Millwall’s unlikely and crazy comeback can be a real confidence-booster ahead of Norwich clash


The last three minutes of stoppage time in South Wales will have done wonders for Millwall’s confidence.

In truth, the Lions usually give two-goal leads away, so to have the boot on the other foot is a nice change.

What could be better? Not going 2-0 down. This was the third time in four Championship matches that the South Londoners conceded two goals before the break.

The first half was a complete disaster. Defensively Gary Rowett’s side were all at sea and there was no connection to midfield.

Most of the goals that Millwall have conceded this season have been down to either poor defending or a lack of closing down the threat. This was the case with the opening goal in Wales. Ryan Manning was left with so much space to pick up the ball from Michael Obafemi’s knockdown and curled his effort off the far post and into the net.

Millwall were wobbling but still posing a threat. Jamie Shackleton hit the bar in response, but by the 12th minute it was 2-0.

Not one Millwall player thought it was a good idea to put a challenge in on Obafemi, who in return punished them. His pace and trickery with the ball saw him reach the edge of the Millwall box before turning three defenders and firing past Bart Bialkowski.

Things continued to go in the home side’s favour, including some questionable refereeing decisions. A controversial corner nearly caused more problems for the visitors, but thankfully Bialkowski was equal to the resulting effort.

Swansea were still covering all the ground and dominating the territory, with both centre-halves reaching the edge of the Millwall box without any challenge.

Staying in games despite being dominated is something that Millwall have done well during Rowett’s reign and it seems this season that they have found a way to get back into contests.

They’ve picked up four points from losing positions, and we are only four games into the season. While it is an excellent sign to see the resilience of the side in full swing, it’s not something they will want to make a habit of.

The second half was more like the Millwall we are used to seeing – a lot more organised and a bit more bite, particularly in midfield.

Billy Mitchell forced a save from Andy Fisher, who tipped his looping effort over the bar.

Rowett voiced his frustrations with the officials, and he was left stunned in the 66th minute when referee Gavin Ward failed to point to the spot after Manning blocked George Honeyman’s effort with his hands.

The Lions boss was further frustrated when Geroge Saville’s effort was blocked by the hand of Ben Cabango.

The Swans started to get on top again as the second half settled down. Bialkowski was forced into several stops to keep the scoreline at 2-0.

All his saves reaped reward in stoppage time – one of the craziest ends to a game I have ever seen.

Danny McNamara, fresh from signing his new contract on Monday, fizzed in a dangerous ball which Cabango turned past his keeper. Perhaps that was his comeuppance for the handball earlier in the half.

Arguably the most critical moment in the game was a simply stunning challenge from Ryan Leonard.

It looked like Obafemi was about to seal the three points for Swansea, but a genuinely world-class challenge from Leonard prevented that.

What a huge moment it proved to be as Millwall levelled with the last kick of the game.

Scott Malone’s cross was turned in by Nathan Wood for a second own goal to give Millwall a share of the spoils.

Norwich are up next tonight at Carrow Road, a ground the Lions are winless at since 1968 – and a ground they know all about losing points at in stoppage time.

The Lions were 3-2 up going into injury time in 2018, only to lose 4-3 thanks to a 97th-minute winner by Teemu Pukki. He is likely to be in the Canaries side this evening.

Swansea missed some big chances even after they took the lead on Tuesday. Norwich are far less likely to be as wasteful, meaning a repeat of Tuesday cannot happen.

Some fans have been baffled by the absence of Shaun Hutchinson from the starting 11. Having sat out the first game of the season against Stoke with injury, the skipper has yet to start in the league with Cooper, Murray Wallace and Charlie Cresswell making up the central defensive trio.

Perhaps a return for the 31-year-old could solve some of the organisation issues at the back.

Tyler Burey. His runs, particularly in the second half, worried the defence, which in the end, was the home side’s downfall.

Ryan Leonard’s sensational challenge deny Obafemi a chance to try and make it 3-1.

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