West Bromwich Albion 2 - Derby County 0

Date: Wednesday 8th July 2020 Live on Sky SportsBehind Closed Doors
Competition: Sky Bet Championship
Johnstone 6.3, O'Shea 8.0, Ajayi 6.7, Bartley 6.4, Townsend 6.9, Sawyers 7.2, Livermore 6.9, Grosicki 7.7 (Phillips, 84 5.9), Pereira 8.2 (Krovinovic, 83 6.4), Diangana 7.6 (Robinson, 51 5.8), Austin 6.7 (Robson-Kanu, 59 6.0)
Unused subs: Bond, Furlong, Brunt, Harper, Peltier
Manager: Slaven Bilic 7.6
Hamer, Bogle, Forsyth (Buchanan, 65), Evans, Clarke, Bird, Holmes (Whittaker, 43), Shinnie (Knight, 65), Rooney (Hector-Ingram, 84), Sibley, Martin (Brown, 84)
Unused subs: Roos, Jozefzoon, Lowe, Davies
Scorers: Diangana (11), O'Shea (76)
Referee: Jeremy Simpson 5.4
Attendance: 0
Submit your ratings for this game by clicking here: Ratings submitted so far: 15

Brendan Clegg:

An entertaining game I thought. Derby played their part by attempting to play decent football but really it helped us out.

Understandable changes from Bilic and after a bright start by Derby we started to penetrate them well, winning the ball high and then creating chances.

We were happy to let them have the ball and they popped it about nicely - I thought Rooney was clever and comfortable but he had no weapons to hit so was out of harm's way.

Our opener was lovely - we moved it quickly, Grosicki played a great pass and Grady showed quick feet to nip it past the keeper and slide it home.

The first half was then mostly us containing them but looking threatening on the break. We should probably have added another but the final finish was poor. Our work rate, led from the front by Austin was excellent and we didn't let Derby go anywhere.

Second half was much of the same, with the only real worry being that we didn't quite get the second goal despite some promising breaks.

As we made the changes our flow got disrupted a bit but the opportunities and situations kept coming and going. In the end a defensive cock-up led to a corner and O'Shea sprung their zonal setup by spinning unmarked to the near post and thumping a header home.

With the win in the bag we saw the game out, opting to keep the ball when chances for a 3rd seemed one forward pass away. No bother - it's nice to put a bit of pressure on Leeds. A big win and a big weekend coming up.

  • SJ - 6 Not a lot to do, I thought his kicking was poor to begin with but improved throughout the game.
  • O'Shea - 7 Has hit a really decent level, working hard on his forward play but also giving us a really gritty and robust pillar in there too.
  • Bartley - 7 Pretty solid and in control.
  • Ajayi - 6 It might have been the plan or instruction but I thought he was a little rash, diving in and pressing well into their half.
  • Townsend - 7 Given a few problems early doors but he continues to be a cracking little footballer on the ball for us.
  • Sawyers - 7 Better defensively, happy to let them have it but screen well and then generally really good on the ball.
  • Livermore - 7 Looked happier against a team trying to play and pass it, giving him chance to roam about crash into players and then play it short and quick.
  • Diagana - 7 Off the right but with license to drift, gave them constant issues, great goal, looked to have a muscle strain going off.
  • Pereira - 8 The ability was outstanding but did he stop running, covering or showing for it? Great desire and brilliant work ethic.
  • Grosicki - 7 His direct play is a tonic for us. Always on the move and taking chances, creating space for others.
  • Austin - 6 Thought he really worked hard and does look a bit fitter. Made the odd poor choice but a decent shift.
  • Robinson - 6 Always lively.
  • HRK - 6 Couldn't get hold of it as well as normal.
  • Phillips - 6 Showed decent touches and stayed wide.
  • Krovi - 6 Brought on to see it out, he played keep ball instead of going for goal but dropped in nicely.


What a statement! I was worried about Derby in their current form, another banana skin. But for all their possession, we allowed them no shots on goal, nothing, nada.

As Super Slav said, this was a complete performance; solid defence and incisive attacking that should have brought more goals. But let's not be greedy. Pereira, Diangana and Grosicki were awesome, as was O'Shea, bless him (let's hope he sticks around, unlike our other ungrateful starlets, who sniff the big time - usually to their detriment).

There are only three teams that deserve to go up: us, Leeds and Brentford. Anything other than that will be a travesty, but 'deserve' means nothing. Three wins out of four will do it, and it may need that the way Brentford are playing. We shouldn't count Fulham out, but their task is harder.

Those losses against Wigan, Stoke and Middlesborough really hurt right now. We could be out of sight. BUT, we have found our game and if we can repeat today's performance three more times, we are UP!