West Bromwich Albion Latest News

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West Bromwich Albion Latest News

  • Tue, 19 Jan 2021 20:35:51 +0000: West Ham sink West Brom but league investigates Snodgrass omission - West Bromwich Albion | The Guardian

    The Sam Allardyce survival guide stated a draw was the minimum requirement for West Brom here after the joy of beating Wolves. Yet the reality of his side’s dismal defending scotched that ambition. The leakiest back four in the Premier League could not handle West Ham’s crossing game and there was something slightly doomed about the anguished cry from Allardyce when Darnell Furlong spurned a late chance to equalise: a growing realisation, perhaps, that his record of never being relegated from the top flight is under serious threat.

    The numbers suggest this might prove one rescue mission beyond even Allardyce’s ability to save a struggling side. West Brom, who lie five points below Burnley in 17th place, have conceded 17 goals in six league games since replacing Slaven Bilic with the 66-year-old. The goals against column now reads 43 overall and there was no sign of their defensive flaws fading against West Ham, who profited because they were sharp and smart in the opposition box.

    Related: Leicester City v Chelsea: Premier League – live!

    Related: West Ham v West Brom: Premier League – live!

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  • Tue, 19 Jan 2021 20:30:13 +0000: West Ham 2-1 West Brom: Premier League – as it happened - West Bromwich Albion | The Guardian

    Michail Antonio was on target again as West Ham beat West Brom in a game of few chances to sit just five points off the top of the table

    Related: Michail Antonio deepens West Brom woes with winner for West Ham

    Right then, I’m off. Here’s PA Media’s report on the game:

    Michail Antonio snatched another victory for West Ham and denied former boss Sam Allardyce a precious point towards West Brom’s survival bid.

    Antonio, who scored the only goal of the game against Burnley at the weekend, struck again as the Hammers climbed to seventh following a 2-1 win. West Ham led through Jarrod Bowen but were pegged back by Matheus Pereira, Albion’s double-penalty hero in the win at Wolves which had reignited Allardyce’s rescue mission.

    Sam Allardyce says there are positives to take from the game:

    We came here to [get points] and follow on from picking up points at Wolves. I think it’s a great effort from the players but there are lapses in concentration at the back and we’ve conceded goals we probably could have avoided. One 10 seconds from the end of the first half. And then a really great response, came out, started playing and passing the ball much better, got ourselves a great goal. We lost the game because ultimately West Ham’s final ball was better than ours today.

    I think everybody’s seen a difference in what the players are doing. The fact of the matter is we contained West Ham who are on a good run, and we limited them to very little, but that lapse of concentration again [meant] we didn’t go in at half-time at 0-0. We just have to get better in concentration in those moments, and we’ve got to stop letting goals in. We’ve conceded more goals than anybody else in the Premier League, and we’re working hard to stop that.

    I’m not going to answer that. If the Premier League want to know about it they can contact us privately. It’s not my big worry at the moment though, whatever the Premier League do or don’t think.

    David Moyes is chirpy:

    It wasn’t our best performance, but it keeps a small run going. We’re growing in how we play, what we do. I’d have liked to have played better tonight, but I’m not disappointed to take three points, that’s for sure. I’d like to dream a lot but we’re also very humble and we’re not going to start shouting about things too soon, because history has shown we can’t always back that up. We’re making progress, we’re picking up points. I don’t see this being where I want to be or where I want the players to be, I want us to be competing at the top end. Sometimes you’ve got to win ugly and tonight we won ugly but we got there.

    David Moyes' West Ham have only got two fewer points from the first half of a PL season than David Moyes' Manchester United got (34 in 2013-14).

    I really worry for Big Sam’s beloved unrelegated record, though his players haven’t been fully BigSammed yet, I suppose, and the transfer window remains open. For now they look short on quality at both ends, even if it took a really superb bit of finishing to beat them tonight in a game of few clear chances. Talking of superb finishing, Michail Antonio has had a chat with BT Sport:

    We’ve started the season well. We’re on 32 points in the league, last season we finished on 39. Each game we’re giving 100%, we’ve got another win, we just keep going, keep pushing on. As a striker you want to be out there, you want to play, you want to score goals, and that’s what I’m doing right now. It’s unbelievable. This season the chemistry is so good in the squad and you’re seeing it on the pitch. The thing is, we’re not playing at our best. We’re managing to just get wins. Things are looking good but the fact is we’re not at our best and we can be better.

    Here’s the league table, which shows West Ham in seventh, just three points from second, and West Brom in 19th, fully five points from 17th (with two games out of hand).

    90+5 mins: It’s launched into the area, Bartley flicks on, Fabianski collects, and that is the end of the game!

    90+4 mins: Robson-Kanu wins a free-kick on the halfway line. West Brom get a last throw of the dice.

    90+3 mins: Gallagher goes down in the penalty area as Yarmolenko comes across, but the referee spots that there was no contact whatsoever, and takes out his yellow card for the first time.

    90+2 mins: West Brom win a free kick, a few yards beyond the halfway line. It’s sent high and long into the box, where Fabianski punches it off Bartley’s head. VAR checks whether he actually punches Bartley’s head, but he’s not guilty.

    90+1 mins: There will be four minutes of stoppage time, or somesuch.

    90 mins: What a chance! It’s a cross from Gibbs on the left, and Furlong runs in from the right and ghosts untracked into the middle, where he meets the ball 10 yards out and half-volleys just wide!

    89 mins: West Ham are now defending more resolutely and breaking pretty badly when they do win the ball, giving West Brom multiple opportunities to not be rubbish.

    86 mins: I’ve ignored another West Brom substitution, Robson-Kanu having replaced Livermore a few minutes ago. “How much do you think a player like Antonio would cost if he was five years younger and his hamstrings weren’t made of spaghetti?” wonders Oliver. “West Ham have a real job on their hands to find a younger upgrade within their budget, surely.” If anyone was both as good as Antonio and only 18, he and his club would soon be extremely wealthy.

    83 mins: Antonio has done enough running about, and Noble is going to replace him.

    82 mins: Some news on Snodgrass: the idea of forcing a buying club not to play a particular player in a particular match is expressly outlawed in Premier League regulations. They are investigating. Here is the regulation in question:

    I.7. No Club shall enter into a contract which enables any other party to that contract to acquire the ability materially to influence its policies or the performance of its teams in League Matches, any matches in the Professional Development Phase Games Programme or the Professional Development Leagues (as those terms are defined in the Youth Development Rules) or in any of the competitions set out in Rule L.9.

    78 mins: Chance for West Brom! Furlong crosses from the right, Gibbs knockes it down at the far post, Gallagher hits across the ball in search of some swerve but at the expense of accuracy, and his shot goes straight to Fabianski.

    77 mins: “No yellow cards in last night’s game and none so far tonight,” notes Richard Hirst. “Who’s gone soft, players or referees?” There have been nothing other than completely humdrum minor fouling here, giving the referee no chance at all to get his notebook out.

    74 mins: A shooting chance for West Brom, from a free kick 30 yards or so from goal, but they pass it instead to Sawyers, who dances around a bit then gives it away. Incidentally, Furlong came on for Grosicki a couple of minutes back.

    72 mins: West Ham win a free-kick on the left, which Cresswell sends infield. It comes off a defender and drops to nobody in particular. Soucek sees it, decides that maybe he can poke it, fall over and win a penalty. So he pokes it, falls over, and doesn’t win a penalty. He was on his way down before he was kicked, but I do think he was kicked.

    69 mins: Antonio is absolutely priceless. He’ll play anywhere, doesn’t complain, looks decent wherever he’s put, can hold the ball up or chase it down, is fast but also really quite skilful, and finishes like a born predator. Here’s his goal:

    It's that man Michail Antonio again for West Ham!

    He scored the winner against Burnley and now he's put the Hammers ahead vs. West Brom...

    A really clever finish! ⚽️ pic.twitter.com/Oy7s7cL0Px

    A good, deep cross from Cresswell, a header down from Yarmolenko, and an absolutely first-rate bit of finishing from Antonio, hooking the ball into the corner of goal when facing in entirely the wrong direction!

    65 mins: Between the 46th minute and the 55th West Brom had 57% of possession and looked the more threatening side. Since then West Ham have had 65% of possession and taken complete ownership of the game.

    62 mins: West Ham make a couple of substitutions, bringing Yarmolenko and Fornals on for Benrahma and Lanzini.

    60 mins: Rice goes close again! West Ham win a free-kick 15 yards outside the penalty area, and Cresswell catches the Baggies’ defence snoozing with an early pass into Rice, who from an acute angle beats Johnstone but also the far post!

    59 mins: Excellent clearance! Bowen touches the ball to Antonio, in the box but with his back to goal, so he lays back to Lanzini, whose shot was heading in until O’Shea somehow popped up and got a head on it. A few moments later Rice has a low, curling shot from 20 yards that skids a foot wide.

    57 mins: Nothing comes of that corner, of the one West Ham win soon afterwards. Now level-pegging once again, the teams need to decide whether to stick or twist.

    54 mins: West Brom have been well on top since the break, though without really threatening the goal until they went and scored. Now Grosicki finds space on the left, and his low pull-back is turned behind.

    West Ham, lulled into a false sense of security by West Brom’s complete awfulness over the previous 50 minutes, let Pereira run about 15 yards and then lash a low shot across goal and in at the far post!

    49 mins: Gallagher tries to cross to Robinson but miscues sufficiently badly that it will go down as the visitors’ first shot on target.

    48 mins: West Brom don’t seem exactly brimming with ideas. They half-heartedly counter-attack down the right, and although the home side only have their back four defending, with none of their midfielders except Rice very interested in helping out, they dawdle and eventually lose the ball.

    46 mins: Peeeeep! The visitors get the second period under way.

    The players are on their way out and nearly ready for half two. Control your excitement.

    Key stat:

    WBA haven't won a top-flight game on a Tuesday since May 1985 which was in between series 4&5 of Bullseye and now Bowen scores on 45 and you're saying I don't get a speedboat for that

    45+2 mins: And that’s half-time. It was by no means a good half, but that late goal has transformed the complexion of the match, and there’s now a chance that the rest of it might be reasonable.

    A GOAL! A GOAL HAS BEEN SCORED! BY SHOOTING! Benrahma’s high cross from the left floats over the entire area, is volleyed back across goal by Coufal, and Bowen chests it into the top corner from eight yards!

    45 mins: Ajayi underhits a backpass from the left with Antonio on the prowl, and Bartley does well to anticipate and cut off the danger before the West Ham striker can run clear on goal.

    43 mins: The Baggies break, Robinson sends in a low cross from the left, and Fabianski does well to claim it.

    42 mins: Bowen has pushed way infield, helping out Antonio a bit there and getting a few more touches as a result. Then he goes back wide, twists and turns a bit before hitting a cross that briefly looks dangerous, and then stops looking dangerous when a defender intercepts.

    42 mins: Bowen just touched the ball.

    41 mins: Another shot on target, the second of the night. Benrahma has it, twisting Gallagher around like a string of spaghetti before spearing a 20-yarder straight at Johnstone.

    41 mins: Bowen just touched the ball.

    39 mins: A cross! West Brom cross the ball! Fabianski catches the ball.

    35 mins: Lanzini takes it, curling the ball over wall and bar.

    34 mins: Antonio goes sprawling on the edge of the West Brom area after Ajayi tries and fails to nick the ball off his toes, and West Ham have themselves a tasty set-piece-based shooting chance.

    31 mins: Robinson collects the ball, plays a nice one-two with Gallagher, and shoots high and wide from 20 yards.

    30 mins: A build-up full of ricochets and missteps, as well as a decent shimmy from Antonio on the left, ends with Bowen being caught offside before he turns and shoots wide.

    28 mins: Bowen just touched the ball.

    26 mins: West Brom launch another free-kick into the West Ham area from deep. Ajayi flicks it on, Robinson runs onto it, and Dawson does well to cut out his attempted cross back towards Ajayi.

    25 mins: Jarrod Bowen is running around a lot but has hardly touched the ball yet. Apparently he has made three passes so far, and Kieran Gibbs seems to have him in his pocket.

    24 mins: Lanzini hits a first-time left-foot shot from the edge of the box, which loops to Johnstone.

    22 mins: A shot! Coufal runs onto the ball, coming infield from the right, chests it down and has an effort from the edge of the area that’s deflected wide.

    19 mins: A long throw from West Brom is sent into the area, headed out, sent back in and finally turned towards his own goal by Ogbonna. Quite a good effort on goal, definitely the best of the night so far, and well saved by Fabianski, who must have been surprised that the ball was flying towards him.

    17 mins: Soucek’s cross is chested back to Johnstone by O’Shea before Benrahma can get to it. We’re still waiting for a moment of genuine on-the-ball attacking quality.

    15 mins: Sam Allardyce is looking quite dapper in an entirely black-or-dark-grey shirt-tie-jacket-coat-trouser combo. He’s an unlikely fashion icon, is Big Sam, but after the weekend’s two-colour scarf he seems to be having a go. David Moyes is wearing a club tracksuit.

    12 mins: Grosicki and Coufal go up for a header. Grosicki heads the ball; Coufal heads Grosicki’s elbow; West Ham get a free kick.

    9 mins: Another long free-kick is lifted into the West Ham box, and again Antonio wins the header. The game so far has been about the winning and taking of restarts, which I suppose is not entirely surprising.

    8 mins: West Ham win a corner, which dips onto the head of Dawson, near the far corner of the six-yard box and completely unmarked, but he’s back-pedalling and his header goes wide.

    6 mins: Robinson wins a free-kick near the halfway line, which is lifted into the area, half-cleared by Antonio and then Bowen completes the job by winning a free-kick (which is a much too easy thing for defending players to do these days, and really irritates me, but that’s another story).

    3 mins: A slightly imprecise start from all involved ends with Grosicki playing the ball in an entirely opposite direction to the one Robinson’s running in. Goal kick.

    1 min: Bong! It’s football o’clock!

    Out come the players! It is four minutes to football o’clock.

    A photograph that makes Manuel Lanzini look absolutely tiny:

    The two managers have a chat. First, David Moyes:

    I think momentum in football in general is very good. I’ll take a win no matter how it comes, but we want to keep up the form if we can.

    I thought it was just right. We’ve got two or three players who’ve been showing some good form and Manuel’s one. With the number of games we’ve got at this present time, we thought we’d put him in.

    It’s obviously quite a difficult one, but I think Sam’s record speaks for itself. Even before I came everybody talked about how outstanding he’s been. At the moment he’s the No1 goalkeeper here. Button stepped in and did brilliantly, but at the moment Sam’s the first choice.

    That was an agreement between the clubs, that this game he wouldn’t be allowed to play. If we needed to get the player which we did, we had to agree to that.

    According to the Express & Star, the only way West Brom could prise Snodgrass from West Ham’s clammy grasp before this match was played was to agree that he wouldn’t play in it.

    West Ham make one change to the team that beat Burnley, with Lanzini coming in and Fornals dropping to the bench.

    West Brom bring back Johnstone in goal after a Covid-related absence and Gallagher after suspension, and drop Button and Snodgrass, whose unexpected and complete absence was presumably agreed before his move between the clubs earlier this month.

    The team sheets are in, and tonight’s star turns will be:

    West Ham: Fabianski, Coufal, Dawson, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Soucek, Rice, Bowen, Lanzini, Benrahma, Antonio. Subs: Balbuena, Yarmolenko, Alves, Noble, Fornals, Diop, Fredericks, Johnson, Randolph.
    West Brom: Johnstone, O’Shea, Ajayi, Bartley, Gibbs, Livermore, Sawyers, Matheus Pereira, Gallagher, Grosicki, Robinson. Subs: Furlong, Robson-Kanu, Krovinovic, Ivanovic, Edwards, Peltier, Kipre, Button, Field.
    Referee: Scott Graham.

    Here's our team to take on @WBA... ⚒#WHUWBA

    Here’s our Starting XI for tonight’s game at London Stadium. COYB! @MonsterEnergy | #WHUWBA

    The West derby, then! It must be said that Sam Allardyce wasn’t exactly encouraging when he spoke about this match the other day, insisting that “West Ham is now about trying to come off the pitch undefeated. We can’t go down and say ‘we’re going to win’ in the position we are in.” This sounds distressingly like a coach planning to kill the game and escape with a point to me. Allardyce of course managed West Ham to promotion in 2012 - “I’m glad you said that, that they’re in the Premier League because of me. It’s nice to see them maintain that position and trying to improve on it. It was a job well done and going back can only be a joy to me if we get a result.” - before eventually being sacked and replaced by Slaven Bilic, who was himself sacked by West Brom and replaced by Allardyce. The nation’s managers are, as ever, captive on the carousel of time.

    West Brom’s win at Wolves on Saturday was their first away from home this season, and only their second in the league. West Ham have won their last three in all competitions (all of them 1-0) and have lost only to Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal since the dismal but unrepresentative (for both teams) opening-day defeat to Newcastle, so will hope to wrestle their way through Allardyce’s shackles. “We want to win games and we want to keep moving forward,” says David Moyes. Fingers crossed, eh?

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  • Mon, 18 Jan 2021 08:00:24 +0000: Premier League: 10 talking points from the weekend action - West Bromwich Albion | The Guardian

    Ole Gunnar Solskjær takes a leaf out of Fergie’s book, Mason Mount channels vintage Lampard and Wolves’ woes go on

    There has been recent evidence that Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s adherence to the lessons learned at Sir Alex Ferguson’s feet was wavering. His Manchester United have lately shown something of their own identity, but here Solskjær used a classic Fergie blueprint. Even when United were far superior to Liverpool, Anfield was where the old master’s team would sit deep and try to score on the counter, or from set pieces. It is not difficult to imagine unsung players like Scott McTominay and Fred being handed a Ferguson detail of sweeping up the bits and pieces in midfield in the mould of a Phil Neville or Quinton Fortune. There was to be no unlikely goalscoring hero in the mould of a John O’Shea, Diego Forlan or Gary Pallister. Instead, Sunday will be recalled in future for Anfield’s emptiness, a match endured rather than enjoyed. And Ferguson, even during his imperial period, would probably have been happy with a point. John Brewin

    • Match report: Liverpool 0-0 Manchester United

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    Klopp concedes Liverpool are in top-four fight

    Related: Jürgen Klopp’s tepid attack is feeling ripple effects of a drained defence | Barney Ronay

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  • Sat, 16 Jan 2021 14:48:56 +0000: Wolves 2-3 West Brom: Premier League – as it happened - West Bromwich Albion | The Guardian

    West Brom battled their way to three deserved points in a highly entertaining Black Country derby

    Right-o, my MBM friends, that is your lot. Paul Doyle was at Molineux, and his verdict has landed. You know what to do: clickity click! Thanks for reading this live blog. Stay safe, everyone.

    Related: Matheus Pereira's two penalties give West Brom vital win over Wolves

    Nuno’s reaction. “We did not do a good game. It’s disappointing because it meant a lot for our fans. We didn’t do what we should do. Our restart in the second half was very bad. We conceded goals that made our task very hard. We tried to control the game, be more aggressive, but we didn’t do it. We knew they would do things on throw-ins, long balls and set pieces, and didn’t defend well.” He then explained that Coady’s withdrawal was indeed tactical. “A simple decision.”

    Big Sam speaks! “The vast majority of that performance was excellent. The plan and the tactics. It’s the best I’ve seen us in possession since I’ve been here. Our defending at two set pieces put us on the back foot, but the lads were excellent in the second half, their heads could have gone down, but they came bouncing back. And they defended well at the end. It’s a good performance and even better for us in the position we’re in, and that we beat our local rivals. Hopefully we’ll gain some confidence for West Ham on Tuesday. I’m only asking the players to improve their fitness, technique and gameplay by one percent. When you add it up, it becomes significant.” He then stresses the need for better new players, who will, his argument goes, raise standards, earn everyone win bonuses, keep the team in the Premier League, and secure new contracts. He’s on a roll, and in a celebratory mood. Wine for his men!

    Those three massive points bring West Bromwich Albion back to life. They’re still second bottom of the Premier League, but they’ve got 11 points now, just one behind Fulham and three behind Brighton. Fulham have two matches in hand, but Brighton don’t. All of a sudden, the Baggies don’t look so much of a lost cause. Fireman Sam, at your service. Wolves on the other hand ... well, they’ll not be panicking yet, but that’s now six defeats in their last nine. They’re comfortable enough at the minute in 14th spot, on 22 points, but can’t keep going on like this. A little bit of pressure building on Nuno. They’re really missing Raul Jimenez.

    Sam Allardyce has his first win as West Brom manager! It’s well deserved after a fine battling display. His team - and they were a team today - cavort in joy. A massive smile plays across the big man’s face. A huge three points in the battle against relegation!

    90 min +3: On the touchline, Big Sam masticates ferociously. Nuno by contrast looks extremely pensive.

    90 min +2: Livermore is forced to knock a long speculative ball behind for a corner. The superb and ever-heroic Bartley clears. He’s been West Brom’s man of the match, surely, though Glenn Hoddle on BT Sport has given it to Pereira. A justifiable shout, to be fair.

    90 min +1: The first of four added minutes goes by without incident.

    90 min: Silva turns Ajayi in the box, some cute skill. He opts to go over a leg that’s withdrawn. No contact, and the referee has no option but to show a yellow.

    89 min: Wolves are seeing plenty of the ball, but they’re doing very little with it. West Brom currently look as comfortable as a team can be in these circumstances.

    87 min: Ait-Nouri cuts in from the left and sends a wild shot high into the stand. West Brom are keeping Wolves at arm’s length ... just about.

    86 min: Neto floats a free kick in from the left. Boly can’t get a header on target. The ball’s half cleared. Semedo races in and pearls a shot goalwards from the edge of the box. Bartley extends a leg to make a brave and quite brilliant block.

    85 min: Neto has a bash from 30 yards. No need to get so desperate quite yet. It’s easily blocked and cleared.

    83 min: West Brom send on Furlong for Pereira, clearly opting to batten down the hatches in the hope of seeing this one out.

    82 min: A spinning ball drops to Cutrone, just inside the West Brom box. Cutrone shapes like Zidane in the 2002 Champions League final, but gets the contact all wrong, the ball belted into the turf and ballooning over the bar.

    81 min: Wolves win their tenth corner of the match. West Brom haven’t had one. Button punches it clear.

    80 min: Some scrappy nonsense as a few challenges fly in. There’s still time for this Black Country derby to get dark.

    79 min: Cutrone comes on for Moutinho. “Big Sam for England!” cries Simon McMahon. “It’s coming home!”

    77 min: Neto powers his way down the left and digs out a fine cross. Traore can’t get a header on target. Wolves are having some joy down the flanks, but nothing’s quite happening for them in the middle.

    75 min: Quick quiz: did BT Sport’s Peter Walton agree with Michael Oliver’s refusal to show Dendoncker a red card, or not? No need to respond, I know you know the answer.

    73 min: Dendoncker is booked for high-kicking Snodgrass on the noggin. You’ve seen reds flashed for that sort of thing, but the Wolves midfielder gets away with one.

    72 min: Silva has another dig, this time from 25 yards out. He drags his shot wide left, harmlessly so. Full marks to the 18-year-old striker for keeping going.

    71 min: The Traore jets are showcased yet again. A barnstorming run down the right. His cutback should be converted by Silva, but the young striker wafts at the ball, six yards out, and the visitors clear. Traore cocks his head back in disappointment. He could have done no more.

    70 min: Grosicki, who has been very decent this afternoon on his first Premier League start of the season, makes way for Robson-Kanu.

    69 min: Saiss wins a header from the second corner but it flies harmlessly wide right. Big Sam will be pleased with the way his defenders are battling this afternoon, and indeed the manner in which the whole team are fighting. It’s Anfield revisited, but with added attacking panache.

    68 min: Gibbs-White’s first significant contribution is to skip down the left and earn a corner. Boly rises highest, yet again, and his header looks destined for the top left. But Bartley deflects out for another corner. What a block!

    66 min: Wolves steady the ship a little with some calm possession in the middle of the park. One step at a time.

    64 min: An eyebrow-raising sub for Wolves, as Ait-Nouri comes on for the captain Coady, who doesn’t appear to be carrying an injury. It’s the first time Coady has been hooked as a Wolves player.

    63 min: Neto whips a stunning cross through the six-yard box from the left. Neither Silva nor Traore can latch onto it. Any touch and it would have been in. It’s heartbreaking that Molineux isn’t packed for this back-and-forth spectacular.

    61 min: Wolves are all over the shop right now, stunned at recent developments. Pereira finds Robinson on the penalty spot with a floater from the left. Robinson gives Coady the slip and dribbles a shot across Rui Patricio and inches wide of the left-hand post. Not sure the keeper had that covered. Worrying times for Wolves.

    59 min: Snodgrass pulls back from the right. Sawyers drags wide left. Nuno has seen enough, and withdraws Neves, sending on Gibbs-White in his place.

    57 min: Coady is fuming. There wasn’t much in that challenge on Robinson, and he’s arguing the toss with the referee. A futile debate.

    Pereira lashes his second spot kick of the afternoon into the right-hand side of the goal, sending Rui Patricio the wrong way again. What a turnaround!

    55 min: This is given, though! Grosicki rolls a pass down the inside left. Robinson, his back to goal again, tries to spin Coady and goes over. It’s the slightest of touches, but he’s clipped him. Penalty!

    54 min: Semedo waltzes down the inside-right channel, a glorious run that draws three defenders. He’s about to break into the box when Bartley steps across him. It should be a foul, but inexplicably it’s not given. The referee will have assumed he wasn’t going to reach the ball he’d just poked into space, I guess.

    53 min: This is a great game. Good luck calling it.

    West Brom show for the first time in the second half, and how! Snodgrass works his way down the right and earns a throw. The ball’s flung into the mixer. Bartley wins the first header. Ajayi, the hero of Anfield, loops a second over Rui Patricio and into the top left!

    51 min: The free kick’s fizzed in low by Neto. Silva traps and sets up Saiss, who shoots straight at Button. None of it matters, because the ball had hit Silva’s hand, and the whistle goes.

    50 min: It’s all Wolves since the restart. Neto dribbles down the left and is dragged to the floor by O’Shea. A free kick, and a chance to load the box again.

    48 min: Traore flicks on Moutinho’s corner. There’s a melee on the edge of the six-yard box. Dendoncker tees up Silva, whose sidefoot is deflected out for another corner, this time on the right. Boly, at the heart of everything this afternoon, meets the second corner, but his header is always sailing wide left. A highly decent start to the half by the hosts.

    47 min: Silva makes like Traore, turning on the afterburners and zipping into the box down the left. For a second it looks as though he’s worked space to shoot, but has to settle for a corner.

    Wolves get the second half underway. No half-time changes. On the touchline, Big Sam redefines morose. “Poor Sam,” writes Mary Waltz. “He resembles a cow chewing his cud who suddenly comes to the realization that yes, they do plan on cutting me up and cooking me to eat.”

    Half-time entertainment. Other Premier League matches are available this weekend. Our panel of experts run the rule over them here!

    Related: Premier League: 10 things to look out for this weekend

    That’s the end of a very eventful, highly entertaining first half. West Brom looked lively, and could have been two up before they were hit by a Wolves double whammy. Both teams have contributed to a fine 45 minutes of football. More please! The Black Country derby is back, after a nine-year hiatus, and not a moment too soon.

    45 min +1: Snodgrass loops long from the right. Gibbs volleys from the left-hand corner of the six-yard box. He pulls his effort across the face of goal and out for a goal kick.

    45 min: Snodgrass makes his way past Saiss on the right, but can’t find anyone with his low cross. West Brom have played well, and will wonder how they’re losing.

    Moutinho’s corner drops at the near post and instigates a quick game of pinball. The ball pings to Boly’s feet, six yards out. Boly opens his body and slams into the bottom left! Boly has given away a penalty, set one up with a backheel, and scored one himself. What a return to action for the Wolves defender!

    42 min: Traore turns on the jets again, then takes it up a notch from there! It’s an unstoppable run. He reaches the byline but his cutback is blocked out for a corner. And from that ...

    40 min: That goal came slightly against the run of play, after a decent period for West Brom. The scoreline seems pretty much right over the piece, though.

    This is a lovely goal! Neto’s free kick isn’t up to much, and half-cleared by West Brom. Saiss hoicks it back into the mixer from the right. The ball hits Silva on the shoulder and breaks to Boly, who backheels down the inside left, returning it to Silva. Silva opens his body and steers a delightful sidefoot across Button and into the bottom right. What a finish!

    37 min: Snodgrass clips Neto down the left, and this is a free kick in a very dangerous position, just to the side of the West Brom area. Neto gets up and takes himself, and ...

    36 min: Ajayi is booked for a cynical tug on Dendoncker, who was threatening to launch a Wolves attack. One suspects Big Sam will be happy enough with that, too.

    35 min: Neto’s slovenly touch is snaffled by Snodgrass, who exchanges passes down the inside-right channel with Pereira. Snodgrass enters the box and attempts a shot-cum-cross from a tight angle. He falls over backwards and the ball is cleared, but that’s yet another decent move by West Brom, who have a few green shoots on display this afternoon.

    34 min: Neto shovels a gorgeous pass down the inside-left channel, nearly releasing Silva into space. Bartley does extremely well to anticipate the danger, coming over to skelp clear.

    33 min: Grosicki lashes a shot over the bar from 25 yards. He’s looked very lively on his first Premier League start this season.

    31 min: A free kick for Wolves out on the right. It’s flung diagonally into the box. Sawyers wins the first header. Pereira wins the second, steering it cleverly to Robinson, on the edge of the six-yard box. It’s a lovely move, and Robinson is onside, but he pokes straight into the chest of Rui Patricio, who had closed him down and made himself big. What a chance to double West Brom’s lead!

    30 min: A little bit scrappy, all of a sudden, but very hotly contested by both teams. Imagine if Molineux was packed to the rafters for this!

    28 min: Traore crosses from the right. Button claims under pressure from Silva. Wolves are enjoying themselves down this right flank.

    27 min: The third corner is half cleared, but Neto comes back at the visitors down the right. He crosses low towards the near post, where Boly backflicks cutely from the edge of the six-yard box. Just wide right. A lovely attempt, and one Button may not have reached had it been on target.

    26 min: Moutinho fizzes the corner into the six-yard box. Traore flicks on, and Livermore flashes over for a third corner. Back to the right this time.

    25 min: Semedo probes down the right again, winning a corner. Wolves load the box. Moutinho curls long, forcing Bartley to head out for a corner on the other side.

    23 min: Wolves take their turn of looking after the ball. Some pretty triangles, without any real purpose. West Brom are making them work for their possession. It’s all in their own half.

    21 min: West Brom’s all-new improved press is giving Wolves a few problems. Gibbs and Grosicki swarm and win the ball off Neves, then advance down the left. A few flicks nearly make some space; not quite. But Big Sam will be delighted with the improvements on display so far. Small acorns, and all that.

    19 min: Pereira sashays down the middle and looks to thread one into the bottom right from the edge of the D. There’s not quite enough oomph in his effort, and Rui Patricio claims easily. Wolves break, Traore going on another Power Meander down the right. The cross is no good, but what speed! This is superb end-to-end fun.

    18 min: Some great hold-up play by Silva, who holds off three men and lays off to Dendoncker, who has another thrash from distance. He gives it some fierce welly, but it’s straight at Button , who claims.

    17 min: Traore turns on the jets and makes off down the right. He digs out a cross for Dendoncker, on the penalty spot. Dendoncker is slightly behind the ball, and can’t get any power on the header he attempts to guide into the top left. It floats harmlessly wide.

    15 min: Dendoncker and Traore take turns to whistle shots goalwards. The first attempt is wide and high, the second straight at Button. A really lively opening to this game. Great fun.

    13 min: This is a good response by Wolves. Neto crosses from the left. Button struggles to claim under pressure from Silva, but does so in the end. The ball brushed the hand of Gibbs during the melee, but there was nothing he could do, it being punched onto his arm by Button from close range. No penalty. The little things are going West Brom’s way at the minute. Small margins between success and failure.

    12 min: Incidentally, the penalty decision was ratified by VAR. The foul was right on the white line; another couple of inches upfield and it wouldn’t have been given. But it was the correct decision, made in real time, by one of the Premier League’s better and more thoughtful referees.

    10 min: Wolves come straight back at West Brom, Silva grooving down the left. He’s clipped by Sawyers. A free kick just to the side of the D. Neves takes, but hoicks straight into the wall. West Brom clear.

    Pereira spots Rui Patricio going one way, then calmly slots into the top left. A lovely penalty. West Brom get the reward for their lively start!

    7 min: The visitors ping it around, Grosicki in the thick of it. The ball is slipped to Robinson, his back to goal on the edge of the box. Boly sticks a leg out and catches Robinson. Michael Oliver thinks about it for a while, then points to the spot.

    6 min: West Brom continue to look bright during these early exchanges. Robinson is doing an awful lot of sniffing around up front, putting Boly and Coady under pressure. Wolves, that Semedo run apart, are struggling to play their way upfield.

    4 min: Semedo takes on three men and zips with purpose down the right. It’s a fine run, made at full pelt, and he earns a corner which Moutinho takes. From the set piece, Neves has a whack from distance. Blocked. Then Boly has a dig, threading one towards the bottom right. It’s smothered easily by Button.

    2 min: Allardyce will be pretty happy with that brisk, front-foot start. Gauntlet down. Wolves respond by stroking it around the back awhile, asserting their status as hosts.

    After a blast of Hi Ho Silver Lining ... and the taking of the knee in the fight against racism ... West Brom get the ball rolling. The first Black Country derby for nine years is on! West Brom win a throw down the right immediately, and it’s a first touch in a Baggies shirt for Snodgrass. He wins another throw. The ball’s flung into the mixer, and Robinson nearly gets a toe on the ball at the edge of the six-yard box. Rui Patricio collects, but that was nearly a sensational start for the visitors!

    Here come the teams! Wolves are in their famous old gold, while West Brom sport their trademark navy blue and white stripes. Two looks with plenty of old-school class. We’ll be off in a minute or two!

    Nuno’s turn. “It’s been difficult to manage all the situations, because of what has happened to us. We have tried to find solutions. It’s the balance between senior players and youth that will make us stronger. We must compete and play a good game. We know what this means to Wolves as a club against rivals so we want to compete well. We must stay together as a unit, fighting for each other. It’s the most important thing.”

    Big Sam speaks to BT Sport. “We’re desperate for a result and there would be nothing better than making the fans happy. We’re trying to stop conceding goals that are avoidable. Our concentration levels sometimes lapses at moments, and it only takes the opposition a few seconds to exploit that. So that has been the focus when we’re out of possession. In possession, it’s all about trying to create more chances in open play, our quality has to get better, but that’s something I’ve seen in the short time I have been here. It’s a balance of defending correctly and creating more opportunities.”

    Wolves make two changes to the team that lost 2-1 at home to Everton on Tuesday night. Adama Traore has recovered from a hamstring problem, while Willy Boly’s thigh has mended. Morgan Gibbs-White and Rayan Ait Nouri make way.

    West Brom ring the changes. Four in all from the team that went down to Blackpool in the FA Cup. Robert Snodgrass makes his debut, while Callum Robinson, Dara O’Shea and Romaine Sawyers return. Branislav Ivanovic, Lee Peltier and Filip Krovinovic drop to the bench, while Conor Gallagher is suspended. Sam Johnstone and Matt Phillips are both absent, laid low by coronavirus.

    Wolverhampton Wanderers: Rui Patricio, Nelson Semedo, Coady, Boly, Saiss, Dendoncker, Neves, Joao Moutinho, Traore, Silva, Pedro Neto.
    Subs: Hoever, Ait Nouri, Gibbs-White, Vitinha, Ruddy, Cutrone, Shabani, Kilman, Corbeanu.

    West Bromwich Albion: Button, O’Shea, Ajayi, Bartley, Gibbs, Livermore, Sawyers, Matheus Pereira, Snodgrass, Grosicki, Robinson.
    Subs: Lonergan, Furlong, Robson-Kanu, Krovinovic, Ivanovic, Edwards, Peltier, Kipre, Field.

    It’s the first Black Country derby for nine years. As with any other local rivalry, football’s most unappealing prize - bragging rights - are up for grabs. Three precious points are too, manna from heaven for a couple of teams struggling a little bit at present.

    West Brom’s travails have been well publicised. The short end of that story: Sam Allardyce has been wheeled in. It’s not been going that well for the Premier League’s most famous troubleshooter, though. Having run themselves into the ground for a point at Liverpool, they’ve subsequently lost the next two home games by an aggregate score of 9-0, then got themselves knocked out of the cup by third-tier opposition. Six points below Brighton and safety, albeit with a game in hand, they need something badly this afternoon.

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  • Sat, 16 Jan 2021 14:41:19 +0000: Matheus Pereira's two penalties give West Brom vital win over Wolves - West Bromwich Albion | The Guardian

    Six matches after being parachuted in to save West Brom, Sam Allardyce has finally presided over a victory – and a particularly sweet one at that. Matheus Pereira scored two penalties either side of a headed goal by Semi Ajayi as West Brom upset their local rivals with a display of opportunism, spirit and relative defensive rigour. Wolves, though, have mostly themselves to blame. They have lost six of their last nine league matches and look no closer to solving problems that have emerged at both ends of the pitch.

    Related: Leeds v Brighton, West Ham v Burnley and Football League – clockwatch live!

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