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3 things we clearly learnt about Millwall after their 2-2 draw v Birmingham



Benik Afobe’s 98th-minute penalty salvaged a point for Millwall on Saturday as they drew 2-2 with Birmingham City at St Andrew’s. 

The Blues twice took the lead – through Juninho Bacuna and then a Lyle Taylor spot-kick – but the Lions equalised on both occasions – with Oli Burke bagging his second goal for the club before Afobe calmly converted his penalty deep into second-half stoppage time – to secure a draw that keeps them within three points of the top six.

With two games left to play, Gary Rowett knows his side will likely have to take all six points to stand any chance of sneaking into the play-offs.

Their next game comes against Peterborough United on Saturday but before our focus switches to that, here are three things we clearly learnt about Millwall after their 2-2 draw with Birmingham yesterday…

Millwall quiz: Does The Den have a bigger or smaller capacity than these 20 stadiums?

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The Valley

They’re not giving up on the play-offs without a fight

While the travelling support will have been hoping for all three points against a Blues side with nothing to play for, there can be no denying the fight shown by Rowett’s team at St Andrew’s.

They went behind twice but heads never dropped and on both occasions, they were able to battle their way back to parity.

The Lions kept fighting deep into second half stoppage time and eventually got their reward, with Afobe converting a spot kick that keeps their play-off dreams alive.

Things are out of their hands now but one thing is for sure, they’re not giving up on that top six finish without a fight.

Millwall can create chances and score goals without their talisman

There’s a strong argument to be made that had Jed Wallace been able to play every game this season, Millwall would have earned at least four more points and be in the top six.

He has been their key attacking player for a number of seasons now and it’s no coincidence that their longest losing streak of the season – three on the bounce back in January – came when he was out of the side.

Wallace was absent due to injury for the Birmingham game but Rowett should take heart from the chances they were able to create without him as the Lions had 14 attempts in total and finished the game with an expected goals (xG) rating of 3.27.

The Millwall boss revealed after the game that there is a chance the 28-year-old could return against Peterborough but even if he cannot, there should be a confidence that they can create enough to beat the team with the division’s second-worst defensive record.

Ryan Leonard’s long throws can be a real asset 

Though it was Afobe that calmly converted the stoppage-time spot-kick, Ryan Leonard’s contributions should not be overlooked.

It was his long throw that caused the chaos that led to the penalty being given and it’s an option that could be a real asset in the last few weeks of the season.

Given the aerial threat that Millwall’s backline pose, it could make sense for Rowett to introduce Leonard from the bench earlier if they’re chasing victory in future games.

Small margins like that could end up being the difference between making the play-offs and missing out.

London-based sports journalist at Snack Media EFL accredited, graduate of New Associates and the University of Brighton

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: 3 things we clearly learnt about Millwall after their 2-2 draw v Birmingham

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