West Bromwich Albion 2 - Bristol City 0

Date: Saturday 16th March 2024 
Competition: Sky Bet Championship
(4-2-3-1) Palmer 7.7, Furlong 6.9, Kipré 7.1, Pieters 5.2 (Bartley, 45 6.6), Townsend 7.3, Yokuslu 7.2 (M'Vila, 81 6.4), Gardner-Hickman 5.3, Mowatt 6.9, Fellows 7.4 (Reach, 81 5.3), Diangana 6.0 (Swift, 65 5.7), Johnston 7.4, Wallace 7.1 (Thomas-Asante, 71 5.8)
Unused subs: Griffiths, Ajayi, Chalobah, Marshall
Manager: Carlos Corberán  7.2
Bristol C:
(4-4-1-1) O'Leary, McCrorie, Vyner, Dickie, Roberts, Sykes, Gardner-Hickman 5.3, King (Twine, 68), Mehmeti (Cornick, 68), Knight, Conway (Wells, 68)
Unused subs: Bajic, Pring, Tanner, Knight-Lebel, Meerholz, Mebude
Scorers: Fellows (45), Wallace (50)
Attendance: 25,254   Home Fans 7.1   Away Fans 5.8
Submit your ratings for this game by clicking here: Ratings submitted so far: 18

Brendan Clegg:

A solid win where we did just enough and managed the game quite well.

Pieters over Bartley was probably the surprising call but after the opening 5 minutes you could see why CC probably did that.

Bristol sat in very deep so I guess the idea was to have a left footer for balance on the ball and to be able to shift the ball wide quickly.

And it made sense although Pieters had a bit of an off day and I also thought Bristol saw him as the weak link to target.

Not a lot happened in the first half as we dominated it but were patient and Bristol were solid. They did us once on the break and Palmer made a great save to keep us in it in a 1v1.

As the half drew to a close and we were all pondering a change, MJ got on the ball, jinked inside and committed players before rolling it to Yok. He aimed to leather another but opened his body to flick it across to Fellows who was in even more space and who took a quick touch before sweeping it in to the bottom corner. A lovely little goal and we were set.

At the break Bartley came on and CC changed our shape with MJ playing much tighter inside next to Grady as opposed to hogging the touchline. We immediately started finding him in pockets to carry us or pass us through them and it didn’t take long to make a difference. He managed to pick the ball up goal side of their midfield on the spin and as he started running I said to my son ‘We’ve scored here’ as Bristol backed off, Townsend steamed forward on the overlap and was released to square for Wallace to tap in with others queuing up behind him.

It was game over after that. Grady might’ve scored a bit of a worldy after a wonderful touch put himself through but he hesitated to shoot and was caught. Bristol had a go without creating any big chances and we saw some useful bench cameos.

We looked strong and with Phillips and Maja to return, I’m starting to believe we could do it and go all the way. On our day we have nobody to fear and in MJ we have that game changer from nothing. A long way to go but hopefully a lot to enjoy!

  • Palmer - 7 There when it mattered
  • Furlong - 7 Another really solid game and improved on the ball massively under CC
  • Kipre - 7 Beast again.
  • Pieters - 5 Effort and attitude as always just had one of those shakey days
  • Townsend - 8 Probably my MoM. Solid, came across to cover, got an assist through pure desire and running. Had a top game.
  • Yok - 6 On top, didn’t have to push.
  • Mowatt - 7 so many touches and passes. Great all game.
  • Fellows - 7 Was well marked but when we did find him he delivered. Key goal.
  • Grady - 6 Neat and tricky.
  • MJ - 7 Also well marked but crucial with two assist assists. The one who makes space from nothing and I liked him in the inside role.
  • Jed - 7 Effort as always and did his job with the goal.
  • Barts - 7 Solid and reliable
  • BTA - 7 I thought looked really sharp
  • Swift - 6 Didn’t get into it much but game was over.
  • Reach - 6 Did a job.
  • M’Vila - 6 Good for him to get minutes and fine on the ball/positionally but as Shakira tells us… hips don’t lie and it looked like both of his might need replacing. Hopefully 2 more weeks of fitness training and yoga will help!


A solid if not spectacular performance I thought. The stats seem to show a close contest, at least in terms of possession and shots but in truth it felt like only one team was going to win it. Townsend had a great game popping up everywhere and although Pieters didn't, the defence weren't overly troubled. The goals (both worked through midfield) before and after halftime effectively killed the contest. It was only towards the end when we did the usual time wasting (Palmer booked etc) that we lost our composure and let them back in (they hit the crossbar once/twice?).

Great that TGH didn't score (esp after that Sam Field double) and we go again after the break. UTA.

Speaking of TGH, you might notice that a bug in the site means he's showing as playing for both teams! We're working on it... ]

Kev Buckley:

Drab plumage still feathers the nest: Throstles 2 Robins 0

In many ways this was a "routine" win for the Albion, in that their most regular starting XI, of late, created next to nothing in the first half, but eventually ran out winners courtesy of two goals that leave many asking why they can't create more chances like the ones that led to the goals, and create some earlier in games.

Whether Weimann would have started, even if his loan terms had allowed for it, is open to question, whereas starting Pieters, head of Bartley or Ajayi, merely raises questions. As it was, we got the "four winger front line" with Diangana in behind Wallace.

Bristol had a chance to liven up a dreary first half at around its half-way point after a clearance was neatly turned into a one-on-one against Palmer at his right post, however, he got the angles correct enough that the shot hit him rather than going under him.

With about five to go, Furlong opted not to pass it forwards and wait for the inevitable recycling of the ball back to him but advanced forwards from half-way and let off a shot that was blocked on the edge of the box, which seems to mean that it isn't counted as a first shot on target.

Between that effort and half time though, Albion would fashion a chance that would lead to a goal, Johnston coming in off the left and passing towards a well advanced Yokuslu, and although the pass wasn't the best, the Turk stretched out a leg to move the ball wider and to the right, for Fellows. For once he didn't look to go outside his man but cut back across the edge of the box and let off a left-footed shot toward the goal, and, whilst the ball did pass an offside Albion player on its way into the goal, the referee decided that that player had not "unsighted the keeper". Had he deemed otherwise, it would have been a routine zero shots on target half.

Surprisingly, despite being a goal to the good at the break, Corberan swapped Bartley for Pieters at the restart, which I think tells you just just how far off the pace, in a game that hadn't really had all that much pace, the Dutchman had been: his forty-five minutes including a bout of routine passes that had gone astray.

It would be harsh to point out that the very simple goal that we scored soon after the break started with a string of passes down our left side, so maybe the swap was justified, but, down the left it came - Johnston eventually playing in Townsend, who delivered the ball across the 6-yd box for a Wallace tap-in.

Bristol City would have a couple of chances to get back into the game, but two headers only found the woodwork, whilst TGH's long distance strike, late on, caused little alarm for Palmer, and, after Diangana picked a pocket in centre-mid, he drifted right as he advanced into acres of space, dwelled on the ball whilst probably looking to shift it onto his left for a strike, and failed to put the game - a game which had long since crawled under a duvet, and onto pillows of, Throstle and Robin down - to bed. He was replaced, by a proper number 10, Swift, shortly after that, although it felt like more to read the bed-time story, than to prevent anyone nodding off.

Not all that much else of note to add but, for the record, Wallace was replaced by BTA; M'Vila was asked to play the part of Chalobah, in coming on for Yokuslu for ten minutes, and Reach got another run out, with Fellows the one to make way.