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Stoke (always) beat West Brom! 3-1 City win is tonic for their fans

WBA 1 Stoke 3 9/4/22 3pm

My, The Baggies must be crying out for the days of Tony Pulis, just so they can get the better of Stoke. Today, Michael O’Neill’s midfield outplayed Steve Bruce’s timid Albion, effectively scuppering their season. Here’s how the game unfolded in real time:
Albion genuinely think they can make up 8 points in their last 6 games to make the playoffs! Ha!! (Knowing the Baggies’ luck, I’ll end up eating my words.) Stoke making up 4 points to finish in the top half will be a miracle in itself. So Fletcher swaps for maligned Maja, Tom “Cracker” Smith is reborn from oblivion to play wide on the right (for oblivioned Wright-Phillips), and youngster Will Forrester is thrown in the deep end for poor Benny Wilmot. Baby Tom Sparrow flutters on to the bench (I’ve always wanted to say that!) with Sima. TomSawyers is inel- inedi- … not allowed to play! Every player and official takes the knee. Just saying. (!)
2.50 Yes, it’s Andy Carroll vs Phil Jagielka. Just like old times. In the Premier. A long time ago. In a galaxy far far away. But Phil’s not having any of it, and Carroll is only here to make Fletch feel good about that hair-bun.
10.50 Stoke’s back three have had 50% possession of the ball already!! Forrester, Jagielka & Harwood-Bellis aren’t letting anyone else play with the ball!
15.12 1-0 !! The back 3 release the ball just enough for Lewis Baker to thwack the ball into a crowded penalty area, and poor Jake Livermore to put through his own net. I’m wondering, how many of these Stoke-derby nightmares has Jake had to endure?? Stoke fans sing: “How bad must you be, we’re winning away!” (Or words to that effect…)
26.45 “We’re passing the ball, how bad must you be, we’re passing the ball!” Tymon on the end of a great move, which he played most parts of, but the finish is tame.
28.40 Pony-bun Andy Carroll climbs all over young short-back-and-sides Forrester trying to intimidate him. Forrester no doubt recommends a good barber.
36.19 After a Harwood-Bellis error, Jagielka almost allows Carroll’s effort to loop over Bonham. But over the bar.
HT 1-0 Stoke. Well, what did Steve Bruce expect?
50.45 Taylor Gardner-Hickman really annoyed for being penalised for an excellent tackle on Tymon on the touch line. No sympathy for the double-barrelled name. Sorry. Taylor Harwood-Bellis beware.
56.40 Great cross from Tymon, headed over by Jake Brown. Got to do better…
58.12 2-0 !!!…and just as I say that, Brown heads in a Smith free kick straight down the middle of the park into the Albion’s right hand corner of the net. Who else should I criticise???? C’mon Fletcher, pull your socks up!!
72.53 2-1 !! Sub Callum Robinson slots home as Albion go long-ball. Tough last 20 minutes for Stoke now. Albion fans were barracking their players only 7 seconds before for passing back to the keeper!
76.01 Maja on for Fletch, but he can’t quite get on the end of Baker’s superb cross from the right only 2 minutes later!
81.50 Wilmot on for Vrancic. Er. Ben goes right, Smith goes left, and Tymon heads to the middle..?
85.50 As Forrester gives Carroll too much space, Harwood-Bellis comes in and absolutely flattens him! Ref not impressed, but very amusing.
89.20 Great through ball by Maja, but despite all the time in the world, Tymon is tackled. Should’ve scored! (Hint hint!)
90+3 3-1 !!! Stoke break, & it’s all over! Maja does the running, but Baker beats the offside trap to score!!!
FT WBA 1 Stoke 3 !!! Well, was it ever in doubt..?

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