West Bromwich Albion 3 - Luton Town 2

Date: Saturday 14th August 2021 
Competition: Sky Bet Championship
WBA:
6.8
Johnstone 6.9, O'Shea 7.1, Bartley 6.1, Clarke 7.7 (Ajayi, 84 6.3), Furlong 7.2, Livermore 6.6, Mowatt 7.0, Townsend 6.1, Diangana 5.6, Robinson 7.5 (Zohore, 71 2.2), Grant 6.4 (Phillips, 71 5.9)
Unused subs: Button, Kipré, Reach, Tulloch
Manager: Valérien Ismaël  6.4
Luton:
5.5
Scorers: Robinson (36), Grant (66)
Referee: Tim Robinson 3.5
Attendance: 23,283   Home Fans 7.7   Away Fans 5.7
Submit your ratings for this game by clicking here: Ratings submitted so far: 15

Brendan Clegg:

A bit of a wild game. We were dominant in the first half and at one point it looked like we might get 5 or 6 but the end result showed that, as enjoyable and entertaining as this style is, there is little control of the game even when we’re 3 up. It doesn’t need to be that way and I hope our promising manager is big enough to learn that too. On the plus side it really gets the crowd going and the atmosphere was great.

It might look from reports like we were coasting until the horrible injury and then couldn’t get going after the long break but it’s more complicated than that.

Whilst we totally overpowered Luton in the first half we were a bit lucky. From simple breaks and nothing situations Luton were one composed pass from being in and these were not difficult passes - just poor execution. SJ also made some last ditch clearances as sweeper that were right on the red line of margins.

Second half we got the goal from Grant and almost straight after Phillips hit a beauty of a free kick that deserved a goal but a combination of the delay for their injury, the introduction of Zohore and our players noticeably tiring or being on cautions allowed Luton back into it and they were not far off embarrassing us with an unlikely comeback.

The goals against were poor individually but with chances to rectify and SJ made some big saves and showed reliable hands to get us over the line.

Wednesday night is our first big test on whether the philosophy can work with the relentless schedule of this division but I’m looking forward to a night under the lights.

  • SJ - 7 More reliable than Button and some big saves.
  • O’Shea - 7 Mostly solid and reliable.
  • Bartley - 6 Not sure what he was doing for their 2nd but he was okay.
  • Clarke - 7 Loves a challenge. Dives in bravely, not many cultured passes.
  • Furlong - 7 Huge effort, big headers and throws. The demands on his position are great so naturally tired.
  • Mowatt - 7 Another solid game and consistent set plays. Would like him to calm down when we’re 3 up.
  • Livermore - 6 Strong and sensible, used the ball well.
  • Townsend- 6 Apart from the error he was really good. Read it well and did a great job.
  • Grady - 6 A threat but this is a hard system for him as he rarely gets a simple ball to feet. Made things happen.
  • Robinson- 7 Poachers goal, good link up play and we missed him when he went off.
  • Grant - 6 Glad he’s got the goal but it wasn’t great. Hopefully confidence but apart from the goal he was a bit ponderous and got good opportunities all wrong.
  • Phillips - 6 Put a shift in.
  • Zohore - 2 Terrible. Noticeably slower and less aggressive than everyone else.
  • Ajayi - Did okay, pace is a bonus but the game had swung by the time he came on.