Date: 2nd January 2016
Stadium: The Hawthorns
Line-Ups: West Brom (4-2-3-1): Foster-Brunt-Evans-McAuley-Dawson-Yacob-Fletcher-Philips-Morrison-Chadli-Rondon
Hull City (3-4-1-2): Marshall-Maguire-Davies-Dawson-Elmohamady-Livermore-Huddlestone-Clucas-Snodgrass-Mbokani-Diomande.
Pre-match: Looking at the line-up I was very happy with Tony’s selection. Brunt back at left back replacing Nyom to offer an attacking outlet on the left. I was also very excited to see both Morrison and Chadli play together who recently have been fighting for a place in the starting line-up. The returning Rondon also gave me a lot of reasons to be hopeful for three more points against a poor Hull side. I was expecting a tough match still since Hull are fighting for their lives to stay with a chance of avoiding the drop.
Prediction: West Bromwich Albion 2-1 Hull City
First Half: Sluggish opening 15 minutes in the first half, allowing Hull City to test Foster a couple of times. Yet, West Brom proving a tough nut to crack !
Well not for long, 21 minutes in, Hull take the lead through Robert Snodgrass who was rumored to be likely to move to the Hawthorns. Yacob proving helpless to stop the attacking midfielder from slotting the ball in the back of the net. Disappointing to say the least !
Just to add salt to the wounds, Evans, undoubtebly our best player on the pitch goes out injured. Nyom comes in to replace him. Few minutes later, McAuley makes an excellent last ditch challenge to prevent Hull from doubling the score.
41 minutes in, we actually get a chance to score but Rondon fires his shot into the side-netting. Right after, Matty Philips bamboozles past Davies with incredible skill but undoes all his work by firing in a poor cross straight to Marshall’s hands.
HT Teamtalk: No reason to ‘boing’ at all in a very poor first half display by the home side. Hull have been the better team no questions asked. West Brom have lacked creativity in the final third only delivering two shots on target as a result. Chadli and Morrison have been quiet, and need to do more in the second half. We need to put more pressure on Hull’s defense to get at them and create more opportunities to score. We came back to beat Southampton last time out. Can we do it again ?!
Second Half: Right away Chris Brunt equalizes !! From a corner, Brunt heads the ball past Marshall at the back post after a goal-mouth scramble. Much better !
McAuley puts us ahead from another corner !! McAuley jumps to head the ball in as it crosses over the line despite Clucas’s attempt to stop it with his hands.
Morrison makes it three !! BOING BOING !! Robson-Kanu turns Davies inside out and sends a low cross which evades Rondon but is touched home by Morrison. Surely thats it now !!!
Hull seem to have given up and barely look to threaten Foster’s goal. Huddlestone sends a long shot to row Z around the 80th minute. Referee blows for full time with the Baggies marching on and taking the three points.
FT Score: West Brom 3- 1 Hull City
Scorers: Snodgrass (H) 21′ Brunt 49′ McAuley 62′ Morrison 73′
Full-time thoughts: Truly a game of two halves. Following an abject first half display from the home side, we came back stronger in the second half. Pulis’s half-time team talk must have worked wonders again as we came back to win the game 3-1. McaAuley was exceptional at the back as were Philips and Yacob. Another valuable three points as the Baggies consolidate 8th place. We know we can beat anyone on our day !
Foster 7/10 Kept us in the game in the first half with some brilliant saves especially from Snodgrass’s free-kick.
Dawson 7/10 Solid as a rock as per usual.
McAuley 8/10 Held the defense well and was instrumental throughout the game.
Nyom 6/10 Decent performance after replacing Evans
Brunt 8/10 A constant threat on that left hand side, equalized and assisted the winner.
Yacob 8/10 A solid performance put in some good tackles and his distribution was implacable.
Fletcher 7/10 Commanding performance with some good passes in the second half.
Philips 7/10 Some brilliant skills and the main man upfront for West Brom.
Chadli 5/10 Inexistant in the first half and was subbed off.
Morrison 7/10 Improving as the game progressed and scored to round off a brilliant performance.
Rondon 6/10 At times isolated upfront and could have finished better in the first half.
Subs: Robson-Kanu 7/10 McLean 5/10
Man of the Match: Gareth McAuley
Manager Rating: 7/10
Referee Rating: 7/10