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West Brom 3 Blackburn 2 – Player ratings

By Matt Wilson | West Bromwich Albion | Published:

Slaven Bilic got his first home win as Albion boss thanks to a five-goal thriller with Tony Mowbray's Blackburn side. Here, we rate the players.

Albion celebrate Jake Livermore's goal. (AMA)

Sam Johnstone

Every goalkeeper makes mistakes, but Johnstone is now making them too regularly. After a man of the match performance against Derby, he spilled an easy header here, allowing Blackburn back into the game. And a few home fans ironically cheered when he caught a cross. 5

Darnell Furlong

Played at right-back in order to give Albion an attacking forced on that wing and boy did he deliver. Got to the byline several times to cut the ball back into the danger area, and helped set up the second goal. Has a surprisingly good leap on him too. 7

Kyle Bartley

There were shades of last season in his misplaced pass 25 seconds in that led to Blackburn’s opener, and he also should have scored at the other end of the game. Bartley has been much better this season, but he might be under pressure when Ahmed Hegazi returns. 5

Semi Ajayi

Solid at the back, and forced Sam Gallagher off at half-time, but as well as his battling tackles, he seems to have added previously unseen marauding runs into his repertoire. Looking like an absolute steal at £1.3million, and plenty more to come. 7

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Nathan Ferguson

Eighteen years old and playing out of position, not that you would have guessed it. Only once did he look flustered, when Adam Armstrong got the wrong side of him. Apart from that he was composed in and out of possession, what a talent Albion have. 6

Romaine Sawyers

Robbed of possession 25 seconds in on the edge of the box, allowing Blackburn to score. But the way he bounced back was impressive. His part in the first goal was stunning, and shows exactly what he’s best at, wriggling out of a tight spot and playing forward. 7

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Jake Livermore

Put Albion ahead when he curled in his first goal of the season, but his performance was so much more than that strike. There were the cross-field passes to Furlong, the tackles, and most impressively – the sprints to beat others to the ball. A different beast to last season. 9

Matt Phillips

A day after signing a new three-year deal, Phillips grabbed his second goal of the season with the sort of power and pace he’s known for. He looks happier and more confident under Bilic, and when he’s on song, he’s very difficult to stop. Also hit the bar. 8

Matheus Pereira

The Brazilian ran the show in the first half, finding pockets of space behind the striker and playing exactly the sort of incisive forward passes Albion have been missing. Set up the first two goals, and even though he had a quieter second half, will surely keep his place. 8

Grady Diangana

Lesser men would have squared it. Not Grady. Despite hurtling towards goal at breakneck speed, he was in complete control, and when he lifted the ball over Christian Walton, it was with such panache and style, you couldn’t help but applaud. Three goals already. 8

Charlie Austin

Perhaps the Baggies should organise a couple of behind-closed-doors friendlies in the international break to get Austin up to speed, because the willingness is there, but the fitness isn’t yet. It’s not his fault he’s been playing in fits and starts, but he needs game time. 5

Substitutes

Kenneth Zohore (Austin 68) 6

Filip Krovinovic (Diangana 76) 6

Kyle Edwards (Pereira 89) 6

Unused: Bond, Brunt, O’Shea, Robson-Kanu

Matt Wilson

By Matt Wilson
Football MMPJ - @mattwilson_star

Sports reporter at the Express & Star, who primarily covers West Bromwich Albion.

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