Four takeaways from Millwall’s 2-1 loss at Hull City – possession stats in Lions’ favour but they are unable to capitalise

Millwall conceded two really soft goals as they were beaten 2-1 by Hull at the MKM Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

George Honeyman opened the scoring for the Tigers after he ghosted into the penalty area. Tom Bradshaw equalised right on the stroke of half-time with a well-executed strike. But former AFC Wimbledon loanee Ryan Longman was quickest to react after Bartosz Bialkowski parried a shot from Josh Magennis to give the hosts all three points.

Here are Kai Bennett’s four takeaways from the game:

MILLWALL BOSS POSSESSION BUT CAN’T CAPITALISE ON IT

The Lions had 59 per cent of the ball but couldn’t make that count as they searched for a leveller. The South Londoners had 671 touches compared to their opposition’s 525 but were wasteful in possession and couldn’t quite find that killer pass to unlock the Hull defence in their search for the second goal.

Despite the defeat Millwall had a few really good chances to equalise but the ball did not quite fall for them. George Saville was inches away from levelling twice throughout the match. The Northern Ireland international looked set to tap home but the ball was intercepted, before his glancing header was excellently saved by Nathan Baxter. Danny McNamara came close when he was put through by Saville but his shot was straight at the keeper.

TOM BRADSHAW SCORES THIRD GOAL IN THREE STARTS

The former Barnsley striker scored just before the half-time whistle to send Millwall in level. Benik Afobe looked up and found Bradshaw with an exquisite through ball and he raced through on goal and calmly slotted the ball into the back of the net. The 29-year-old had Sheyi Ojo to the left of him but decided to go it alone to score his third of the season.

His goal against the Tigers was his second goal contribution in as many matches after he flicked on to send Benik Afobe through to score against Bournemouth on Wednesday evening. Bradshaw is out of contract at the end of the season and will be hoping his contributions don’t go unnoticed.

MORE GOALS NEED TO BE FOUND FROM SOMEWHERE

Millwall have struggled to score more than one goal in a match this season. They have only scored more than a single goal three times in 20 Championship league games this season and found it an issue again today. Two goals came against Stoke City and Sheffield United last month, after the South London club came from behind to beat Blackpool in August.

The lack of goals in the Millwall side are likely to be a concern for Gary Rowett, and he may potentially look to solve that problem in January. Benik Afobe, a loan signing from Stoke, has scored four goals this season, while last season’s top-scorer Jed Wallace has found the net five times and registered five assists. The Lions average a goal a game, and have now scored 20 goals in 20 games. They didn’t have a lack of chances either against the newly-promoted side, there were plenty of occasions when the ball just wouldn’t quite drop for Millwall. If they want to push for the play-offs, the top end of the pitch is the area they need to improve on.

FIVE AT THE BACK DITCHED

The Lions have lined up as a back four in consecutive games after playing with a back five for the majority of the season. Wednesday’s draw against Bournemouth was a fantastic attacking performance and Rowett opted to keep the back four for the trip to Hull.

Despite the defeat at the MKM Stadium, Millwall came so close to levelling the score on numerous occasions but couldn’t quite find that decisive touch to get the ball over the line. If played correctly, Millwall have plenty of pace and the back four gives them a lot of attacking freedom.

 


 

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