Notification Settings

Subscribe to one or all notification sources from this one place.

Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter to get the day's top stories sent directly to you.

Blackburn 2-1 West Brom - Report

Albion lost for the first time this season as Championship leaders Blackburn continued their perfect start to the campaign.

Grady Diangana of West Bromwich Albion celebrates after scoring a goal to make it 1-2 during the Sky Bet Championship between Blackburn Rovers and West Bromwich Albion at Ewood Park on August 14, 2022 in Blackburn, United Kingdom. (Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).
Grady Diangana of West Bromwich Albion celebrates after scoring a goal to make it 1-2 during the Sky Bet Championship between Blackburn Rovers and West Bromwich Albion at Ewood Park on August 14, 2022 in Blackburn, United Kingdom. (Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).

Steve Bruce's men were beaten 2-1 on a frustrating afternoon on the road at Ewood Park, where well-taken goals either side of half-time did for the visitors, who remain in search of a first league win.

Grady Diangana's deflected strike on the hour halved the deficit but the Baggies were unable to force enough openings for an equaliser to maintain their unbeaten status.

On a strange afternoon in Lancashire Albion found themselves behind at half-time having been the better side against the division's leading side.

Grady Diangana of West Bromwich Albion and Lewis Travis of Blackburn Rovers during the Sky Bet Championship between Blackburn Rovers and West Bromwich Albion at Ewood Park on August 14, 2022 in Blackburn, United Kingdom. (Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).

A deserved goal from the visitors' star man Diangana might have forced a grandstand finish but Bruce and his side were made to rue Karlan Grant being denied by goalkeeper Thomas Kaminski in the big late chance.

Handy finishes from distance by Ben Brereton Diaz and Sam Gallagher mean Albion's wait for a league win goes on as they head home to The Hawthorns for clashes with Cardiff and Hull in the next six days.

Albion were grateful to have the services of Grant to call upon amid the recent striker injury crisis at The Hawthorns.

Ben Brereton Diaz of Blackburn Rovers and Thomas Kaminski of Blackburn Rovers combine to stop Callum Robinson of West Bromwich Albion during the Sky Bet Championship between Blackburn Rovers and West Bromwich Albion at Ewood Park on August 14, 2022 in Blackburn, United Kingdom. (Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).

After netting in his last two games, the striker limped out of the Carabao Cup victory over Sheffield United with a back problem but the issue settled in time for the trip to Lancashire.

Grant led the line in an unchanged Baggies side from the previous league clash, the impressive performance in drawing at home to Watford.

Bruce resisted the option to start returning new recruit Okay Yokuslu, after the midfielder played 60 minutes in the Cup. Skipper Jake Livermore returned with Yokuslu on the bench.

Taylor Gardner-Hickman, another who impressed against the Blades, was back among the substitutes in place of Alex Mowatt, who was a sub at new club Middlesbrough having joined on loan on Saturday.

Hosts Blackburn, protecting their impeccable start to the campaign under new boss Jon Dahl Tomasson, named highly-rated Ash Phillips, who only turned 17 in June, in central defence in their only change from the last league outing.

The visitors were backed by a loud and resplendent following and started the game well. Darnell Furlong attacked a Jed Wallace corner well to head over the top.

Diangana and Conor Townsend combined well and striker Gallagher was booking for fowling the latter. John Swift's resulting free-kick was beaten away unconvincingly by Kaminski.

It was not one-way traffic as the hosts showed signs of awakening. They worked it to the right byline and a low cross was inadvertently turned towards his won goal by Furlong, which forced David Button into a sharp stop.

Brereton Diaz went over hopefully looking for a penalty from the rebound but appeals were firmly waved away.

Conor Townsend of West Bromwich Albion during the Sky Bet Championship between Blackburn Rovers and West Bromwich Albion at Ewood Park on August 14, 2022 in Blackburn, United Kingdom. (Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).

Diangana was sharp down Albion's left in the early stages and found himself on the end of the best chance of the opening half hour.

The winger won a free-kick that was helped out to Wallace on the right. His delicious cross was met by Diangana at the back post, who met it well under pressure, but could only glance a header wide of the back post.

Bruce's men enjoyed much the better of the first half, with the side that entered the weekend top of the Championship at times camped in their own third. Furlong and Swift combined well for Albion to feed Livermore, whose shot was blocked.

Wallace whistled a 25-yard shot narrowly wide of the left post as it appeared Albion would end the half the stronger.

But, seconds later, the hosts earned a lead they hardly deserved. Chile international Brereton Diaz gave a glimpse of his quality to execute it, but Albion might think they were bypassed too easily.

Diaz turned Semi Ajayi, who had played well, with ease on the edge of the box and curled a fine left-footed strike beyond Button into what wasn't quite the corner, as the keeper's hand was not strong enough to keep out the strike.

Albion needed a fast response in the second half but managed the exact opposite, and after barely 90 seconds of the restart found themselves two down.

Rovers played over Furlong down the visitors' right and Brereton Diaz ran at Ajayi before picking a square pass along the penalty area that was expertly dispatched by Gallagher into the bottom left corner.

The Baggies were creaking, while Rovers' tails were up. The travelling contingent of almost 2,000 tried to keep their side in it.

Bruce's men attempted a response, forced a corner and were finally able to make some territory count just before the hour.

Swift's delivery was half-cleared to Diangana in the edge of the box. He took a neat touch, side-stepped a challenge and saw a fierce strike take a hefty deflection into the far corner, leaving Kaminski rooted.

Bruce acted decisively and make a bold triple change - possibly planned before the goal - to introduce Matt Phillips, at right-back, Yokuslu and Callum Robinson.

Grady Diangana of West Bromwich Albion reacts after his free kick goes narrowly over the bar during the Sky Bet Championship between Blackburn Rovers and West Bromwich Albion at Ewood Park on August 14, 2022 in Blackburn, United Kingdom. (Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).

This time it was Albion in the ascendency and they might have been level had Grant been able to pick out Robinson free in the box with a backheel.

The subs made an impact but a timely hydration break in the soaring heat helped the hosts, who settled once more.

Albion needed a spark inside the final 15 minutes and they created a huge opening for striker Grant. Diangana was the supplier, once more, with a fine low cross. It fed Grant six yards out, but big Belgian Kaminski made himself big for a brave stop.

Passes and control went astray for Albion, who lacked composure all too often in the sweltering heat.

A mammoth 11 minutes of stoppage time was not enough for Albion, who an Ajayi header wide-aside, failed to carve out another decisive opening and return down the M6 from Lancashire with nothing to show.

Top Stories

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News