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The Guardian - UK
The Guardian - UK
Ben Fisher

West Brom 2-0 Derby County: Championship – as it happened

Dara O’Shea (fare right ) of West Bromwich Albion celebrates with his team mates after he scores their second goal.
Dara O’Shea (fare right ) of West Bromwich Albion celebrates with his team mates after he scores their second goal. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images


West Brom, then, two points clear at the top. That is, of course, until tomorrow evening, when Leeds face Stoke.

For West Brom, their next game is an away trip to Blackburn, who are just about still in the hunt for the play-offs after their 3-2 win at Cardiff last night. The game winner from Adam Armstrong was quite something.

Thanks for joining, a report on this game will be up in good time. Have a good evening, lots of live football on the website to enjoy.



Full-time: West Brom 2-0 Derby County

West Brom go top of the Championship! That’s three wins on the trot for Bilic’s side.

90+5: Derby’s age on the pitch is 21, according to the commentators.

90+3 min: That was harsh on Sibley, and though Derby’s disciplinary record has been poor of late, fully expect that red card to be rescinded if they appeal. Sibley was accused of a stamp but replays show he was just removing his foot from a tackle with O’Shea. There’s really nothing in it. It’s quite a bad decision.

90 min: We are into the first of seven added minutes.


Sent off!

Louis Sibley is given his marching orders.

Referee Jeremy Simpson shows Louie Sibley of Derby County a red card.
Referee Jeremy Simpson shows Louie Sibley of Derby County a red card. Photograph: Matt West/BPI/Shutterstock


88 min: Bogle is booked for hacking away at Krovinovic. Meanwhile Bilic is going berserk down on the touchline, eking out every last drop from his players.

87 min: West Brom are popping it about nicely, with Sawyers dictating things in the middle. They have operated with an authority throughout, while a youthful Derby have looked a work in progress this evening, which is no disgrace.


85 min: West Brom are edging closer to a vital victory. Elsewhere, Bristol City lead Hull approaching half-time.

82 min: Krovinovic and Matt Phillips replace Pereira and Grosicki. Those two have been brilliant for West Brom. Derby, too, are making changes, with a couple of teenagers entering in place of some ... elder statesmen. Chris Martin is withdrawn in place of Jordan Brown. Jahmal Hector-Ingram replaces Rooney.

80 min: West Brom are readying changes. Filip Krovinovic is primed to enter for the hosts. Elsewhere, Wigan lead QPR and Swansea have pulled level at Birmingham through Liverpool loanee Rhian Brewster.

79 min: Cocu is deep in conversation with Liam Rosenior, Derby’s specialist first-team coach. Derby have been second-best this evening.

78 min: West Brom are heading top of the Championship ... for 24 hours at least! Leeds take on Stoke on Thursday. Brentford, meanwhile, are not going anywhere just yet, and Fulham may fancy their chances of gatecrashing the top two.

GOAL! West Brom 2-0 Derby (O'Shea, 76)

Boing boing! That is a big, big goal in the promotion race. O’Shea makes a blinding run and cannons a header beyond Ben Hamer, who is powerless to prevent his effort going in. It was a delicious corner by who else but Matehus Pereira, who helped himself to a hat-trick of assists on Sunday in victory over Hull.

Dara O’Shea of West Bromwich Albion scores a goal to make it 2-0.
Dara O’Shea of West Bromwich Albion scores a goal to make it 2-0. Photograph: Matt West/BPI/Shutterstock
Derby County goalkeeper Ben Hamer reacts after Dara O’Shea doubles the Baggies’ lead.
Derby goalkeeper Ben Hamer reacts after Dara O’Shea doubles the Baggies’ lead. Photograph: Mike Egerton/PA


72 min: Hamer pushes away a smart Pereira attempt! Derby have not been able to live him. West Brom took a quick free-kick after Sibley handballed and West Brom came roaming forward. The danger is not over. West Brom corner ...


70 min: West Brom and Bilic are up in arms as they believe Pereira was pushed in the box – but the referee Jeremy Simpson is having none of it! Matt Clarke seemed to give him a little knowing shove, but Derby carry on and clear.

67 min: Robson-Kanu finds Pereira – but the flag is up! Moments earlier Derby pressed forward, with the ball landing at Martin’s feet in the box but he was short of options and eventually ran out of room.

65 min: Another one of Derby’s young pups is on: Jason Knight replaces Graeme Shinnie, who had been booked. Cocu and co require something to unsettle West Brom, who, at the moment, look pretty comfortable.

63 min: Sibley drives over!

60 min: Grosicki almost cleverly works an opening but Derby cut it out. West Brom continue to pick holes in the Derby back line. As for Derby, they are yet to have a single shot on target. West Brom will want to keep it that way.

58 min: Hal Robson-Kanu replaces Charlie Austin, who has been lively again for West Brom. But the striker is frustrated at being withdrawn.

55 min: Brilliant from Rooney! He zooms in to the edge of the Derby six-yard box to deny Pereira a tap-in. Grosicki jets down the left, with Pereira readying his run as the former makes strides – but Rooney gets a whiff of the danger and intervenes, digging in to do the dirty work to get Derby off the hook.

53 min: West Brom win a corner after a period knocking the ball around, holding on to possession. Elsewhere, Birmingham lead Swansea 1-0. That game kicked off at 6pm.

Kyle Bartley of West Bromwich Albion (5) heads towards goal.
Kyle Bartley of West Bromwich Albion (5) heads towards goal. Photograph: Mick Haynes/ProSports/Shutterstock


50 min: Diangana limps off after an innocuous coming together. That is bad news for West Brom and sad news for the neutral, with Diangana such an exciting player to watch. He went to claw the ball away from Morgan Whittaker and ending up injuring himself in the process. On comes Callum Robinson.

49 min: Pereira denied by Hamer! Livermore drives West Brom forward, slips in Pereira, who forces a brilliant save from the Derby goalkeeper. He gets a strong left hand to a fine strike. West Brom come very close to doubling their advantage ...

48 min: We’re back under way at the Hawthorns.

Half-time: West Brom 1-0 Derby

Grady Diangana’s goal is the difference at the break.

45+4 min: Whittaker is booked.

45+2 min: Austin goes close! Terrific effort after Pereira and Diangana steam forward on the counterattack. Austin is lurking at the back post and thrashes the ball goalwards ... but it’s a fine save by Ben Hamer.

45+2 min: Livermore is a little eager in the challenge and ends up fouling Sibley. Derby get a free-kick just inside their own half. An opportunity to lump it up and create a whiff of goal before the half-time whistle, perhaps?

45 min: There will be four added minutes.

That will please:Baggies mascot Boiler Man, who is watching proceedings from the stands.
That will please:Baggies mascot Boiler Man, who is watching proceedings from the stands. Photograph: Adam Fradgley - AMA/West Bromwich Albion FC/Getty Images


44 min: Derby do look bright down the right flank through Bogle. That was where that early chance, whereby O’Shea blocked from Holmes, stemmed from. But other than that Derby have so far struggled to penetrate West Brom’s defence.

43 min: Morgan Whittaker replaces Holmes.

42 min: And now Austin almost picks out Grosicki with a sumptuous through ball – but a Derby defender gets there in the nick of time to nip it away. West Brom have looked supremely comfortable going forward and, as of yet, have not been truly tested defensively. Meanwhile Holmes is going to have to come off.


40 min: Austin lays off Livermore on the edge of the box after some slick interplay between Grosicki and Pereira – they have a telepathic understanding – but the West Brom midfielder gets his angles wrong and it skews wide.

39 min: ... cleared by Matt Clarke.

38 min: Sawyers threads through Grosicki, but Austin cannot rise to meet his cross. Derby only half-clear the ball and a dancing Pereira causes havoc with his quick feet. West Brom win a corner. Pereira will take ...

37 min: “At this time I’d like to thank David Moyes for not taking Diangana back in the last transfer window. Last season it stunk when Whispering Claude Puel took Barnes away,” emails J.R in Illinois. “Also, I think that goal was better than you let on. The pass was excellent but Diangana had to stretch to control it and then had to shoot with his next touch because the angle had closed down to almost nothing. The only way to score from there was to put it off the post and that’s what he did.”

35 min: West Brom are stroking the ball about – they’re in the box seat. This game feels preposterously big in their push for automatic promotion. Bartley, Ajayi and Townsend are patiently passing the ball around in search of an opening.

Chris Martin of Derby County is beaten in the air by Semi Ajayi of West Bromwich Albion.
Chris Martin of Derby County is beaten in the air by Semi Ajayi of West Bromwich Albion. Photograph: Matt West/BPI/Shutterstock


33 min: Max Bird goes to ground. Holmes is also still struggling.

31 min: Grosicki seems to be biding his time to make that killer pass out on the left flank. He did so a couple of times on Sunday, when he was the beneficiary of a wonderful Pereira pass. Derby have been a little sloppy in defence.

26 min: Duane Holmes is clutching his hamstring. Doesn’t look good.

24 min: Drinks break ... in the pouring west Midlands rain.

22 min: Shinnie is booked for a lunge on Pereira, who is West Brom’s go-to man. That will do nicely for West Brom. Moments earlier, Rooney tried to seek out Bogle with a long diagonal free-kick, just inside the Derby half but it was cleared by Grosicki.


17 min: That goal has certainly settled West Brom down. Pereira is growing in influence. Now, what can Derby do about him? He’s a fabulous player. But Derby have a few of those, too.


15 min: Matheus Pereira curls a left-footed effort wide! Jake Livermore did superbly to steal possession on the edge of the box, seizing on an overcooked pass by Craig Forsyth. Livermore got hold of the ball, rolled in Pereira, who spun on the ball before switching on to his left foot. But his effort bobbles wide.

13 min: How that strike may just calm the nerves, because West Brom had begun a little jittery and Derby were up and at them, as they say, in their faces. West Brom had not really settled but that opener will do wonders for their confidence.

GOAL! West Brom 1-0 Derby (Diangana, 11)

West Brom lead! Derby switch off defensively, Diangana angles his run and ghosts in off the right flank to latch on to a fine Grosicki through ball and slot it away. Matt Clarke, the Derby centre-back, raises his arm, adamant Diangana was offside – it was certainly tight – but West Brom wheel away in celebration.

Grady Diangana gets ready to slot the ball home to open the the scoring for the Baggies.
Grady Diangana gets ready to slot the ball home to open the the scoring for the Baggies. Photograph: Adam Fradgley - AMA/West Bromwich Albion FC/Getty Images
Grady Diangana of West Bromwich Albion celebrates scoring the opening goal .
Diangana (left) celebrates his goal. Photograph: Matt West/BPI/Shutterstock


4 min: West Brom block a big Derby chance! Derby flood forward down the right through Jayden Bogle and Louis Sibley, the 18-year-old midfielder, does brilliantly to cut a ball back to Duane Holmes in plenty of space. He is just inside the box but dallies ever so slightly, allowing Dara O’Shea to get a block in.

2 min: Grosicki trips the marauding Jayden Bogle. Intriguingly, the right-back is the only player starting here who also started last season’s play-off final.


The Wayne Rooney gets things started as Derby kick-off.

The players are out at a drizzly Hawthorns ... here we go!

Essential pre-match reading, courtesy of David Conn:

Wednesday’s Championship action

Millwall 0-1 Middlesbrough (L)
West Brom v Derby, 5pm (BST)
Birmingham v Swansea, 6pm
Bristol City v Hull City, 6pm
Wigan v QPR, 6pm
Sheff Weds v Preston, 7.45pm

Slaven Bilic talks. “We didn’t start this mini-season the way we wanted to but the last couple of games, we were good, quite confident, we got that momentum back and of course we have to continue like this,” he says. Asked about Brentford cranking up the pressure by racking up six straight wins, he replies: “It makes it bigger when they play the day before us but because the prize is so big we have to cope with the pressure. We have to enjoy, we have to express ourselves and do our best. When we do all of that, we are in a good position to win the games.”

Meanwhile, Middlesbrough lead at Millwall courtesy of Britt Assombalonga, which, as it stands, means Boro are going to move two points clear of relegation zone. Defeat for Millwall would leave them five points off the play-offs with four games to play. But, and it’s a big but, there are still 20 minutes to play.

Victory would take West Brom top of the Championship – for 24 hours at least, with Leeds not in action until Thursday against Stoke. West Brom were both very good and very bad in a topsy-turvy win over Hull on Sunday and Slaven Bilic recognised his side need to raise their game if they are to get over the line:

The pressure is on us and Leeds. The teams below us are hoping. But we have to cope with it and we wouldn’t swap places with any of them. We have to be more brave, more relaxed but in a positive way. But we feel that pressure, more than we should. At times we played with fear.”

There is anything and everything riding on this one; a West Brom victory would edge them one step closer to automatic promotion with four giant games to go, and simultaneously shake off Brentford, who are breathing down their necks, and dent Derby’s hopes of nestling in the play-offs. Meanwhile a Derby win would see them move level on points with sixth-placed Cardiff, who squandered a chance to open up some breathing space after losing at home to Blackburn on Tuesday. What about if it’s a draw? Well, that would prove fairly unhelpful for both but a point could inch them nearer their respective targets. Oh, and goal difference could yet play a part, too, given the stakes. Glad that all makes sense ...

The teams!

West Brom: Johnstone; O’Shea, Ajayi, Bartley, Townsend; Sawyers, Livermore, Pereira, Diangana, Grosicki; Austin

Subs: Bond, Furlong, Peltier, Harper, Brunt, Phillips, Krovinovic, Robinson, Robson-Kan

Derby: Hamer; Bogle, Clarke, Evans, Forsyth, Shinnie, Bird, Holmes, Rooney, Sibley, Martin

Subs: Roos, Jozefzoon, Lowe, Davies, Knight, Buchanan, Whittaker, Brown, Hector-Ingram

Referee: Jeremy Simpson

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