West Bromwich Albion 2 - Middlesbrough 0

Date: Saturday 25th February 2023 
Competition: Sky Bet Championship
(4-2-3-1) Griffiths 8.1, Furlong 6.4, O'Shea 7.3, Pieters 7.1 (Ajayi, 87 6.3), Townsend 7.2, Yokuslu 7.6, Molumby 6.9 (Gardner-Hickman, 96 6.3), Wallace 7.9, Swift 7.8 (Chalobah, 86 5.5), Diangana 6.0 (Albrighton, 50 6.0), Dike 7.6 (Thomas-Asante, 78 6.2)
Unused subs: Button, Reach
Manager: Carlos Corberán  7.9
(4-2-3-1) Steffen, Smith, McNair (Fry, 57), Lenihan, Giles, Howson, Hackney, Forss (Ramsey, 68), Akpom, McGree (Jones, 78), Archer (Crooks, 78)
Unused subs: Roberts, Barlaser, Bola
Scorers: Dike (10, 8)
Referee: Darren Bond 6.5
Attendance: 25,204   Home Fans 7.7   Away Fans 5.7

Brendan Clegg:

Barnstormer of a win against a very good side.

I thought the lineup and system calls were right with Molumby back in, Jed right, Grady left and Swifty in the hole… the return to type many had been calling for…and it was a fair call to give Dike a start.

We looked so much better from the off and were 2 up in 10 minutes with a couple of very similar goals worked at pace down the left with Dike finishing the first superbly and having two bites to get the second.

After that we naturally sat back and let them have the ball but it was all in front of us.

I thought Wallace, Swift and Dike were superb in the opening 45, Grady gave the ball away a couple of times but he was noticeably disciplined in his positioning and use of the ball… far more like Phillips had been doing out there. Special praise too for Mulumby who ran like a man possessed and he got the crowd fired with a clattering tackle to stop a Borough counter just before the interval.

Second half was much of the same.

Early on Dike might have added a third following a textbook Anichibe roll and then good feet but he panicked his finish when through and hit it straight at the keeper. There was a long break after that as McNair was KO’d in the move.

But we managed the game really well even as the subs - who all did pretty well when they came on - changed our rhythm. I thought our standards dropped a bit with Swift and Molumby giving the ball away more cheaply however they didn’t create a lot as we closed the space well everywhere. Right at the death they created an opening which was brilliantly thwarted at point blank range by Griffiths.

Massive result and, seeing how results went, it was really needed too. Let’s hope we go on a run.

  • Griffiths- 8 Improved, looked more confident and great save.
  • Furlong- 7 Brave and committed
  • Dara - 8 Dominant and used the ball well
  • Pieters - 8 Another great game
  • Townsend - 8 One of his best this season, really determined defensively and got us attacking.
  • Yokuslu - 7 Screened is well and got a key toe in so many times
  • Molumby - 8 A bit sloppy late on but played like someone wanting to prove a point
  • Wallace - 8 Huge performance, a threat all game and so much good running.
  • Swift - 7 Really shone in the first half before fading a bit. Played his own game.
  • Grady - 7 Some great moments and you could tell he was doing his best to keep shape and tactics.
  • Dike - 8 Slow start but the goals made him a different player… funny how confidence and belief can give you that extra energy and power.
  • Albrighton - 6 Solid job
  • BTA - 6 Worked hard.

The others also contributed well and maintained our discipline