Considering how impressive West Bromwich Albion had looked under the new leadership of Valerien Ismael so far this season, with the Baggies having picked up 13 points over their opening five fixtures of the 2021/22 Championship campaign, the Frenchman must have been expecting more of the same from his Albion side on Saturday.
Indeed, with the visitors to The Hawthorns, Millwall, having won one, drawn two and lost two of their first five league games, few football fans, West Brom or otherwise, would have predicted anything but a comprehensive Albion win in the fixture.
However, despite their underdog status, Gary Rowett’s side turned in a highly impressive display against the Baggies, bettering Ismael’s side in terms of total shots, shots on target and big chances created, as well as enjoying 44% of possession – a rather extraordinary feat away from home at one of the second tier’s big hitters.
As such, the Lions were well worth the 1-1 draw they left West Bromwich with, and perhaps were unfortunate they did not seal all three points in the clash.
On the flip side, perhaps unsurprisingly, a number of the West Brom players had games to forget, with Semi Ajayi, Cedric Kipre and Sam Johnstone all turning in below-par performances, however, it will undoubtedly be Karlan Grant most disappointed with his display on Saturday.
Indeed, prior to his substitution in the 59th minute of the fixture, the £7.2m-rated man proved particularly ineffective on the left-hand side of Ismael’s attack, with his only shot – either on or off-target – in the game coming late in the first half, when Bartosz Bialkowski comfortably saved his penalty.
Aside from his spot-kick miss, the 23-year-old also won just two of his five duels, lost possession of the ball on nine separate occasions, failed with his one attempted cross and completed just 11 passes.
These returns saw Grant earn an extremely disappointing SofaScore match rating of 6.2, with no player from either side who featured in the game receiving a lower score than the former England U18 international.
As such, should Albion have any hope of getting back to winning ways against Derby County on Tuesday evening, Grant will undoubtedly have to up his game from the Millwall clash, as the striker was simply not good enough on Saturday.