West Brom 3-2 Blackburn: Baggies see off Rovers at The Hawthorns
Report and highlights from the Sky Bet Championship clash at The Hawthorns.
Last Updated: 31/08/19 6:48pm
Tony Mowbray made an uncomfortable return to West Brom as his Blackburn side fell to a 3-2 defeat to give home boss Slaven Bilic his first win at The Hawthorns as manager.
In a thrilling first half, Bradley Dack gave Mowbray's side the lead after just 26 seconds but Matt Phillips equalised before Jake Livermore and Grady Diangana made it 3-1.
Bradley Johnson handed Blackburn a lifeline just before half-time however and Rovers were on top for most of the second half, but they could not find an equaliser, e having an effort disallowed and hitting the post.
The visitors took the lead when a poor pass from Kyle Bartley put Romaine Sawyers in trouble and Sam Gallagher intercepted before finding Dack 15 yards out for a low, first-time shot.
But virtually the rest of the first half belonged to West Brom.
Phillips levelled in the 22nd minute when he latched on to a superb reverse pass from Matheus Pereira and held off Greg Cunningham before rolling the ball past Christian Walton.
The home side went desperately close when right-back Darnell Furlong crossed and Pereira's diving header was inches wide.
But West Brom's pressure was rewarded in the 31st minute when they went ahead.
A chip from Phillips hit the bar from Furlong's pull back, and Pereira laid it back to Livermore, who sidefooted in.
After Charlie Austin sliced wide from another Pereira cross, the scoreline was given a more emphatic look five minutes before the break.
Diangana left Darragh Lenihan for dead on the left and raced towards goal before dinking the ball over Walton from a tight angle for his third of the season.
Out of the blue, Rovers scored in the first minute of time added on at the end of the first half.
Midfielder Johnson rammed home a loose ball after Lenihan's header from Stewart Downing's deep-free kick had been dropped by Sam Johnstone at the foot of the far post.
Rovers boss Mowbray made a double change at half-time, introducing John Buckley and Joe Rothwell for Gallagher and Johnson.
The switch appeared to pay off in the 57th minute when Blackburn had the ball in the net.
Downing's free-kick was deflected against the bar by Semi Ajayi, Lenihan challenged Johnstone in the air and the ball dropped into the net. But referee Tony Harrington ruled Lenihan had fouled the 'keeper.
Rovers were a fraction away from equalising in the 67th minute when Downing hit the post with a first-time effort from Dack's free-kick.
But Albion responded with a curling effort from Pereira that flew inches over from Diangana's cross.
Phillips twice threatened for the Baggies late on, his header smothered on the line by Walton before he blazed over from point-blank range.
Slaven Billic: "[Pereira is] a player - I knew him from Germany last year and that's why we wanted to sign him," said the Baggies manager. I have many friends in Germany that I spoke to about him. He wanted to come and only to come here. He's confident and comfortable on the ball and he likes to get in the pockets.
"He likes to pass the ball and get in the box but he doesn't mind defending. He's not a showman - he wants to penetrate and run into the box. Before this game maybe he had 90 minutes altogether and maybe had seven shots, which is good for a midfielder or a winger. But we expected that from him."
Tony Mowbray: "I'm not sure the referee could see it, he was looking though nine players, I think. So he played safe by giving a free-kick. We kept giving them the ball back in the first half, but we kept it better in the second.
"I think in the second half we took the sting out of them by keeping the ball, which didn't allow them to build up momentum."