Blackburn Rovers 1 West Brom 1
With seven games remaining, Albion knew that they could afford to drop four points in the run in and still secure promotion back to the Premier League irrespective of what the teams behind them would do. That means that they could afford to draw two of their remaining matches.
At Ewood Park in the fourth of those matches, the Baggies have used up one of those “lives” and now need seven points from the remaining three games assuming Brentford continue their incredible winning streak.
Quite how Slaven Bilić’s side didn’t win the match at Blackburn is something of a mystery. They had four excellent chances in the first half, but took just one when Filip Krovinović volleyed home Charlie Austin’s pass, and had another three fantastic opportunities in the first 15 minutes of the second half but failed to take any of them. The best of those fell to the Croatian but he struck the post when it seemed easier to score.
Tony Mowbray made three changes just after the hour mark and two of those combined to nick an underserved equaliser for the hosts. For once, Bilić was unable to work his magic from the bench and Albion did not look anywhere near as dangerous after the Rovers goal. In fact, Blackburn could have even won the game – it took a fantastic save from San Johnstone to deny Jacob Davenport.
For an hour, however, Albion looked superb, and Austin and Krovinović will be disappointed not to have taken one of the other great chances they had. It was a game that the Baggies should have won comfortably.
It’s difficult to be too critical of the performance – they did everything right up until that final shot, but it just wasn’t to be. The goal did seem to rock them a little and that was perhaps a concerning sign, but they should still take plenty of confidence into their remaining games.
Despite the disappointment of dropping points, they remain in a fantastic position with just three games left. It would be a remarkable feat if Brentford could win their remaining three games, but even if they did, two wins and a draw would secure a top two finish for Albion. The performance today, if not the result, and the displays in the previous three games, suggest that they should achieve that.
The Baggies could even end the weekend top of the table should Leeds lose at Swansea tomorrow, but attention is now turning to the visit of Fulham on Tuesday evening – Scott Parker’s side had a wobble just after the restart but are now on a run of four straight wins and will present a tough test.