Saturday 24 February 2018

Baggies bag right to brag


Could this be the season when we see a shift in the balance of power in the West Midlands of England?

On this evidence, West Bromwich Albion will never have a better chance to finish above Aston Villa in the Premier League, as goals from Jonas Olsson and Paul Scharner, either side of the interval, enabled the visitors to pick up their first win in these parts since 1982. A lively contest was mired in controversy after the dismissal of Chris Herd in the first half for an alleged stamp on Olsson.

Alan Hutton's full-blooded challenge on Shane Long provided the first major talking point in an incident-packed first half. Long returned to the game after lengthy treatment, but lasted only another eight minutes before departing, although not before Hutton was booked for another challenge on him.

Villa took the lead moments later after Gabriel Agbonlahor was taken down by West Brom's goalkeeper Ben Foster. Darren Bent, who had squandered a wonderful chance in the eighth minute, scored from the spot with the minimum of fuss.

West Brom's superiority was never in doubt after Herd departed, though, and Peter Odemwingie should have added a third in injury-time.


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