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West Bromwich Albion 2-1 Rotherham United: Millers relegated after defeat

Rekeem Harper (right) scored his first senior goal for West Bromwich Albion in their win against Rotherham United
Rekeem Harper (right) scored his first senior goal for West Bromwich Albion in their win against Rotherham United

Rotherham United were relegated from the Championship after West Bromwich Albion came from behind to beat them at The Hawthorns.

After Millwall's goalless draw with Stoke City in Saturday's early kick-off, Rotherham needed to at least avoid defeat by Albion to have any chance of survival.

The Millers took the lead after the break when Clark Robertson nodded in Joe Newell's cross to silence the home crowd.

Albion levelled from the spot through Jay Rodriguez after Dwight Gayle was brought down, before Rekeem Harper fired home to seal victory for the hosts and consign the Millers to League One.

The Lions' early draw left them on 44 points, meaning that the Millers would need to better that result to have a realistic chance of staying up.

With a vastly inferior goal difference, Rotherham's relegation back to League One looked set to be delayed until the final day after Robertson's opener.

However, the Baggies found the net twice in two minutes in a frantic second half to stun Paul Warne's side and end their hopes of a dramatic escape from the drop.

Going into the game, Albion had already confirmed their place in the Championship play-offs thanks to their goalless draw at Reading on Easter Monday.

Despite Rotherham's own search for victory at the other end of the table, Albion still had their play-off fate to play for as they entered the final two games of the season.

Albion look likely to meet local rivals Aston Villa in the play-off semi-finals and could be assured of finishing at least fourth - with home advantage in the second leg - if Villa lose at Leeds on Sunday.

Rotherham's stay in the Championship ends

Will Vaulks on Twitter

Although it is the second time in three years that Rotherham United have been relegated from the Championship, this campaign has been in stark contrast to the last time they came down.

In 2017, the club went through three different managers before finishing bottom - an eye-watering 28 points adrift of safety.

The Millers ended that season with Paul Warne at the helm and the faith they kept in him was rewarded when he steered them to promotion through the play-offs at the first attempt last May.

Despite operating with one of the smallest budgets in the second tier, Rotherham have remained competitive throughout and several players have impressed.

Midfielder Semi Ajayi's good form was marked by the Championship player of the month award for March, while Will Vaulks made his Wales debut earlier this year.

As Warne prepares for another campaign in League One, his biggest challenge will be to hold on to such players if they are to bounce straight back up again.

West Bromwich Albion caretaker manager Jimmy Shan told BBC WM 95.6:

"I think we performed very poorly. I wasn't happy with the performance at all. I think you have to take into consideration how blustery the conditions were and them obviously fighting for their lives.

"Their style of play is difficult to contend because they're a forward-thinking team [who] get the ball in and around your back line as frequently as they can.

"I was disappointed with us, trying to get a foothold in the game and some rhythm. I think the team appreciated my frustrations at half time."

Rotherham United manager Paul Warne told BBC Radio Sheffield:

"A lot of my team were crying - they've given everything for this great club. There's no shame in what's happened in my opinion, I'm really proud of the group.

"I thought in the first half we were by far the better team and deserved to go in at the break 1-up but it wasn't to be.

"I'm hugely disappointed with [West Brom's] first goal, because it's our throw-in - I've watched it back so I'm happy to put my name to it.

"They then win a penalty and it's a massive swing. We then have to play a high-risk shape because we need to get a winning goal, and then obviously we're open to the counter attack.

"We ended up losing the game, which I don't think was fair. We hit the bar, we hit the post - the lads were excellent."

Line-ups

West Brom

  • 1Johnstone
  • 25Dawson
  • 5Bartley
  • 26Hegazi
  • 68HolgateSubstituted forMurphyat 78'minutes
  • 34Harper
  • 11Brunt
  • 6JohansenSubstituted forPhillipsat 67'minutes
  • 3Gibbs
  • 19RodriguezSubstituted forRobson-Kanuat 86'minutes
  • 16Gayle

Substitutes

  • 4Robson-Kanu
  • 10Phillips
  • 14Townsend
  • 23Bond
  • 24Adarabioyo
  • 28Field
  • 70Murphy

Rotherham

  • 1Rodák
  • 28JonesBooked at 66minsSubstituted forVassellat 83'minutes
  • 20Ihiekwe
  • 15Robertson
  • 3MattockBooked at 37mins
  • 7FordeSubstituted forWilliamsat 83'minutes
  • 5Ajayi
  • 4VaulksSubstituted forTowellat 72'minutes
  • 22Newell
  • 17Crooks
  • 24Smith

Substitutes

  • 6Wood
  • 11Taylor
  • 12Price
  • 13Towell
  • 19Vassell
  • 23Williams
Referee:
Robert Jones
Attendance:
24,534

Match Stats

Home TeamWest BromAway TeamRotherham
Possession
Home52%
Away48%
Shots
Home10
Away13
Shots on Target
Home2
Away2
Corners
Home7
Away10
Fouls
Home12
Away16

Live Text

Match ends, West Bromwich Albion 2, Rotherham United 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, West Bromwich Albion 2, Rotherham United 1.

Attempt blocked. Richard Towell (Rotherham United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Corner, Rotherham United. Conceded by Craig Dawson.

Attempt blocked. Joe Newell (Rotherham United) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Matt Crooks.

Jacob Murphy (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Kyle Vassell (Rotherham United).

Attempt saved. Kyle Vassell (Rotherham United) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Matt Crooks.

Rekeem Harper (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Matt Crooks (Rotherham United).

Attempt missed. Hal Robson-Kanu (West Bromwich Albion) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Dwight Gayle.

Offside, West Bromwich Albion. Chris Brunt tries a through ball, but Hal Robson-Kanu is caught offside.

Foul by Dwight Gayle (West Bromwich Albion).

Matt Crooks (Rotherham United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Kyle Vassell (Rotherham United) header from very close range is too high. Assisted by Joe Newell with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Rotherham United. Conceded by Ahmed Hegazi.

Substitution

Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. Hal Robson-Kanu replaces Jay Rodriguez.

Attempt missed. Matt Phillips (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Dwight Gayle following a fast break.

Attempt blocked. Ryan Williams (Rotherham United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Foul by Kyle Bartley (West Bromwich Albion).

Michael Smith (Rotherham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Rotherham United. Kyle Vassell replaces Billy Jones.

Substitution

Substitution, Rotherham United. Ryan Williams replaces Anthony Forde.

Offside, Rotherham United. Marek Rodák tries a through ball, but Joe Newell is caught offside.

Goal!

Goal! West Bromwich Albion 2, Rotherham United 1. Rekeem Harper (West Bromwich Albion) left footed shot from outside the box to the bottom right corner following a corner.

Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Michael Ihiekwe.

Substitution

Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. Jacob Murphy replaces Mason Holgate.

Goal!

Goal! West Bromwich Albion 1, Rotherham United 1. Jay Rodriguez (West Bromwich Albion) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the top right corner.

Penalty West Bromwich Albion. Dwight Gayle draws a foul in the penalty area.

Penalty conceded by Michael Smith (Rotherham United) after a foul in the penalty area.

Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Billy Jones.

Offside, Rotherham United. Marek Rodák tries a through ball, but Michael Smith is caught offside.

Foul by Ahmed Hegazi (West Bromwich Albion).

Clark Robertson (Rotherham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Marek Rodák.

Matt Phillips (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Richard Towell (Rotherham United).

Substitution

Substitution, Rotherham United. Richard Towell replaces Will Vaulks because of an injury.

Corner, Rotherham United. Conceded by Jay Rodriguez.

Corner, Rotherham United. Conceded by Ahmed Hegazi.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Norwich452613691563591
2Sheff Utd452610976393788
3Leeds442571270462482
4West Brom4523111186592780
5Aston Villa442015980582275
6Derby4419131265521370
7Middlesbrough451913134740770
8Bristol City441812145651566
9Sheff Wed451616135960-164
10Nottm Forest451615146054663
11Swansea44189176259363
12Preston451613166764361
13Hull451710186567-261
14Blackburn451611186267-559
15Brentford4415131669591058
16Stoke451121134350-754
17Birmingham451418136458651
18Wigan451213205064-1449
19QPR45139235170-1948
20Reading451016194966-1746
21Millwall441014204761-1444
22Rotherham45816215181-3040
23Bolton4488282976-4732
24Ipswich45416253375-4228
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