Sheffield Wednesday 0 - West Bromwich Albion 3
Well that was a massive relief!
I thought Bilic gambled quite a bit with the number of changes he made and I was concerned before kick-off about team cohesion. We looked to be in a 4-3-3.
And after a bright opening 5 I thought we were absolutely terrible for the first half. We didn't really look threatening, Diangana looked like he didn't really care enough to be there, Pereira had possibly his worst 45 for us and we couldn't get any supply in to Austin. I thought Wednesday looked the better team.
I thought Bilic tried to address how bad we were someway through the first half by switching Harper and Pereira over to get our man from Brazil into more central positions - either that or he just drifted there anyway and Harper kept filling in for him.
Fortunately for us, we got the sort of break we've really needed - a gift of a penalty for a foul on O'Shea from a situation that didn't look dangerous.
I had absolutely no doubt that Austin would put it away and I was grateful we got in to half time with a lead.
In the second half you could tell the goal had lifted us, and it also helped us that Wednesday had to come out and play a bit. We moved the ball better and quicker and the changes we made also improved us - Robinson and Grosicki brought pace and directness; HRK looked a different player with a bit more space around him and with willing runners to find.
Our second goal was lovely and a bit frustrating. Gibbs put in a lovely early cross (like he can) and Pereira ghosted in to the box (like he can) to direct a header home.
The third was a nice thumped finish after HRK should have squared in the first instance but shooting, and Grosicki crossing well with the rebound.
So a pretty dire opening 45 followed by half that inspires some optimism. We have to follow it up on Sunday now and Bilic will have some further tough calls to make.
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