West Bromwich Albion 1-1 Wolves: Sam Allardyce’s sideways look doomed to relegation after failing to win
West Brom are on the verge of relegation after playing a draw at home alone against rivals Wolves in Black Country derby, with Mbaye Diagne canceling Fabio Silva’s opener
- Wolves attacker Fabio Silva gave the visitors the lead via a deviated shot
- Baggies attacker Mbaye Diagne equalized with a header just after the hour
- It got moved up late, but neither side could get a winner and it finished 1-1
There is no escapologist in the world who would now assume West Brom’s predicament and see their chances of sneaking out.
Albion is officially no longer a Championship club, but that moment is getting closer. Only 12 points from their remaining four games give them a chance to survive and by the time of their next game, Sunday at Arsenal, the issue may have already been resolved.
As so often in recent weeks, Albion fought hard here, in an entertaining Black Country derby, but Mbaye Diagne’s second half equalizer – which wiped out Fabio Silva’s lucky attack for Wolves in the last minute of the opening period – was not enough.
Mbaye Diagne (second right) reversed Fabio Silva’s opener and earned West Brom a point
Silva opened the scoring for Wolves in first half injury time with a happy, deflected shot
Silva’s attempt went over West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone to the back of the net
Silva will be joined by his Wolves teammates to celebrate his goal in the first half on Monday evening
West Brom players look dejected at the full-time whistle as they are about to be relegated
The thoughts now turn to whether Allardyce will stay in The Hawthorns and those discussions will not be easy: Allardyce would like to have a budget to build the squad he wants; like many clubs, Albion will have to accept the post-pandemic reality and cut their clothes accordingly.
“We will try to win all the games we have left and hope that all the teams above us lose theirs and through a magical wonder and fairytale dust we stay on,” said Allardyce, revealing that there had been early talks in the preseason. plan. ‘We have missed gold-edged opportunities again.
‘I understand that financial issues need to be addressed if we are downgraded. Then we discuss the way forward and for me it’s about how likely we are to come back up right away. ‘
Romain Saiss (center, 27) positioned himself very well to get Diagne’s header off the line
West Brom’s Conor Gallagher (18) could have scored, but shot right at Wolves’ Rui Patricio
MATCHES AND PLAYER RATINGS
West Brom (3-5-1-1): Johnstone 7.5; Ajayi 6.5, Bartley 7, O’Shea 6 (Phillips 32, 6.5); Furlong 6, Gallagher 6.5, Yokuslu 7, Maitland-Niles 6 (Robinson 78, 6), Townsend 6.5; Pereira 6; Diagne 6.5.
Subs not used: Button, Robson-Kanu, Livermore, Diangana, Sawyers, Peltier, Grant.
Scorers: Diagne 62.
Manager: Sam Allardyce 6.5.
Wolves (4-2-3-1): Rui Patricio 7; Semedo 6, Coady 6.5, Saiss 6.5, Ait-Nouri 6.5 (Kilman, 82); Dendoncker 7, Neves 6; Otasowie 6 (Podence 71,6), Vitinha 6.5 (Gibbs-White 80), Traore 6.5; Fabio Silva 6.5.
Subs not used: Ruddy, Hoever, Willian Jose, Cundle, Corbeanu, Marques.
Scorers: Fabio Silva 45 + 2.
Manager: Nuno Espirito Santo 6.5.
Referee: Paul Tierney 6 (Mike Dean 46, 6).
Both sides deserve credit for producing a fair, hard-fought match despite heavy rain. There was also an unexpected appearance for Mike Dean, who originally was fourth official, but whistled for the second half due to an injury to Paul Tierney.
Wolf boss Nuno Espirito Santo gave a disturbing update on his absent defender Willy Boly, who is suffering from an ‘increased heart rate’ and fatigue that left him unable to train last week after struggling in the 4-0 home defeat to Burnley. Boly was isolated earlier this month after signing Covid-19, one of at least 10 Wolves players to do so over the course of the campaign.
The pattern was established here early on. Wolves investigated and Albion resisted, although the visitors did not test Sam Johnstone until just before half an hour.
Nelson Semedo robbed Semi Ajayi in the box and Johnstone did well to push the ascending driveway.
Romain Saiss kept Wolves level with a goal line just before half-time to keep out Ajayi, who had led Conor Gallagher’s cross past Rui Patricio. Moments earlier, Allardyce had left the back three and replaced Dara O’Shea with Matt Phillips.
West Brom had more setbacks in the injury time of the first half. Youngsters Owen Otasowie and Vitinha combined nicely to release Semedo, whose square pass was cleared by Kyle Bartley against Silva’s foot, leaving Johnstone helpless when the ball hit him.
A new referee, Dean filling in for the injured Tierney, ushered in a better second half. Rui Patricio made a smart stop to deny Conor Townsend from 15 yards, then produced an even better one to keep out Gallagher, who should have buried Phillips’ low cross at the far post.
Sam Allardyce was disappointed because his party could not find a winner and the match ended 1-1
On the other hand, Silva’s low 25-year-old was well stopped by Johnstone on the hour and two minutes later the home side equalized.
Phillips led Townsend on the left, whose precise delivery was spearheaded by Diagne at close range. Wolves immediately tried to regain the lead, only for Johnstone to show excellent reflexes again by pushing Silva’s deflected stroke wide.
With puddles appearing on the field as the game progressed, there was always the danger of a foul leading to a goal, but both sides held out for a point.
“The boys have fought hard and won duels, but as always we need to improve certain aspects of our game,” admitted Nuno.
Scroll down to see how the action went from minute to minute via Sportsmail’s live blog.