After three wins from four games, Albion had then failed to win any of their next three matches and were back in 19th place after a 4-0 defeat at Middlesbrough. With just four matches to go, it looked a tough ask for the Baggies with two of those against second-placed Arsenal and third-place Manchester United. However, next up was a home game with mid-table Blackburn Rovers, a team with little to play for.
West Brom 1 Blackburn Rovers 1
Albion had been originally scheduled to play Rovers earlier in April, but Mark Hughes’ side were playing Arsenal in the FA Cup Semi Final. The Gunners won 3-0 which meant that Blackburn’s season was effectively over, sitting in a comfortable mid-table position.
Victory for Bryan Robson’s side in their game in hand would move them out of the relegation zone and, with matches against two of the top three to come, most observers felt that three points was a must for Albion if they hoped to retain their Premier League place.
Coming into the match, Blackburn had conceded just once in their last eight Premier League games so it was, perhaps, a surprise when Albion took the lead. Ryan Nelson felled Geoff Horsfield just outside the box and, with Neil Clement apparently poised to fire it to Friedel’s right, it was Kieran Richardson (pictured) who struck the ball delightfully into the opposite corner to notch his second goal in Baggies colours.
In driving rain after the break, Neil Clement really should have made it 2-0 but he failed to connect properly when given acres of space at the far post and Albion were made to pay a few minutes later. Pedersen beat Clement with a neat flick and took the ball towards the box, his pass evaded Jon Stead but found its way to Brett Emerton who was unmarked and the Australian lashed the ball into the top corner.
The point took Albion back above Norwich City into 18th place, but given their run in, survival was looking like a very tough ask.
Premier League Table – 26th April 2005
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