West Bromwich Albion were cost the opportunity of opening up a three-point lead at the top of the Championship table on Saturday afternoon as manager Slaven Bilic made two poor second-half substitutions against Charlton Athletic.
The Baggies returned to the Black Country with just a point having drawn 2-2 at The Valley, but they did come back in possession of first place once again as Leeds were defeated by Sheffield Wednesday.
Bilic’s side twice held the lead but ultimately faltered when Tom Lockyer’s header rebounded in off goalkeeper Sam Johnstone to salvage a draw.
It was the Croatian’s tactical decisions that could have cost them any chance of picking up a more favourable result.
In the 70th minute, Kenneth Zohore was substituted for Grady Diangana, and just three minutes later, Hal Robson-Kanu was swapped for Charlie Austin.
Both players were looking like Albion’s most significant threats as they were playing off each other through the middle.
Per SofaScore, the pair recorded the two highest ratings of any player in the West Brom side with the £8m summer signing ranking highest with 7.5.
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Neither of the two players that came on for the final 15 to 20 minutes managed to even have an attempt at goal, which seems quite counterproductive when trying to win the match.
Within three minutes of the final change between the two mentioned above, Charlton had bagged their equaliser. It may have been a different story had certain players remained on the pitch.
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Zohore even contributed defensively by managing three clearances and one interception, via SofaScore.
Bilic could well live to regret this blunder as it keeps Leeds firmly within touching distance going into next weekend when Albion do not even play until Monday evening. Control could easily be back in their rivals’ hands.
Brentford are quickly creeping up too.