West Bromwich Albion 1-1 Millwall: Baggies go top of Championship despite being held to home draw


Karlan Grant has his penalty saved
West Brom forward Karlan Grant had his penalty saved by Bartosz Bialkowski late in the first half

West Bromwich Albion went top of the Championship table despite being held to a 1-1 draw at home by Millwall.

Albion wasted a great chance to take the lead when Karlan Grant missed a penalty just before the break.

Grady Diangana won the spot-kick when he went down under the challenge of Maikel Kieftenbeld but Grant’s effort from 12 yards was well telegraphed and saved by Bartosz Bialkowski, diving to his left.

Four minutes into the second half Albion did take the lead with Baggies captain Kyle Bartley’s looping header from Conor Townsend’s cross.

But Millwall took just six minutes to level when home keeper Sam Johnstone did not come to claim Jed Wallace’s cross and, despite the presence of three home players on the line, on-loan Arsenal defender Danny Ballard’s far-post header sneaked in just under the bar.

Semi Ajayi had a chance to win it when his downward header bounced over the bar from Darnell Furlong’s cross, but it was Sheyi Ojo who had to chance to steal all three point for Gary Rowett’s Lions.

The on-loan Liverpool forward failed to control an early cross from Scott Malone and he was then denied in a one-on-one with keeper Johnstone after Ajayi had mis-hit a backpass.

Albion now host Derby County at home on Tuesday night, when Millwall, who have risen three places to 14th, go to Swansea.

Kyle Bartley headed Albion's goal against Milllwall four minutes into the second half
Kyle Bartley headed Albion’s goal against Milllwall four minutes into the second half

West Bromwich Albion head coach Valerien Ismael:

“We need to have another desire and another attitude to be better than this. We have to be more ruthless in our backline – that was our strength in the first five games so we need to get back to that and dominate our opponent.

“We will learn from this and adjust but we need to adapt from when the opponent does not want to take any risk and wants to take the intensity out of the game.

“The game plan from the opponent was another way we have to deal with and Millwall made it difficult for us.”

Millwall manager Gary Rowett:

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“I didn’t think it was a penalty – I didn’t think Maikel Kieftenbeld moved his foot but Bartosz got us off the hook with a great save. If it’s a clear penalty, then fine – but I think, if we’d have had VAR, I don’t think it would have stood.

“West Brom are very good at playing pressure football against you and a lot of teams struggle to deal with it. Teams have struggled to deal with that intensity.

“But we managed that really well and dealt with the game. Overall, we created quite a few chances and possibly more and the better chances. We conceded a poor goal but we always looked threatening. Sheyi Ojo and Jed Wallace looked a major threat on the counter attack.”

Line-ups

West Brom

Formation 3-4-3

  • 1Johnstone
  • 6Ajayi
  • 5Bartley
  • 21KipréBooked at 20mins
  • 2Furlong
  • 8Livermore
  • 27Mowatt
  • 3Townsend
  • 11DianganaSubstituted forHugillat 45′minutes
  • 18GrantSubstituted forRobinsonat 59′minutes
  • 10Phillips

Substitutes

  • 7Robinson
  • 14Molumby
  • 17Hugill
  • 20Reach
  • 23Snodgrass
  • 25Button
  • 33Taylor

Millwall

Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 33Bialkowski
  • 26Ballard
  • 3M WallaceBooked at 60mins
  • 5Cooper
  • 24MitchellBooked at 43minsSubstituted forLeonardat 80′minutes
  • 6Kieftenbeld
  • 17Saville
  • 11Malone
  • 7J Wallace
  • 14OjoSubstituted forBennettat 81′minutes
  • 10SmithBooked at 90mins

Substitutes

  • 1Long
  • 8Thompson
  • 9Bradshaw
  • 15Pearce
  • 18Leonard
  • 20Bennett
  • 21Mahoney

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