Failure to deal with set-pieces was the root cause of West Brom’s defeat. Zonal marking doesn’t seem to fit Albion’s players and the sooner that Slaven Bilic realises this, the better.
Things started promisingly enough when Charlie Austin nodded in a rebound to put the Baggies ahead, and there was a period after that where the home side were in control, but that soon changed.
Tom Bradshaw equalised in the 28th minute and the game was turned on its head, with Millwall beginning to dictate play.
Bodvarsson then dealt the finishing blow not long after half-time, and despite some periods of domination by West Brom, they were unable to successfully penetrate the Lions’ defence.
Some may feel the result was unfair, and others may feel it was about right. But how did the players get on? Here are their ratings…
Jonathan Bond – 6
Bond played very well in the first-half and made a fantastic double save to deny Millwall the lead, but the second-half wasn’t anywhere near as good. He may have conceded two, but the defenders in front of him didn’t make his job any easier.
Darnell Furlong – 7
Furlong was one of the best players out on the pitch for Albion. The 23-year-old made several successful marauding runs down the right flank and caused the Lions a lot of trouble with his drilled crosses into the box. We’re spoilt for choice with right-backs this season, as Nathan Ferguson is another stellar option back there.
Dara O’Shea – 5
This was a debut for Dara O’Shea and I think many fans will agree that he had a decent run out, but overall, it was an average performance. He could have done better in certain situations but with experience, he’ll improve.
Semi Ajayi – 7
An absolute unit. Ajayi shoved off Millwall players with ease, glided with the ball when playing it out from the back, and came close to grabbing a goal through a header, but it wasn’t to be. I was surprised to see his name on the team sheet, given how much he’s played already this season, but it just shows how important he is to the team.
Conor Townsend – 5
This game was a good chance to see what Townsend could do, as Kieran Gibbs has cemented his position as left-back. But if this was his way of trying to impress Bilic, it wasn’t that great. Like O’Shea, Townsend had an average game; he wasn’t bad, but he wasn’t great, either.
Chris Brunt – 6
The Albion stalwart is always a reliable option to have in the midfield, even if he is getting on a bit now. He played well and added some stability to the game, especially when Millwall were beginning to put us under pressure. His experience is invaluable.
Rekeem Harper – 6
A decent outing for the youngster. He showed promise in the middle of the park but was quiet in the latter stages of the match.
Kyle Edwards – 5 (Off 60′)
Edwards had a quiet game. He’s been nowhere near as good as he was against Forest in these past couple of matches. Perhaps it’s time to give Matheus Pereira a few starts in his place?
Grady Diangana – 7 (Off 70′)
Diangana’s shot was the catalyst for the first goal which Austin nodded home, so he certainly had an impact on his debut. He made a few darting runs and troubled the Lions defence. Good game for him.
Oliver Burke – 5
It’s difficult to see Oliver Burke being with the Baggies for much longer. He simply doesn’t fit the style of play at the Hawthorns, and is tendency to run like a headless chicken down the wing before invariably being tackled is incredibly frustrating to watch.
Charlie Austin – 8 (Off 60′)
Grabbed the opener on his debut and did exactly what was asked of him. A real thorn in Millwall’s side before he was subbed.
Filip Krovinovic – 6 (On 60′)
Injected some much needed enthusiasm and tenacity into the game, but the teammates around him weren’t on the same wavelength.
Romaine Sawyers – 6 (On 70′)
Sawyers added some brute strength to the game with his substitution, and he forced his way into the box several times but failed to have an end product.
Matheus Pereira – 7 (On 60′)
The Brazilian troubled Millwall’s defenders for quite some time after he was brought on; his trickery and speed on the ball was difficult to handle, and he came close to scoring twice.