West Brom moved to the top of the English Championship on Friday after a second-half strike by Karlan Grant gave them a 1-0 win over local rivals Birmingham.
The Baggies lead the standings on goal difference from Bournemouth who can reclaim pole position by avoiding defeat at Bristol City on Saturday.
Grant’s powerful 75th-minute goal from a pass by Jake Livermore settled a gritty affair at The Hawthorns.
“Three points, a clean sheet, and a good goal for Karlan Grant. A lot of positives to take,” said West Brom coach Valerian Ismael.
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“It was a difficult game. But It was important that we stayed calm. We know we can score at any time – and it came.”
Birmingham are four points above the relegation zone and have not scored in 453 minutes.
Friday’s setback was their fifth defeat in six games.
“My only disappointment was the goal. We should have defended better. It was one lapse of concentration,” said Birmingham boss Lee Bowyer.
“But we can’t carry on missing chances. I think once we get one, they’ll start to go in.”