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West Brom 2-0 Preston: Baggies rise in the direction of promotion to the Premier League

West Brom 2-0 Preston: Baggies maintain promotion costs while Hal Robson-Kanu and Jake Livermore achieve a comfortable win at the Hawthorns

  • Half goals from Hal Robson-Kanu and Jake Livermore set Albion on the road
  • Preston to ten men in the second half when Darnell Fisher was shown red
  • Baggies now have the comfort of a seven-point cushion on the second placed Leeds

The Slaven Bilic juggernaut continues to follow the fast lane and it seems unlikely that he will brake soon.

Half goals from Hal Robson-Kanu and Jake Livermore set Albion on the road to a new victory and the comfort of a seven-point cushion on second-placed Leeds.

Halfway through the second half, Preston was reduced to ten men when Darnell Fisher was shown directly in red for a challenge at Callum Robinson but had never really put West Brom in trouble.

Hal Robson-Kanu opened the score after only six minutes when he stopped under Declan Rudd

Jake Livermore doubled the lead in the rest time with a shot in the corner

Jake Livermore doubled the lead in the rest time with a shot in the corner

Jake Livermore doubled the lead in the rest time with a shot in the corner

Preston was half to ten in the middle of the second half when Fisher was shown red

Preston was half to ten in the middle of the second half when Fisher was shown red

Preston was half to ten in the middle of the second half when Fisher was shown red

Match facts and player RATINGS

West Brom (4-3-3): Johnstone, O’Shea, Hegazi, Ajayi, Townsend, Livermore, Harper, Pereira, Krovinovic, Robinson, Robson-Kanu

Subs: Bond, Bartley, Furlong, Barry, Grosicki, Phillips, Austin

goals: Robson Kanu 6 Livermore 45

Preston (4-2-3-1): Rudd, Fisher, Pearson, Davies, Browne, Johnson, Hughes, Bauer, Maguire, Barkhuizen, Nugent

Subs: Ripley, Clarke, Rafferty, Gallagher, Potts, Sinclair, Stockley

goals:

Sent: Fisher 64

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For Albion, it was the perfect start to a series of three games in a row at home, including the FA Cup draw against Newcastle.

Given the pre-match snow on The Hawthorns, no matter how suitable that Preston players should get cold.

Robson-Kanu, fresh from his two goals in Bristol City at the weekend, continued the scoring streak with the opener after just five minutes.

Questions must be asked about Preston’s defense while Robinson’s Robson-Kanu cross fell down and defeated Declan Rudd with no sign of a challenge.

So that was three in two and 10 for the season from rush hour. It was also the perfect start against a Preston side with the aim of extending their undefeated finish to seven games.

David Nugent is pictured (left) and makes an acrobatic goal attempt at the Hawthorns

David Nugent is pictured (left) and makes an acrobatic goal attempt at the Hawthorns

David Nugent is pictured (left) and makes an acrobatic goal attempt at the Hawthorns

The lead had, and probably should have been doubled, but Robinson was refused by Rudd, who was destined to have a busy night.

Matheus Pereira picked himself up after a foul by Daniel Johnson to direct a low free kick to the Preston goalie.

Then Rudd reacted well to block when Robinson shot a short distance.

A small warning signal sounded when Preston David Nugent headed Andrew Hughes’s cross straight into the pitch and over the bar. Fisher also sent a header wide.

It was a fruitful few weeks for the championship leaders, 13 of the last 15 points in the bag and a four-point lead over the second-placed Leeds before this game.

Matheus Pereira falls under pressure from the challenge of Andrew Hughes during the match

Matheus Pereira falls under pressure from the challenge of Andrew Hughes during the match

Matheus Pereira falls under pressure from the challenge of Andrew Hughes during the match

But Preston also has promotional aspirations and has proven to be sustainable and determined in recent weeks. Bringing another goal down for the break, however, made the question difficult.

Livewire Robinson delivered the pass for Jake Livermore, who swept the ball past Rudd.

Strengthened by the second goal, Albion went looking for a different goal and was in the must to do this through Filip Krovinovic.

Krovinovic was then involved in a struggle with Fisher, but referee Kevin Friend had none of it.

Preston boss Alex Neil looks lively while he watches the loss of his side with the Hawthorns

Preston boss Alex Neil looks lively while he watches the loss of his side with the Hawthorns

Preston boss Alex Neil looks lively while he watches the loss of his side with the Hawthorns

However, there was no doubt in the referee’s head when Fisher started a tackle that saw him crash against Robinson. Despite the arguments of the Preston players, their teammate received a straight red card.

Preston is also in an ominous form with this only their second defeat in nine games to bring them into a cluster of teams chasing the top six.

But although they never stopped trying, they hardly bothered Albion keeper Sam Johnstone. The home team should have won with a larger margin.

Sub Charlie Austin forced a brilliant save from Rudd after a brilliant passing line-up that thrilled the fans.

Even then, Albion went looking for a final bloom with Rekeem Harper, who cut the bar with a wonderful curved effort.

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