strings.
  • Okay - 7 Another dominant game. You wonder how we can ever lose matches with him in there as fit and strong as this.
  • Fellows - 8 Didn’t put a foot wrong. Going to be hard to drop him. Sign him up.
  • Swift - 6 Has the license to be casual and take risks. Didn’t happen for him but he ran hard.
  • Reach - 6 Dependable if not under any pressure.
  • BTA - 8 Handbrake was definitely off a bit in terms of managing himself through it, and that’s when he’s at his best. A pest and a hat trick in my eyes.

All the subs were fine but I though Wallace looked bright and Pipa looked good going forward but very weak defensively.

Kev Buckley:

BTA bags a brace as Baggies batter Blackburn

Carlos Corberan resisted the temptation to play his second string wingers on their opposite sides, preferring to start with Fellows on the right and Reach on the left of the retuning Swift and the two would combine, as early as the 4th minute with the former going past his man to stand up a cross for the latter at the back post, although the header went straight at the keeper.

Ten minutes or so in and a long throw from Furlong was missed by everyone, bounced in front of the near post, and ballooned across the goal, to where Fellows was able to head home despite a defenders's attempt to hook it clear.

Blackburn were struggling to create anything, whilst Albion were constantly finding ways to create half-chances, the best of which came from Mowatt's delightful chipped pass dropping over Swift's right shoulder as he ran beyond the back-line, however the audacious volley flew over.

Fellows and Furlong's combinations were starting off much of Albions's attacking threats and a couple of minutes later Fellows was played in behind again, but the pull back, towards one Albion player, was intercepted, when a slightly deeper ball would have found a freer man.

Just before the half hour passed, Blackburn would get into the game and get a couple of blocked shots off but it wasn't long before the action switched back to the other end, where BTA would work enough space, on the right edge of the Blackburn area to be able to get off a powerful shot that nestled into the far side netting - the 50th goal that Blackburn have conceded this season.

BTA stretched every sinew to try and get a goal-line touch on what would go down as an own goal. after Mowatt's shot into a crowded box bounced in front of the keeper, then off him and onto a defender's knee to send it bobbling goalwards.

Fellows would have two more chances to increase the lead before half-time, dragging a left-foot shot wide as he worked an opening after a fine cross from Reach, and then, after dribbling across the box, in firing a left-footed shot over. Maybe Corberans's decision not to play him on the left had been based on observations of the youngster's left-footed prowess?

Ten minutes into the second half and Albion would get caught trying to play out from the back, but Blackburn's resulting effort was easily saved by Palmer, although he had to be at his best, three minutes later, to push away a shot from distance.

Just before the hour we saw Pipa on for Reach and Chalobah on for Swift, neither of whom had done much wrong, but merely not played enough minutes of late.

A nice bit of close control saw Albion's defenders back off enough to invite a fine curling shot that found the net on the hour and gave Blackburn some hope, although it would be extinguished within two minutes, initially after BTA spun his marker, galloped away and set up Pipa, however the makeshift left winger somehow allowed the keeper to get into the one foot of space between him and the goal-line and block his effort. The corner though, was never really cleared and when Furlong headed it back over to the left post, BTA drove the ball into the ground and up over the keeper from close range.

With a quarter of an hour to go, Wallace, Taylor and Dike would come on for Yokuslu, Kipre and BTA respectively, although only Dike, who shot wide after Furlong had had a run from inside his own half to set him up, really added much to what was, by then, becoming more of a training exercise for the the Albion.