Ajayi’s West Bromwich Albion stutter in tense promotion race | Goal.com

The Nigeria international played 90 minutes as the Baggies dropped two valuable points against Blackburn Rovers

Semi Ajayi played 90 minutes as West Bromwich Albion were held 1-1 at Blackburn Rovers on Saturday, as they dropped two valuable points in the race to reach the Premier League.

The Baggies took the lead through Filip Krovinovic in the 41st minute, but the hosts pegged them back through Joe Rothwell three minutes after the hour mark.

While the draw keeps the Albion in the automatic promotion places, the gap to third-placed Brentford has been cut to three points after the Bees defeated Derby County away earlier in the day.

Algeria wideman Said Benrahma was in sensational form for the Londoners, netting twice to take his tally to six goals in his last three matches, as Brentford extended their winning run to seven games.

They’re now within touching distance of the Baggies, and with superior goal difference, may fancy their chances of overhauling the Midlanders in the remaining three games of the season.

Fulham, in fifth place on 76 points, may also fancy their chances of overhauling Ajayi and co, having won their last four matches in the second tier.

It was a frustrating afternoon for Albion, who took 17 shots to Blackburn’s seven, but were regularly repelled by their opponents, for whom Tosin Adarabioyo was excellent in the heart of the defence.

Rovers boss Tony Mowbray discussed his admiration for the on-loan Manchester City centre-back earlier in the week, but acknowledged that his side were unlikely to be able to afford the Anglo-Nigerian starlet on a permanent basis.

While Adarabioyo and his teammates will be delighted with a point, the Albion were left frustrated with their inability to win, particularly as Krovinovic could have added a second when he struck the bar.

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The Throstles pushed men forward late on in search of a winner, a sign perhaps of their increasing desperation, while head coach Slaven Bilic was involved in a touchline altercation with Adarabioyo’s defensive partner Darragh Lenihan as tensions bubbled over.

Ajayi was booked late on but enjoyed a strong showing in which he won four aerial battles and created a goalscoring opportunity.

His defensive return of three tackles and six clearances was better than any other Albion player, as he again demonstrated his qualities in the backline.

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