Tuesday 28 February 2017

Pulis shows another side to his character in Baggies rout

West Bromwich Albion 4-0 Burnley

West Brom's Salomon Rondon celebrates scoring his side's fourth goal Photo: Reuters / Andrew Boyers
West Brom's Salomon Rondon celebrates scoring his side's fourth goal Photo: Reuters / Andrew Boyers

Tony Pulis and four-goal hammerings do not usually occupy the same sentence but this was a performance that threatens to shatter the Welshman's pragmatic reputation.

Pulis was being asked to wave at West Bromwich Albion's fans long before the final whistle of this emphatic victory as Burnley's dreadful away form continued at the Hawthorns.

Matt Phillips puts away the first goal for West Brom Photo: Nick Potts/PA Wire
Matt Phillips puts away the first goal for West Brom Photo: Nick Potts/PA Wire

His teams have always been renowned for rigid organisation and defensive resilience yet this was an attacking masterclass as Albion moved up to ninth in the Premier League.

There was even a new chant, with Albion's fans serenading Pulis to the tune that Manchester City supporters sing to Pep Guardiola.

Burnley were abysmal, effectively out of the game within 37 first-half minutes, and manager Sean Dyche is surely counting down the days until the January transfer window opens.

Albion took the lead after just four minutes with their first attack.

West Brom manager Tony Pulis Photo: Reuters / Andrew Boyers
West Brom manager Tony Pulis Photo: Reuters / Andrew Boyers

James Morrison's cross was inadvertently played into the feet of Matt Phillips by Dean Marney and the £4m signing turned and shot high into the roof of the net.

Morrison added a second in the 16th minute with a goal that resembled a training ground exercise.

"Are you Villa in disguise?" chanted the West Brom fans, and Dyche was pacing around his technical area like a distressed bear, struggling to comprehend what was unravelling in front of him.

Phillips set up Darren Fletcher for the third before half-time and Saloman Rondon completed the rout in the second half.

Telegraph.co.uk

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