Hardly breaking a sweat, West Brom swept aside Stoke for their first double over City in 89 years. Stoke were slightly better in the 2nd half, but that’s not saying much. Nathan saw improvements, but the fans have gone home disappointed. Here’s the live final whistle report:
Here’s how the game unfolded in real time:
We always beat West Brom? No. Pulis always beats West Brom as he did last week. Today, Albion want to do the double over Stoke for the first time since the Wall Street Crash. Ince & Woods in for Ashley & Bojan, with Clucas having to squeeze into the Left Back’s boots. Albion could catch the top-3 if they win. Stoke could catch a nose-bleed in 14th if they win. 17th if they lose. How times have changed.
0.22 Stoke’s new captain Danny Batth in his home debut has to block a shot in the first 22 seconds. 22 seconds! Albion clearly have the intent, whilst Stoke have caught a cold.
5.15 Albion fans clearly don’t like McClean, whilst I have taken a dislike to keeper Johnstone as he’s wearing the same black outfit as the referees’.
22.20 Murphy hits one high & wide almost out of boredom…
24.07 0-1 !! As predicted Dwight Gayle – so long a Stoke target – inevitably scores, heading in a well worked set-piece. Stoke looked outclassed, & Jack was furious with something or other, tearing out to give the ref a good telling off.
26.30 Edwards is taken out with a challenge that the cameras show could have been a red card. (Vokes likewise).
39.40 Ironically, it’s Edwards who gets yellowed for holding back Gayle on the touchline.
42.40 In contrast to Albion’s well-worked free-kick, Stoke’s equivalent goes 3 miles over the bar!! Etebo looks embarrassed.
Half time: Stoke 0 West Brom only-1-but-could-have-been-several-if-they-could-have-been-bothered.
45.00 Attendance is given as 26,828, but frankly, it doesn’t look like it, nor will this many turn up again for this standard of football.
53.01 Edwards cross is the most dangerous Stoke have been all day. Vokes squeezed out in the middle, of course. Roll on the penalty miss.
56.52 Stoke’s free kick is almost as embarrassing as their first half one. This side would struggle in League One.
62.32 And the annual Ali-Dia Are-You-For-Real award goes to Sam Clucas, who now really has something to “shhhh” us for, after taking stick for losing his man for the goal & blocking Etebo’s shot on target.
67.02 And the ex-Albion McClean is replaced by Bojan…
73.12 I thought they said that Jefferson Airplane were coming on, but it turned out to be Jefferson Montero. This is the sort of word-play that I’m now reduced to.
80.30 Saido on for Woods. Now you’ll see something! Albion fans booing mainly.
85.30 As Sam Vokes heads nonchalantly wide, he has the look of someone who has lost the will to live. If he only knew that Burnley are presently 3-1 up without him at Brighton in the Premier League…
89.45 Indi would rather pass it back to Jack than trust it with Clucas. Meanwhile, Gayle is yellowed for a savage tackle from behind on Etebo, which again could have been red. Gayle is immediately subbed. Ince is then surprisingly replaced by Shawcross who positions himself up front!!!
90+4 …but with enough time-wasting, Albion scrape home fairly easily.
Final score: City 0 Albion 1