Section: West Brom

Premiership: Man City 3-0 West Brom

Wilfried Bony’s first goal for Manchester City helped his side on their way to a much-needed victory after Gareth McAuley was controversially sent off for West Brom.

Fernando and David Silva added further goals as City cut Chelsea’s lead at the top of the table to three points, at least until Jose Mourinho’s side play their two games in hand.

But the game turned on McAuley’s dismissal after just 89 seconds – the fastest in the Premier League this season – when it was unclear whether referee Neil Swarbrick had shown the red card to the wrong man.

Another Baggies defender, Craig Dawson, had committed the initial foul on Bony, who got up before running into McAuley inside the area.

Swarbrick, however, awarded City a free-kick before calling McAuley over, and proceeded to send him off despite his pleas of innocence and protests from his team-mates.

It was the second case of apparent mistaken identity in the Premier League in less than a month, following Wes Brown’s red card at Old Trafford for a foul by his Sunderland team-mate John O’Shea.

On this occasion it was debatable whether it was a sending-off at all but City, reeling from their Champions League exit against Barcelona and desperately short of domestic form, were not complaining.

Read more at BBC Sport

FA Cup: Aston Villa 2-0 West Brom

Aston Villa off to Wembley for FA Cup semifinal after win over West Brom

Fabian Delph’s first goal in a year helped fire Aston Villa to Wembley as they beat West Brom 2-0 to reach the FA Cup semifinals.

The stand-in skipper scored for the first time since March 2014 as Villa became the first side to bank a last four spot.

Scott Sinclair grabbed a late second after Claudio Yacob was controversially sent off with 10 minutes left and Villa substitute Jack Grealish was also dismissed in stoppage time, picking up a second yellow card for diving.

But the win was marred by ugly scenes which saw seats thrown from the West Brom fans towards the Villa supporters.

Victory completed a dream double over the Baggies after Villa’s 2-1 Barclays Premier League win on Tuesday, which lifted them out of the relegation zone.

Christian Benteke, who scored the late penalty winner on Tuesday, was sidelined with a hip injury as Sinclair replaced him.

Shay Given and Leandro Bacuna also came in while Boaz Myhill replaced Ben Foster in the Baggies goal, after the keeper’s nightmare game in mid-week, and Jonas Olsson started with Darren Fletcher cup-tied.

Given had already saved from Berahino before Villa survived a huge let-off thanks to Brown Ideye’s wayward finishing after eight minutes.

Craig Gardner wriggled behind the hosts’ defence and presented the ball on a plate for Ideye but the unmarked striker could only fire over from eight yards.

It was the best chance of a poor first half which failed to live up to the pre-match hype.

Villa lacked punch and a focal point without Benteke, failing to threaten during a first half where Gabby Agbonlahor struggled to replicate the performance which caused the Baggies problems in mid-week.

There was no fluidity to the hosts’ play, allowing Albion to nullify them with ease.

The visitors continued to be the aggressors and Given claimed Ideye’s header before he turned Brunt’s volley over after the ball had struck Olsson on the shoulder.

The Baggies were on top but Villa emerged for the second half with renewed purpose and took the lead on 51 minutes.

The previously quiet Charles N’Zogbia skipped inside and found the unmarked Delph who was gifted too much time to rifle past Myhill from 16-yards.

It was the midfielder’s first goal since he scored in Villa’s 1-0 win over Chelsea last season.

It was also Villa’s first clear chance but Albion rallied and should have levelled six minutes later only for Joleon Lescott to plant a five-yard header wide.

The goal had given the hosts renewed confidence, though, and Myhill had to rush out and block from Sinclair with 21 minutes left.

And 90 seconds later the winger almost finished the game when he skipped down the left and dragged a shot wide.

Albion were on the ropes and Ashley Westwood’s drive deflected wide before Gardner deflected the ball onto his own bar with 14 minutes left.

It then got worse for the Baggies when Yacob was sent off for a second yellow card.

There seemed little wrong when Bacuna went to tackle the midfielder, who remained on his feet, only for referee Anthony Taylor to issued a second booking for the Albion man.

It left the Baggies fuming and Villa wrapped the game up with five minutes remaining when Grealish broke, found Sinclair and the Manchester City loanee cut inside Brunt and curled into the corner.

Seats were then thrown from the Albion end into the Villa fans.

Grealish was dismissed for a dive in injury time and game was also delayed after a pitch invasion from the home supporters before the final whistle.
 Read more at ESPN

Premiership: Aston Villa 2-1 West Brom

Christian Benteke scored from the penalty spot deep into injury time to give Tim Sherwood his first win as Aston Villa manager and lift them out of the Premier League relegation zone.

Saido Berahino’s 18th goal of the season looked to have extended Villa’s run without victory to 13 league games after he equalised Gabriel Agbonlahor’s first-half goal.

But with only seconds remaining, West Brom keeper Ben Foster capped a performance riddled with uncertainty by fumbling a clearance then rushing out to bring down Matthew Lowton.

Benteke kept his cool to slide in the spot-kick in front an ecstatic Holte End to give Villa three points for the first time since 7 December.

Sherwood celebrated wildly with his backroom staff as the first of the six wins he says Villa need to stay up was secured – thanks in large part to Foster’s poor handling and a rush of blood with the game almost over.

The former England midfielder will have been delighted by a vibrant first-half performance that was an example of the “front foot football” he is demanding, but Villa went off the boil after the break and needed that dramatic conclusion to get the win.

Sherwood will hope it not only provides the momentum required in the run-in but also a psychological lift ahead of the FA Cup quarter-final between these two teams at Villa Park on Saturday.

Albion’s in-form attacking partnership of Brown Ideye and Berahino were declared fit – but were virtual spectators and starved of supply as Villa dominated the first half.

In contrast, Villa used the pace of Agbonlahor and the power of Benteke to great effect, the pair combining as they took a lead they fully deserved after 22 minutes.

Benteke flicked on keeper Brad Guzan’s clearance for Agbonlahor to outpace Joleon Lescott and roll a finish under Foster.

Agbonlahor thought he had put Villa ahead earlier when Foster fumbled a routine shot, but goal-line technology confirmed West Brom’s keeper had scrambled back just in time to grab the ball as it rolled towards goal.

And Foster needed the help of Lescott to salvage another desperate situation when the defender raced back to clear off the line after Albion’s defence had again been exposed by the pace of Agbonlahor.

Villa’s only frustration was that they had failed to increase their lead and they were denied by the woodwork in first-half stoppage time when Delph’s precise shot from 20 yards bounced off the outside of the post to safety.

It was safe to assume manager Tony Pulis would have had harsh words with his players after a dreadful first-half performance and they were almost on terms early in the second half when Craig Dawson should have done better than miss the target from seven yards after meeting Chris Brunt’s perfect free-kick.

Villa did not heed the warning signs and another super delivery from Brunt yielded the equaliser in the 66th minute, his dangerous corner being met at the far post by Lescott and Berahino reacting instinctively in a packed six-yard box to head past Guzan.

Read more at BBC Sport

Premiership: West Brom 1-0 Southampton

West Brom took another big step towards Premier League survival as Saido Berahino’s strike proved enough to beat Champions League-chasing Southampton.

Berahino scored after just 71 seconds at The Hawthorns when he rifled in from Maya Yoshida’s headed clearance.

However, the 17-goal striker lasted just 10 minutes of the second half before going off injured.

Graziano Pelle squandered Southampton’s best chance when he failed to tap in Ryan Bertrand’s excellent low cross.

West Brom headed into the match with the same team that drew 0-0 at Sunderland after top-scorer Berahino passed a late fitness test to take his place up front alongside the club’s record signing Brown Ideye, who had scored four goals in his last four games.

That strike partnership has added a cutting edge to a Baggies side that has now recorded six clean sheets during a run of only one defeat in 10 games since manager Tony Pulis took control on 1 January.

And when Chris Brunt’s free-kick was only half-cleared by Yoshida, it was Berahino who was on hand to fire the rebound into the top corner from the edge of the box with barely a minute on the clock.

Southampton responded with some tidy football but failed to test goalkeeper Ben Foster and, on 25 minutes, manager Ronald Koeman made a tactical change, bringing on Dutch winger Eljero Elia for Florin Gardos and switching to a back four formation.

Koeman began the match with three at the back in a changed 3-5-2 formation as he looked to shake up the team following last week’s disappointing 2-0 defeat at home to Liverpool, which saw the Saints drop out of the top four.

Sadio Mane was dropped to the bench for that Liverpool defeat after turning up late, but was restored to the side at The Hawthorns and provided the Saints’ main threat in the first half – albeit firing over from long-range and then missing the target from inside the box.

The Saints finished the half increasingly frustrated as both Koeman and the travelling fans accused West Brom of time-wasting.

Read more at BBC Sport

FA Cup: West Brom 4-0 West Ham

Brown Ideye scores twice as West Brom reach FA Cup quarterfinals

Reinvigorated striker Brown Ideye inspired West Brom to a 4-0 FA Cup romp against West Ham as the Baggies reached the quarterfinals in style.

The striker bagged two as he continued his remarkable return to form under head coach Tony Pulis.

James Morrison and Saido Berahino also scored while former Albion loanee Morgan Amalfitano was sent off for the Hammers just 10 minutes after coming on.

Ideye, a 10 million pound record buy, was set to leave the Baggies on deadline day for Qatari club Al Gharafa but stayed because they failed to land Carlton Cole from the Hammers.

Cole stayed at Upton Park after their move for Tottenham’s Emmanuel Adebayor broke down and since then Ideye has scored four goals in three games.

Ideye and Berahino started as their blossoming partnership continued while Craig Gardner replaced the cup-tied Darren Fletcher and Stephane Sessegnon came in for Callum McManaman.

Kevin Nolan and Mark Noble returned for the Hammers with ex-Baggies target Cole on the bench.

After an even opening Ryan Cresswell fired a free-kick over but the Baggies took control and deservedly opened the scoring on 20 minutes.

Craig Dawson won Gardner’s crossfield ball ahead of Cresswell to break down the right and, with Ideye free in the centre, found the striker who converted from five yards.

The Nigeria international has admitted he feels reborn under Pulis and he had the Hammers in trouble again soon after, going down under Nolan’s challenge in the area with replays suggesting it was a penalty.

Albion were dominant and Sessegnon blazed over but Gardner almost scored in spectacular style eight minutes before the break.

The midfielder collected the ball 35 yards from goal and unleashed a fierce drive which crashed off Adrian’s bar.

Gareth McAuley lashed the rebound over but the Baggies did not have long to wait before doubling their lead.

They had been on top since scoring and grabbed a deserved second when Morrison rode Noble’s challenge and lashed into the corner from 25 yards.

A third then arrived on 57 minutes from Ideye when he nodded in Sessegnon’s cross from six yards.

The Hammers had offered little but Ben Foster had to save well from Diafra Sakho’s header, with McAuley then clearing off the line on 65 minutes.

But West Ham imploded with 20 minutes left when Amalfitano – who was on loan at West Brom last season – was sent off just 10 minutes after replacing Nolan.

He was initially booked for a foul on Chris Brunt but reacted by pushing the midfielder in the face to receive a straight red.

Then, barely two minutes later, Berahino rifled in from a tight angle to spark a mass exodus of the travelling West Ham fans.

They had jeered Sam Allardyce’s substitutions and also briefly abused the manager in the second half.

Adrian then saved well from Ideye’s flick late on to deny the striker as the Baggies cruised through.

Read more at ESPN

Premiership: West Brom 2-0 Swansea

West Brom moved four points clear of the Premier League relegation zone as goals from Brown Ideye and Saido Berahino secured victory over Swansea.

Ideye, who was close to joining Qatari club Al Gharafa on transfer deadline day, opened the scoring with a low shot – his second goal in two games.

He then turned provider, cutting the ball back for strike partner Berahino to slot home from 12 yards.

The result moves the Baggies up to 14th, while Swansea remain ninth.

West Brom made three changes to the side that fought back from two goals down to secure a 2-2 draw at Burnley on Sunday. The introduction of top scorer Berahino and club record-signing Ideye from the bench was key to that turnaround and manager Tony Pulis opted to start with the strike duo at The Hawthorns.

Ideye has struggled since making a £10m move from Dinamo Kiev last summer, but he showed signs his partnership with Berahino could blossom when the duo cleverly combined to earn a corner and provide the Baggies with the first chance of the game.

Both of West Brom’s goals against Burnley had also come from corners but on this occasion goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski was equal to Craig Dawson’s near-post flicked header and palmed away Albion’s best chance of the first half.

Swansea’s best threat came from hard-working lone striker Bafetimbi Gomis, who fired a difficult chance at the near post over the bar before providing Garry Monk’s ponderous side with their first shot on target in the 40th minute – a volley straight at home keeper Ben Foster.

Gomis, who had spent much of the campaign as second choice to Wilfried Bony, has failed to find the net in six starts since the Ivorian’s £28m move to Manchester City last month.

And while Swansea continued failed to trouble Foster after the break, West Brom’s new strike pairing of Ideye and Berahino continued to threaten.

First, Berahino played in Nigerian Ideye, who swivelled on the ball and fired into the corner to open the scoring on 60 minutes.

Ideye then set up his strike partner 14 minutes later to secure all three points for West Brom, who have now lost just once in seven matches since Pulis’ appointment on 1 January.

With time running out for Swansea, Gomis squandered a further chance to end his goal drought when he headed over from the penalty spot. The 29-year-old has not scored since January’s FA Cup victory at Tranmere, while his only Premier League goal came in November’s victory against Arsenal.

Read more at BBC Sport

Premiership: Burnley 2-2 West Brom

West Brom fight back to hold Burnley in game of four headers

Brown Ideye was West Brom’s unlikely saviour as they fought back from two down to draw 2-2 at fellow strugglers Burnley.

The Baggies’ record signing almost left the club in the final hours of the winter transfer window on Monday but came off the bench at half-time at Turf Moor to head in the equaliser.

Burnley were two up inside 32 minutes through Ashley Barnes and Danny Ings but Chris Brunt pulled one back just before half-time for Albion.

It was a first Premier League goal of the season for Brunt, who lost the captain’s armband to deadline-day signing Darren Fletcher.

The point was enough for Burnley to climb back out of the relegation zone but they desperately needed all three with an extremely tough run of fixtures coming up.

Saido Berahino’s “naughty chair” was parked on the bench as the Baggies striker was dropped following an interview where he spoke of wanting to move on to bigger things, but he was called upon in the 18th minute after an injury to Victor Anichebe.

Burnley boss, Sean Dyche, meanwhile, named an unchanged starting line-up for a 10th successive Premier League match.

The club have come in for criticism from some supporters this week after failing to add to the squad during the transfer window, but holding on to Ings was a significant consolation.

Dyche substituted the striker at Sunderland last weekend because he felt constant speculation had affected the 22-year-old, but there was nothing sluggish about Ings as Burnley made a flying start.

After Ings fired over, the hosts thought they had scored when Kieran Trippier’s cross was touched back to Scott Arfield by Barnes, but Ben Foster reacted superbly to push the midfielder’s shot onto the underside of the crossbar.

However, West Brom, who had thrashed Burnley 4-0 in September, could not stem the tide and it was no more than Burnley deserved when Barnes headed in the opener in the 11th minute.

This time Dean Marney’s cross from the right was dummied by Ings, who then picked up Arfield’s header and hooked the ball across goal for his strike partner.

Berahino was unsurprisingly given a mixed reception by the travelling supporters when he made his entrance, and West Brom at last began to manage a few forays into the Burnley box. Joleon Lescott might have done better with a header from Fletcher’s free-kick.

In the 32nd minute, however, Burnley doubled their lead as Ings finished off a fine move with his eighth of the season.

Marney’s pass out to the right was dummied by Trippier which freed George Boyd, and his cross was perfect for Ings to head in off the post.

It all looked rosy for the hosts but they had lost two of their previous three games from 2-0 up and their Achilles heel came back to bite them again.

Burnley have conceded more headed goals than any other team in the Premier League and, with the first half into injury time, Brunt was allowed to head in Callum McManaman’s corner from five yards. The ball seemed to come more off shoulder than head but Clarets goalkeeper Tom Heaton was helpless as it bounced over him and into the net.

Both managers made changes for the second half. Burnley’s was forced as Michael Kightly replaced the injured Marney, while Tony Pulis sent on Ideye for Chris Baird, with Brunt dropping to left-back.

There was a half-hearted Burnley appeal for a penalty when Barnes tumbled under pressure from Craig Dawson trying to reach another excellent Trippier cross, but referee Mike Dean was unmoved.

With 67 minutes gone, West Brom drew level as Burnley were exposed at a corner once again.

This time Brunt’s delivery from the right found record signing Ideye all alone in the centre of the box and he headed in his third goal for the Baggies.

It was Burnley’s turn to threaten from a corner nine minutes later but Lescott was in the right place to clear Jason Shackell’s header off the line.

The final chance of the game went to Berahino but he could not quite reclaim his hero status as a combination of Heaton and Ben Mee on the line denied what appeared a certain goal.

Read more at ESPN

FA Cup: Birmingham 1-2 West Brom

Victor Anichebe scored twice as West Brom survived Birmingham’s attempted fightback to win the Midlands derby and reach the FA Cup fifth round.

Anichebe struck in the 25th and 35th minutes, both from passes from Saido Berahino, to hand the Premier League side a seemingly comfortable lead.

Jonathan Grounds pulled a goal back in first-half stoppage time to give the Championship side hope of an upset.

But City failed to level as their former keeper Ben Foster denied them.

West Brom boss Tony Pulis secured a first away success since he replaced Alan Irvine earlier this month, but his side had to show great resilience to claim victory.

Gary Rowett’s Birmingham team went close to forcing a replay in a late spell of pressure in which Foster, who replaced the injured Boaz Myhill on 62 minutes, twice denied substitute Demarai Gray.

Pulis made three changes from the side that drew 0-0 at Everton last time out, keeping together the attacking pair of Anichebe and Saido Berahino.

Berahino played in a more central role and it was his pass to Anichebe that allowed the ex-Everton striker to shoot low past Darren Radolph and in off a post on 25 minutes.

Ten minutes later Anichebe turned former West Brom defender Paul Robinson and beat Randolph with the aid of a deflection.

City pulled a goal back when left-back Grounds swept in a low cross from new loan signing Lloyd Dyer.

Birmingham dominated the second half as they went in search of an equaliser.

Rowett brought on Gray and striker Nikola Zigic and twice in the last 15 minutes, Gray, 18, almost scored, forcing Foster, who came on when Myhill suffered an injury to a finger, into fine saves.

Read more at BBC Sport

Premiership: Everton 0-0 West Brom

Kevin Mirallas’ penalty miss costs Everton in goalless draw

Forward Kevin Mirallas’ missed penalty cost Everton the chance of a first win in eight matches — but what was more galling for home fans was the fact he took it in the first place.

Whoever made the decision a minute before half-time needed to take a long hard look at themselves considering spot-kick regular Leighton Baines had previously scored 15 out of 16.

Mirallas’ withdrawal at the interval of the goalless draw at home to West Brom merely posed more questions as speculation continues to link the Belgium international, who has 18 months remaining on his contract, with a move away.

Manager Roberto Martinez admitted in the wake of the forward’s impressive display in last week’s FA Cup exit at West Ham that the club had to satisfy the Belgian’s ambitions for him to commit to a new contract, but considering his injury record the 27-year-old may have to consider if he still owes the Toffees something.

A week is a long time in football and, after leaving the Upton Park pitch to rave reviews, Mirallas left Goodison under something of a cloud.

That a missed penalty, and the whys and wherefores of who should have taken the kick, was the main talking point spoke volumes about the quality on show.

Everton knew West Brom would be tough to break down under new manager Tony Pulis and so it should have come as no surprise to see the visitors employ a 4-5-1 formation with Saido Berahino, with six goals in three matches, posted wide left to curtail full-back Seamus Coleman’s forward runs.

Pulis came for — and left with — a point which extended his unbeaten run since taking over to three matches, although one of those was against non-league Gateshead in the FA Cup.

His first task on replacing Alan Irvine was to make the Baggies difficult to beat — something of a trademark for the experienced manager — and he has done that with no goals conceded on his short reign.

The draw took them three points clear of the relegation zone and has given them a platform on which to build.

Everton are only a point ahead, having taken just two points from a possible 18, and the chorus of boos when Martinez replaced midfielder Muhamed Besic, comfortably their best player, with striker Arouna Kone late on and also at full-time was an indicator of how frustrated the locals are.

The football has not been anywhere near what they expect after some brilliant performances last season and, while it has not all been their own fault, they have to turn things around.

Martinez has officially complained about a lack of decisions going Everton’s way and referee Mike Oliver’s leniency in allowing James Morrison and particularly Craig Gardner to get away with hard and late challenges on Seamus Coleman and Ross Barkley respectively did not help the manager’s early mood.

In truth there was little else for Oliver or indeed anyone else to get too agitated about until the final minute of the half, with Mirallas’ free-kick comfortably held by goalkeeper Ben Foster and Joel Robles saving from Gardner’s offside half-volley.

It appeared the mediocrity would be broken in the 44th minute when former Toffee Joleon Lescott handled Romelu Lescott’s chest trap, but Mirallas — so deadly from 20-plus yards but apparently much less so from 12 — hit the foot of a post and the ball spun behind.

The half-time video message from Hollywood star Sylvester Stallone, urging the crowd to generate some atmosphere as filming took place for Rocky spin-off movie Creed, was an optimistic one considering what had gone before but, somewhat fittingly, Everton did show a bit more appetite for a fight.

It was without Mirallas, however, who did not appear for the second half.

Ross Barkley, Lukaku and Besic (twice) all had shots deflected behind but Foster barely had a save to make.

The same was true of his counterpart Robles, but West Brom’s priorities lie elsewhere.

Read more at ESPN

Premiership: West Brom set to appoint former Stoke manager Tony Pulis

Tony Pulis is set to be appointed as West Brom head coach to succeed the sacked Alan Irvine.

The 56-year-old former Stoke and Crystal Palace manager is likely to be confirmed in the position on Thursday.

It is hoped he will be in the stands at Upton Park for West Brom’s New Year’s Day Premier League visit to West Ham.

There are still some details to be decided, but the deal to make Pulis the club’s fourth head coach in a year is expected to proceed without a problem.

West Brom will retain their continental structure – in which the head coach works to technical director Terry Burton and sporting director Richard Garlick, who in turn report to chairman Jeremy Peace.

But Pulis has been assured he will have full control of all first-team matters, including the buying and selling of players.

The Welshman will meet with Peace for the first time on Thursday, and will bring Dave Kemp with him as his assistant, but decisions are still to be made on the rest of the coaching staff.

Albion are 16th in the Premier League, a point above the relegation zone, following Sunday’s 2-0 defeat at Stoke.

Irvine was placed on gardening leave on Tuesday after winning just four of his 19 league games in charge.

Read more at BBC Sport