Tony Mowbray described the officiating at Ewood Park as “embarrassing” after Blackburn’s six-match winning run came to an end following a goalless draw with Huddersfield. Nullified by the visitors’ defensive solidarity, Blackburn were restricted to few chances, with Reda Khadra’s strike against the frame of the goal the closest they came.
Mowbray was incensed that the referee Keith Stroud waved away Ben Brereton Díaz’s first-half penalty claims and was booked for his protests. Blackburn are up to second in the Championship table after making it six unbeaten at home, but they failed to take full advantage of postponements for Bournemouth and Fulham, and Mowbray made his feelings clear.
“I don’t want to sit here and hammer the referees. I don’t know what game they watch, that’s all. It’s embarrassing,” Mowbray said. “You’ve got to know when a foul is a foul.”
Huddersfield remain sixth after a performance of substance in trying conditions and without their manager, Carlos Corberán, who has tested positive for Covid. The result, which made it four unbeaten away, was earned thanks to “fighting spirit”, according to coach Danny Schofield.
The refereeing at the Hawthowns was also the subject of debate with rival managers Valérien Ismaël and Steve Morison criticising Thomas Bramall after tempers boiled over at the end of the 1-1 draw between West Brom and Cardiff.
Ismaël stormed on to the pitch and the West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone and the Cardiff defender Aden Flint were sent off after a melee was sparked by Bramall’s refusal to award a penalty for what both managers agreed looked like a push on Conor Townsend by Marlon Pack.
“It’s a clear penalty – I can’t say anything else, it’s a penalty,” West Brom manager Ismaël said. “It was not only the penalty decision – some decisions were for us, some against us – in my opinion it was a poor refereeing performance.”
The Cardiff manager Morison agreed with his counterpart. “It was all caused by them having a stonewall penalty and the referee not giving it,” he said. “We were thankful he didn’t give it, but as for the two sendings-off at the end, I think they grabbed each other to stop the other doing what they were going to do.”
Cardiff led in the 34th minute when James Collins glanced home Joe Ralls’s corner. West Brom’s equaliser by Callum Robinson in the 48th minute was controversial as Cardiff claimed he was offside. Albion played the last 14 minutes with 10 men after the midfielder Alex Mowatt was shown a straight red card for lunging in on Will Vaulks.
The Queens Park Rangers manager, Mark Warburton, praised his players after they made it five games unbeaten away from home with a 2-1 win at Birmingham. Albert Adomah and Chris Willock put QPR 2-0 up before Chuks Aneke pulled a goal back for the hosts.
Warburton’s side possesses the third best away record in the Championship and the coach expressed his delight after seeing them climb to fifth. “It’s a tough venue and opponent,” Warburton said. “I have a lot of respect for Lee [Bowyer] and the job he does with his players, we knew we would face a tough challenge here today.”
Adomah’s neat finish in the 14th minute set QPR on their way, with the winger finding the net for the first time since the final day of last season.
Birmingham failed to test QPR after getting themselves back into the game and Bowyer admitted his side are lacking a clinical touch. “We didn’t have that bit of quality in the final third,” he said. “That’s what we’ve lacked ever since we lost [Tahith] Chong. Hopefully we can bring some more of that in.”
Nigel Pearson told his Bristol City players at half-time that the next 45 minutes against Millwall could transform their season. The response was a fightback from 2-1 down to win 3-2 thanks to an Andreas Weimann hat-trick.
The striker had capitalised on a mishit clearance from Bartosz Bialkowski to fire City into a seventh-minute lead. But Tom Bradshaw’s 23rd-minute header plus a Benik Afobe penalty had Millwall ahead by the interval. A seesaw contest was eventually settled by Weimann’s 73rd-minute strike from Han-Noah Massengo’s cross and a close-range finish after Alex Scott’s 85th-minute shot had been blocked on the line.
A relieved Pearson, who named seven graduates from City’s academy in the starting lineup, said: “We made a lot of mistakes today, but we could also have scored more goals. By half-time we had let a winning position turn into a losing one and I stressed the importance of the second half in terms of turning our season around.”
The Millwall manager, Gary Rowett, said: “I’m disappointed. We conceded three poor goals and you can’t do that and hope to win.
“Our squad has been severely tested over recent games and every time we take a step forward in terms of getting players fit we seem to take another one back. Mason Bennett went down ill last night and George Evans has come back into the squad, despite not being fully fit. We could possibly have had today’s game called off, but we didn’t want that to happen because we felt we could build on our win at Coventry.”