Millwall 2-0 West Bromwich Albion: Afobe and Bennett goals pile pressure on Valerien Ismael
Bartley challenges with Afobe for the ball - Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images

West Bromwich Albion suffered their second straight defeat as they were beaten by Millwall at The Den.

Mason Bennett grabbed the first goal of the game as he prodded into the net following a free-kick.

Benik Afobe then added a second shortly after, twisting past the defence and finding the bottom corner.

West Brom supporters turned on manager Valerien Ismael, with the former Barnsley boss under increasing pressure from the fans who made their voices heard.

  • Story of the match

Andy Carroll came straight into the Albion side after signing on Friday morning with the striker having last played for Reading less than two weeks ago.

There weren't wholesale changes from boss Ismael, who opted to recall on-loan Brighton man Matt Clarke to the lineup to replace Adam Reach.

Semi Ajayi was also reinstated onto the bench following Nigeria's exit from AFCON at the last-16 stage.

Lions boss Gary Rowett chose to give new signing and former West Brom man Oliver Burke his first start, with the forward having joined on loan from Sheffield United earlier in the window.

He replaced George Evans in the Millwall eleven as they looked to grab their first win of 2022.

The Baggies started the brighter of the two teams as they flooded their attacking third with numbers.

They aimed to get the ball out wide quickly to produce crosses into the box to find their new signing, Carroll.

Alex Mowatt's corner caused problems for the Lions’ defence, as it pinballed across the penalty area, Darnell Furlong flew in at the back post only to see his touch blocked by Danny McNamara.

Albion continued to press on in search of an opening, this time it was Caroll who the ball fell to following a headed clearance.

The former Liverpool, Newcastle United and West Ham United man's shot was powerful, but just in sight for Bartosz Bialkowski who tipped the ball wide.

Mowatt once again caused havoc from a set-piece, as he took a quick throw after spotting the run of Furlong, who flashed a ball across the face of goal, only just evading the onrushing attackers.

The game became more scrappy as the first half drew to a close, as McNamara crossed a looping cross towards the back post, only for Scott Malone to balloon his shot over the bar as he rushed in.

McNamara again was central to the Lions’ attacking play, this time he was played through by Burke, the right-back placed a pass across the area that only just evaded Afobe.

Formerly of Wolves he then found himself in a confrontation, as Kyle Bartley took offence to his aerial challenge, leading to a face-off between the two.

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The home side came out the stronger side as Afobe skied a close-range shot following a knockdown from Burke.

The on-loan blades man found himself in on goal following a scramble in the Albion box, goalkeeper David Button then produced a superb save to deny him.

It was Burke again who had a fantastic chance to take the lead, Jake Cooper's cross-field pass sought him out, but the forward's touch was too heavy to get around Button.

Ismael then opted to look to the bench to change the game, going for a double change as Callum Robinson and Grady Diangana came on in place of Karlan Grant and Matt Phillips.

Irish forward Robinson almost made an instant impact, his low shot almost caught Bialkowski out at his near post, as he tipped onto the woodwork.

As the hosts continued their dominance, Bennett managed to touch down Sean Hutchinson's flick-on.

The former Derby County, Notts County and Burton Albion man then slid a neat finish past the keeper to give them the lead.

A goal meant the Lions' tails were up, Afobe's pressure meant he found himself one-on-one with Clarke on the edge of the area.

He twisted the defender inside and out, producing a cool finish past Button to double their advantage.

Albion had an opportunity to eat into their tally, as Diangana crossed towards the back post, only for Carroll's launched header to bear straight at the 'keeper.

The Baggies fans showed their frustrations towards the end of the game by halting play twice, throwing both a flare and a torn out stadium seat onto the field of play.

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