Slaven Bilic hailed Matheus Pereira as he celebrated his first home win as West Brom manager with a 3-2 victory over Blackburn.
Brazilian midfielder Pereira supplied assists for Matt Phillips and Jake Livermore in a thrilling first half dominated by the hosts after Bradley Dack gave Mowbray’s side the lead after just 26 seconds.
Phillips equalised before Livermore and Grady Diangana made it 3-1 for the hosts.
Bradley Johnson handed Blackburn a lifeline in the second minute of time added on at the end of the first half time and Rovers were on top for most of the second half.
But they could not find an equaliser, despite Bradley Dack having an effort disallowed for a foul on goalkeeper Sam Johnstone, and Stewart Downing striking a post.
Bilic was delighted for on-loan Sporting midfielder Pereira.
“He’s a player – I knew him from Germany last year and that’s why we wanted to sign him,” said the Baggies manager.
“I have many friends in Germany that I spoke to about him. He wanted to come and only to come here. He’s confident and comfortable on the ball and he likes to get in the pockets.
“He likes to pass the ball and get in the box but he doesn’t mind defending. He’s not a showman – he wants to penetrate and run into the box.
“Before this game maybe he had 90 minutes altogether and maybe had seven shots, which is good for a midfielder or a winger. But we expected that from him.”
Bilic was also delighted with the goals scored by Diangala and Phillips, adding: “They are great talents and they love the game, they stay behind after training and work hard.”
West Brom moved up to fourth and are one of only three unbeaten teams in the Championship with leaders Swansea and second-placed Charlton, while Rovers dropped to 17th.
Tony Mowbray made an uncomfortable return to West Brom, suffering his first defeat against them at the third attempt since taking charge of Blackburn.
The Ewood Park boss was critical of referee Tony Harrington for ruling out Dack’s effort, saying: “I’m not sure the referee could see it, he was looking though nine players, I think. So he played safe by giving a free-kick.
“We kept giving them the ball back in the first half, but we kept it better in the second.
“I think in the second half we took the sting out of them by keeping the ball, which didn’t allow them to build up momentum.”
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