West Bromwich Albion vs Swansea City Match Review

On Saturday afternoon, the Baggies travelled to the Liberty Stadium to face relegation rivals Swansea City. A goal in the 81st minute from Wilfried Bony was enough for the Swans to secure a much needed victory.

It looked as though the teams would share the spoils at the Liberty Stadium, until an inviting corner was directed into the box and Wilfried Bony fiercely fired into the roof of the net from six yards out.

Albion’s search for an equalizer came up empty handed, with their best chance coming when Salomon Rondon headed wide from James McClean’s cross, moments after the Swans took the lead.

With Albion continuing to push forward in search of an equaliser, Swansea had the chance to put the game to bed when on-loan striker Tammy Abraham ran through on goal and chipped the ball over Albion goalkeeper Ben Foster, only for his effort to flash wide of the post.

The first half was very evenly matched between the two sides, with both teams enjoying possession of the ball but neither side really managing to create any clear cut chances. The best chance of the first half came in the 39th minute when Tom Carroll’s free kick was headed onto the post by Jake Livermore.

Albion’s best chance of the game came through Hal Robson-Kanu on the counter attack in the 61st minute of the game. With Rondon, Livermore and McClean all running into the box, Robson-Kanu was unable to deliver a worthy cross which could have seen Albion snatch a goal in an otherwise tedious encounter.

New boss Alan Pardew made one change from the side who played against Crystal Palace, bringing Claudio Yacob into the starting line-up in place of the injured Gareth Barry. Chris Brunt returned from his injury to make the bench.

On an otherwise dull day for Albion fans 16-year-old attacker Rayhaan Tulloch was named on the bench for the first team in his career. Tulloch is an England Under-17 international who is highly thought of at the academy.

Teams

Albion: Foster, Nyom, Hegazi, Evans (c), Gibbs, Livermore, Yacob, Field (McClean HT), Robson-Kanu (Burke 78), Rodriguez (Brunt 81), Rondon.

Unused Subs: Myhill, Krychowiak, McAuley, Tulloch.

Swansea: Fabianski; Naughton, van der Hoorn, Mawson, Olsson; Carroll (Abraham 76), Mesa; Routledge (Ayew 56), Ki, Dyer (Narsingh 66); Bony (c).

Unused subs: Mulder, Fernandez, Fer, Clucas.

Defeat to Swansea means that Albion’s winless streak has now been extended to 14 games in the league. It is clear that new gaffer Alan Pardew’s task to steer Albion away from relegation is becoming increasingly more challenging.

Chris Brunt’s return from injury may provide some hope for Pardew. Brunt has proven in his 10 years at the club that he is capable of providing attacking quality in the final third of the

pitch. Winger Matt Phillips may also be close to a return from injury, Phillips will inject some much needed pace into the struggling side.

The Baggies now sit just outside of the relegation zone, in 17th place in the league with 13 points.

I spoke to a West Brom season ticket holder about the team’s bad run of form, the impact injuries are having and the chances of the team avoiding relegation. Here are their thoughts.

“During this challenging period ridden with injuries to key players and predictable tendency to concede late it is critical that the fans are positive and get behind the baggies. Ranting on social media about Pulis might get you likes and retweets but it won’t create a better atmosphere for Pardew and the squad. They have more than enough quality to stay away from a relegation dogfight guaranteeing that next season is one for the old rivals. Boing Boing!”

“As shown in the interest during the summer and his game changing quality Nacer Chadli will play a key part in the recovery of this campaign. The defensive peace of mind and odd goal from Craig Dawson is also expected to help us climb back up the table. “

West Brom’s focus will now turn to Wednesday evening’s trip to Anfield to face Liverpool, who come into the game on the back of a 1-1 draw against their Merseyside rivals Everton.

Jaikuran Randhawa

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