Friday 15 November 2019

Mel relieved as Baggies prevail

Swansea 1 West Brom 2

West Bromwich Albion goalscorer Youssouf Mulumbu competes with Leon Britton of Swansea during the Barclays Premier League match between the sides at the Liberty Stadium yesterday
West Bromwich Albion goalscorer Youssouf Mulumbu competes with Leon Britton of Swansea during the Barclays Premier League match between the sides at the Liberty Stadium yesterday

John Percy

Pepe Mel may still be relying on a translator but whatever he said at half-time here produced a dramatic response, helping the Spaniard to secure his first victory at the eighth attempt.

Mel appeared doomed to become the second sacking at the Hawthorns in a matter of days early on, following Nicolas Anelka's acrimonious exit, but this could not only prove vital to his job prospects but West Brom's survival.

Youssouf Mulumbu's sublime finish five minutes from time hoisted the club three points clear of the relegation zone and increased Swansea's own fears of operating in the Championship next season.

The noose that seems to have been around Mel's neck will loosen after this deserved victory. This was only their second win in 19 league games.

"We needed to win and in football confidence is all," said Mel. "At half-time we spoke about the problems and the future face to face and we needed to change. The pressure is the same in all countries, my work is dangerous. But I am so pleased to get the first win."

After just two minutes Roland Lamah was sent down the right and cut inside Steven Reid before drilling a low shot past Ben Foster.

But whatever Mel said at half-time worked. Albion were full of confidence, snapping into tackles and attacking Swansea. They were rewarded six minutes into the half when Stephane Sessegnon drilled a 20-yard shot into the corner.

Albion looked likely to score again and five minutes from time, Mulumbu advanced towards the area before rolling his shot into the corner.

Telegraph

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