West Bromwich Albion 0-0 Blackburn Rovers: Ben Brereton Diaz hobbles off in stalemate


Ben Brereton Diaz goal ruled out
Blackburn’s Ben Brereton Diaz had a well-taken goal correctly ruled out for offside

Blackburn top scorer Ben Brereton Diaz went off with a foot injury as new West Brom boss Steve Bruce picked up a point from his first home game in charge.

The hosts had the best chance of a low-key first half, Karlan Grant failing to connect with Darnell Furlong’s cross.

Both sides had offside goals ruled out before 20-goal Brereton Diaz came off on 70 minutes after an attempted shot.

The Baggies almost won it late on but sub Tyrhys Dolan acrobatically cleared Adam Reach’s header off the line.

After starting with defeat by Sheffield United five nights earlier, Bruce’s first point as Albion boss was just desserts for a committed home performance.

But it was no surprise that it should end in a stalemate in a meeting of two out-of-form teams who have both now gone four games without a goal, with the Baggies it failing to score for the seventh time in nine games.

The visitors lost centre-back Daniel Ayala in the warm-up, with Ryan Nyambe moving into the back three, though their slightly makeshift defense stuck to its task for the most part.

Former England striker Andy Carroll was full of running and his customary aerial threat on his Albion home debut – and he did force one of Rovers keeper Thomas Kaminski’s three saves with a powerful first-half shot. But it said everything that his biggest contribution of the night was actually back in his own box, with a superb second-half headed clearance.

As for former Albion boss Tony Mowbray’s Rovers, they too brought three saves out of home keeper Sam Johnstone. But, after going close with two headers at set-pieces from Jan Paul van Hecke and Scott Wharton, it was ironically after Chile international Brereton Diaz went off that the visitors went closest to scoring, when Johnstone denied substitute Reda Khadra’s fierce far-post shot .

Rovers, beaten by Swansea and then at home by Nottingham Forest, were then so close to a third straight defeat- but Dolan did superbly to hook clear Reach’s goalbound header – and deny the former Middlesbrough man a winner against his former Boro boss Mowbray.

who’s next?

Albion move up a place in the Championship table to eighth – three points off a play-off place after a first clean sheet in four games, going into Saturday’s trip to 10th-placed Luton.

Rovers remain third, four points behind second-placed Bournemouth, going into Saturday’s home game with Gary Rowett’s mid-table Millwall.

New West Bromwich Albion Steve Bruce picked up his first point and his first clean sheet as Baggies boss
Bruce was given a warm welcome from the home fans before kick-off

West Bromwich Albion boss Steve Bruce told BBC Radio WM:

“Both sides struggled to create much. We nearly got the break right at the end but quality in the final third was lacking.

“There was lots to be pleased about and it’s good to at least get a point but we need to find a way of scoring goals and winning games.

“Maybe I need to take another look at playing 4-3-3. We certainly need someone getting closer to Andy Carroll. He worked his socks off, proved his fitness and looked a threat.

“I have to thank the supporters for giving me the welcome they did. It was great to hear – and I’m still quietly confident that we can make the play-offs.”

Blackburn Rovers boss Tony Mowbray told BBC Radio Lancashire:

“Ben Brereton Diaz is a very robust footballer. He never misses a day’s training, always wants to do extra training. Fingers crossed that it was just a kick.

“We have to accept the point and move on but I felt we were the team who were going to score.

“It’s just frustrating that we couldn’t nick a goal from an improved second-half performance.

“I’m still proud of keeping a clean sheet. But with the talent we have, we should be scoring a goal.”

Line-ups

West Brom

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • oneJohnstone
  • twoFurlong
  • 6Ajayi
  • 16clarke
  • 3Townsend
  • 14MolumbySubstituted forGardner–Hickmanat 80′minutes
  • 27Mowatt
  • 7Robinson
  • twentyreach
  • 18GrantSubstituted forDianganaat 63′minutes
  • fifteenCarroll

substitutes

  • 4O’Shea
  • elevenDiangana
  • twenty-onekipr
  • 25Button
  • 28Tulloch
  • 29Gardner–Hickman
  • 32Castro

blackburn

Formation 3-4-1-2

  • oneKaminski
  • twoNyambe
  • 25van Hecke
  • 16Wharton
  • elevenRankin-CostelloBooked at 41minsSubstituted forDolanat 74′minutes
  • 27Travis
  • 8Rothwell
  • 28Giles
  • twenty-oneBuckleySubstituted forJohnsonat 90+1′minutes
  • 22Brereton DiazSubstituted forKhadraat 70′minutes
  • 9Gallagher

substitutes

  • 3Pickering
  • 4Johnson
  • 7Khadra
  • 10Dolan
  • 13Pear’s
  • fifteenBrown
  • 19hedges

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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