West Bromwich Albion 0-0 Blackburn Rovers: Stalemate at the Hawthorns
Furlong holds off Brereton Diaz (Mark Thompson - Getty Images)

It ended in a goalless draw at the Hawthorns in Steve Bruce’s first home game in charge when West Bromwich Albion hosted promotion pushing Blackburn Rovers.  

Story of the match

It was a dull first 45, with the game getting off to a quiet opening 20 minutes. Blackburn striker Ben Brereton Diaz put the ball in the back of the net after six minutes, but the flag was raised for offside. 

From then on, a number of loose passes and a lack of quality saw little to no creativity in the game. 

Steve Bruce’s side did put together a moment of sustained pressure midway through the first half, but Baggies top scorer Karlan Grant and January signing Andy Carroll’s efforts barely tested Thomas Kaminski in the Blackburn goal.

Grant’s effort was arguably the best chance of the match, though the 24-year-old failed to connect with Darnell Furlong’s deep cross towards the far post.

Furlong looked to be West Brom’s brightest spark at one point, aiming to catch out Kaminski again from a quick free kick but it sailed wide, finding the side netting. 

Throughout the rest of the half, it was more of the same from both teams.

After the break, Tony Mowbray’s side got off to a positive start, with Rovers pushing further up the pitch.

It was on the hour mark where Brereton Diaz was at the thick of the action again, seeing another goal chalked off for offside. 

Shortly after, the Chilean forced a save from Sam Johnstone, however the striker immediately went down wincingly, before being substituted in place of Reda Khedra.

Right at the death, Adam Reach went oh so close with a header which would’ve seen Steve Bruce’s side snatch all three points, but for substitute Tyrhys Dolan’s off the line clearance.

Takeaways from the match

The draw means West Brom move up one place up to eighth, two points off Middlesbrough in the promotion spots.

As for Blackburn, they stay in third place just outside the automatic promotion spots.

It’s now four games without a goal for two out-of-form teams, and missed opportunities for both in terms of pushing for Premier League football next season.

The worst news of the evening for Mowbray and his players will be the injury to their top scorer. Post-match, the Blackburn boss told BBC Radio Lancashire: “Ben Brereton Diaz is a very robust footballer. He never misses a day’s training, always wants to do extra training. Fingers crossed that it was just a kick.”

The 22-year-old has 20 Championship goals this campaign and is sure to play a vital part if Rovers return back to the top-flight next season.