West Bromwich Albion 2 - Ipswich Town 0

Date: Saturday 25th November 2023 Live on Sky Sports
Competition: Sky Bet Championship
Palmer 6.9, Furlong 6.9, Kipré 7.4, Bartley 6.9, Townsend 7.2, Mowatt 7.3, Yokuslu 7.1 (Molumby, 71 6.2), Wallace 8.1 (Ajayi, 93 6.9), Diangana 7.2 (Swift, 71 6.9), Thomas-Asante 6.8 (Maja, 80 6.2), Phillips 6.9 (Sarmiento, 71 6.6)
Unused subs: Griffiths, Pieters, Ávila Gordón, Fellows
Manager: Carlos Corberán  8.2
Scorers: Diangana (47), Furlong (5)
Referee: Gavin Ward 6.7
Attendance: 24,001   Home Fans 7.9   Away Fans 6.6
Submit your ratings for this game by clicking here: Ratings submitted so far: 19

Brendan Clegg:

Ah, that was just great. A brilliant performance and a great result as we maintained our excellent form and comfortably see off one of the league’s best sides.

No complaints with the starting 11 from me - arguably our strongest with Mowatt coming back in and in my personally favoured 4-2-3-1 to give us that extra player a bit further up.

I thought we were superb in the opening 20, aggressive and pressing high. What I liked most was how how and wide Wallace was - and it’s no surprise to me he ended up our man of the match because we played to his strengths. Before our opening goal BTA appeared to fluff a simple header from a great Wallace cross and that supply was there all evening.

If it was deliberate, and the interviews after suggest it was, the opening goal was really clever. Ipswich have two monsters at CB so rather than lumping it into the centre of the box Furlong got free and darted ahead of the front post to perfectly direct an underhit corner from the near post right into the back post.

After that Ipswich picked up and dominated for 10-15 minutes without hurting us before I thought we came back strongly to get to half time on top.

Our second half opened with a bit of pressure but from an early corner to them we broke to score an outstanding counterattack goal.

Wallace was picked out with a pass instead of a hoof to clear and he did brilliantly to carry the ball deep into their half before committing their defender in and passing it to BTA. BTA deftly found Grady who switched his feet to shoot and in it went off the post.

From there we could’ve had more and the Phillips miss was one for the ages.

The subs who came on all did well and showed enough quality to start as we saw it out easily. We look strong and we need to follow it up with the same performance level and on Tuesday at Cardiff.

  • Palmer - 6 Solid and great feet
  • Furlong - 6 Great goal but some underhit passes
  • Bartley and Kipre - 7 Both solid with a couple of sloppy passes for CK
  • Townsend - 7 they targeted him early on but he stood up to it and was decent going forward.
  • Okay - 7 Bossed it. Dominant in the middle.
  • Mowatt - 7 Constantly linking things and controlling the team’s position and press.
  • Wallace - 8 Aggressive high tempo running and crossing all game, staying wide, superb timing for our second
  • Grady - 7 Thought he looked injured at times but impactful moments and great goal
  • Phillips - 7 Nightmare miss but so critical to how we play, although I thought their right back was pretty decent.
  • BTA - 7 Relentless running. Should have scored but great effort regardless.

All of the subs looked like they could start and maintained our momentum. It always felt more likely we’d get a third than Ipswich would come back into it. Top top stuff.

Kev Buckley:

Table-topping Tractor Boys bogged down by brilliant Baggies

If only Corberan could have an international break within which to prepare for every game, then you'd have to be thinking that he'd have us even further up the table than the fifth place that this almost perfect performance took us to.

Second-placed Ipswich arrived at the Hawthorns with a reputation for consistently playing the style of "keep-ball until you can pass it forwards" football that Corberan has been looking to get us playing and yet, Corberan's game plan rendered them shot-on-target-less, with such an effective a press that, once we had taken the lead, always felt like it might leave them vulnerable on the counter, and so it proved.

One, enforced, change, Mowatt for the injured Chalobah, was probably actually welcomed by many Albion fans, whilst the return, at least to the match-day squad, of Swift and Maja might have suggested that we had come through the worst of times that the lack of squad depth that the "ownership troubles" had inflicted on us.

The BeIN coverage had us lined up 4231 with Grady still on the right, although for a lot of the game it looked like a 4411, with Wallace on the right and Diangana playing across the line behind BTA, a view which the second-half subs seemed to confirm: but more of that later.

Wallace was most definitely in full-on right-winger mode within four minutes as he got beyond the defence and pulled back a ball across the six-tard box that BTA couldn't quite get a diving head onto but, from the resultant corner, right-back Furlong ran beyond the left-post so as to flick on a Phillips' delivery across the goal, except that this flick ended up nestling inside the right post to give Albion the lead after just five minutes.

Statto-s everywhere would have pointing out that the Tractor Boys had not lost, despite going behind, in their last four games, but as a start to be wished for, this was as good as it gets and it could have got even better just a couple of minutes later when BTA chanced his arm from 20-yards out and forced their keeper to palm the ball away.

Ipswich certainly stuck to their game plan but Albion seemed to have one that prevented the away side's slick probing from generating much, except when dumping it into the areas behind Furlong and Townsend, a "out" that usually saw us regaining the ball and, from such a turnover Phillips tried to play in BTA on 25 which caused enough uncertainty at the back for Ipswich that a hasty clearance rebounded off BTA and into the keeper's arms. They looked flustered.

With about five to go to the break, Diangana would get booked for sliding into the keeper after the latter had been forced to take the ball back into his box to pick up, after having no passing options, which, given the slightness of the contact, told you more about the way our front four were looking to press than anything else.

Perhaps Town's manager had tried to get then to play it a little bit faster and push up further at half time but, after they had won a corner within the first minute, Albion's clearance saw Wallace able to break, alongside players determined to get up with him, into what saw our front four galloping at just two of theirs. Wallace carried the ball up to the point where a challenge was almost inevitable and slipped it right, to BTA who took another couple of touches to pull in the defender before moving it on to Diangana, who drew the keeper and covering defender right before slotting it back through the legs of the latter and onto the inside of the far, left post and into the goal, although had the ball come back into play off the post, then Philipps, also right up in support, would have had the easiest of chances to finish of the move - or would he?

The question there is one that can only be asked with the benefit of the hindsight gained just some five minutes later when, Wallace, once again in full-on right-winger mode danced around the backline and put over a cross that Philipps met just inside the left post and just six inches out, yet somehow he chose to use the outside of his stronger, right foot, and managed to send the ball back the way it come and even further away from the goal that when he'd made contact with it.

Three-nil would have ended the game as a contest, although with the away side never really allowed to get into the contest, it didn't feel as though the miss would be one a slightly, for me, under-par on the night, Philipps would come to rue. Thinking back about the game now, I wonder if the fact that Corberan had deployed a real right-footed winger on the right might have seen Philipps less involved, out on the left than he usually is in games, where we "dress to the let.

With twenty left, Corberan made a triple substitution: Molumby for Yokuslu; Sarmiento for Phillips and Swift for Grady - you see, I told you it looked as though he was playing more middle than right.

Ten minutes later and Mata would replace BTA, whilst, with the game into the five allowed for stoppages Ajayi would replace Wallace, but just hold any thoughts of shutting up shop or change in formations, before I tell you that the lanky centre-back would have at least two darts down the right wing, albeit neither coming to anything that would suggest we have yet more "right-winger cover"!

Whilst perhaps not as great a night as some of the "A-ttack; a-ttack; a-ttack-a-ttack-attack" nights of yore, this was, given the opposition as complete a domination as one might ask for, with the only question being: can Corberan now get a different game plan for Cardiff, away, drilled into his players in just two days, instead of two weeks?