One record came to end on New Year’s Eve, but another didn’t. The Baggies’ winless run is extended to 20 games in all competitions, 19 in the Premier League, but their 56 game wait for a penalty finally came to an end against Arsenal.
Mike Dean’s award of the penalty for Albion, in what could perhaps best be described as generous, was the first for the Baggies since September 2016, and it was converted by Jay Rodriguez to earn Albion a deserved point. You can understand why Dean awarded the penalty, Chambers did definitely move his arm towards the ball, but you would’ve been upset if it had gone against your team.
Given the fortuitous nature of the goal, and time of year, it was a moment that took me back to the incident at the City of Manchester Stadium on 28th December 2004 when a mix up between Richard Dunne and Shay Given led to an own goal to earn the Baggies a point that looked unlikely. Unlike yesterday, Albion scarcely deserved the point 13 years ago having not registered a single shot on target during the match, but it was a little bit of luck in a season devoid of it to that point, and it was perhaps the first spark in what was to become the Great Escape.
Although both matches were the last game of the year, the City game was match 20. Match 21 against Bolton Wanderers at the Reebok was close to being Robson’s first win as Albion manager but El Hadji Diouf cancelled out Zoltán Gera’s opener with five minutes to go.
Albion have won ten Premier League games in January, but half of those have come in game 22. It does fall on a Tuesday this year, though……
|Comparison of Equivalent Fixtures^|
|2016/2017 Results||Arsenal (H)||W||3-1|
|West Ham United (A)||D||2-2|
|2002/2003||28/12/2002||Charlton Athletic (A)||L||0-1|
|2004/2005||01/01/2005||Bolton Wanderers (A)||D||1-1||Gera|
|2005/2006||02/01/2006||Aston Villa (H)||L||1-2||Watson|
|2008/2009||10/01/2009||Aston Villa (A)||L||1-2||Morrison|
|2011/2012||14/01/2012||Norwich City (H)||L||1-2||Long (pen)|
|2014/2015||10/01/2015||Hull City (H)||W||1-0||Berahino|
|2015/2016||13/01/2016||Chelsea (A)||D||2-2||Gardner, McClean|
|2016/2017||14/01/2017||Tottenham Hotspur (A)||L||0-4|
|2017/2018||31/12/2017||Arsenal (H)||D||1-1||Rodriguez (pen)|
|2002/2003||11/01/2003||Manchester United (H)||L||1-3||Koumas|
|2004/2005||03/01/2005||Newcastle United (H)||D||0-0|
|2005/2006||15/01/2006||Wigan Athletic (A)||W||1-0||Albrechtsen|
|2008/2009||17/01/2009||Middlesbrough (H)||W||3-0||McMahon (o.g.), Koren (2)|
|2010/2011||15/01/2011||Blackpool (H)||W||3-2||Odemwingie (2), Morrison|
|2011/2012||21/01/2012||Stoke City (A)||W||2-1||Morrison, Dorrans|
|2012/2013||12/01/2013||Reading (A)||L||2-3||Lukaku (2)|
|2016/2017||21/01/2017||Sunderland (H)||W||2-0||Fletcher, Brunt|
|2017/2018||02/01/2018||West Ham United (A)|
* Positions are recorded as Albion’s position in the Premier League table after all fixtures for that day have been completed.
^ Fixtures against promoted clubs are compared against fixtures against the relegated clubs from last season with the club finishing 1st in the Championship compared against the club finishing 18th in the Premier League, 2nd compared with 19th and the play-off winners compared against the club who finished bottom.