There were three excellent goals at the Hawthorns resulting in three valuable points for the Baggies as they got back to winning ways in the league defeating pre-season promotion favourites, Stoke City.
It wasn’t quite as comfortable as it could have been. The hosts dominated the opening exchanges and deservedly took the lead thanks to a wonderful piece of skill and a clinical finish from Dwight Gayle. Albion had further chances but Stoke came close to equalising when former Baggie, James McClean, closed down Sam Johnstone after he had been put under pressure by a poor back pass from Hegazi, but the deflection just cleared the bar.
It was the worst example of some nervousness under the press at the back, something that future opponents will no doubt have noticed. Albion definitely needed the second goal which came thanks to a fantastic ball over the top from Jake Livermore and another excellent finish from Dwight Gayle.
Livermore then became the villain as he handled close to the goal line and was lucky not to see red as the referee awarded the penalty to the visitors. The Albion fans had been joyfully giving Berahino and McClean plenty of stick as they failed to really make much of an impact, and when former Wolves striker, Benik Afobe, struck the bar with his penalty kick, their joy was unconfined.
The points never really felt in the bag as Stoke pressed late on, but Pieters’ wonder strike thankfully came too late and Albion took the points.
It leaves the Baggies in 8th place, just a point off the top six and four points behind joint leaders Leeds United and Middlesbrough. They travel to winless Birmingham City after the international break for their first proper local derby since they drew 0-0 with Aston Villa in January 2016.
|* Positions are recorded as Albion’s position in the table after all fixtures for that day have been completed.|
|2000/2001||09/09/2000||Stockport County (A)||D||0-0|
|2001/2002||15/09/2001||Watford (A)||W||2-1||Dobie (2)|
|2003/2004||13/09/2003||Ipswich Town (H)||W||4-1||Gaardsøe, Hulse (2), Diallo (o.g.)|
|2006/2007||09/09/2006||Leicester City (H)||W||2-0||Kenton (o.g.), Phillips (pen)|
|2007/2008||18/09/2007||Bristol City (A)||D||1-1||Koren|
|2009/2010||12/09/2009||Plymouth Argyle (H)||W||3-1||Martis, Cech (2)|
|2018/2019||01/09/2018||Stoke City (H)||W||2-1||Gayle (2)|
|2000/2001||12/09/2000||Crewe Alexandra (A)||W||1-0||Hughes|
|2001/2002||18/09/2001||Preston North End (H)||W||2-0||Dobie (2)|
|2003/2004||16/09/2003||Wigan Athletic (A)||L||0-1|
|2006/2007||12/09/2006||Preston North End (A)||L||0-1|
|2007/2008||22/09/2007||Scunthorpe United (A)||W||3-2||Barnett, Brunt, Teixeira|
|2009/2010||15/09/2009||Doncaster Rovers (H)||W||3-1||Olsson (2), Wood|
|2018/2019||14/09/2018||Birmingham City (A)|