West Brom 0 Wigan Athletic 1
I said in my match preview that Albion would need to be at their best to beat an in-form Wigan side and they simply weren’t close to the heights they have reached in recent weeks.
From the first minute, Slaven Bilić’s team were second best. The Croat said in his post match interview that the players were well prepared and there was no sign of fatigue, but it just looked like a game too far as too many of the team were off the pace.
Albion still created chances and, had Matheus Pereira taken the one-on-one chance he had in the first half, or had the referee given a penalty for the challenge on Hal Robson-Kanu after the break, they may still have come away with the points. That would have been harsh on Paul Cook’s side who had more possession, more shots and more passes than the hosts and deserved the three points.
As for the penalty shout, I had a good view from the Brummie and, at first glance, felt it was a fair challenge but, having seen the replays, it looks like Leon Balogun did kick through Robson-Kanu and the Welshman can count himself unlucky not to have won a spot kick. Having said that, it was very difficult for the referee to see that with one look.
I don’t think the injury to Ahmed Hegazi had too much impact on the match itself, but it is a real shame for the Egyptian if he is out for an extended period – he had been playing extremely well.
It may not have been the best end to February, but every Baggies fan would have bitten your hand off to get 16 points from 21 over the month. Albion remain well placed and they just need to ensure that they pick themselves up for the trip to Swansea on Saturday.
Before that, Newcastle visit the Hawthorns in the FA Cup, but I expect the majority of the starting eleven today to be rested. Most have played the majority of every game in February, and a break is well-earned, even though I’d like to see us progress to the quarter-final.
Lead photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images