West Brom Suffer Late Penalty Pain As Leeds Held In Championship

 

Ten-man West Brom missed the chance to extend their lead in the Championship as Charlton forced a dramatic 2-2 draw in stoppage time at the Hawthorns on Saturday.

The Baggies went ahead in the 10th minute through midfielder Matt Phillips but Charlton equalised on the hour from Macauley Bonne’s header.

In the 67th minute, West Brom saw defender Nathan Ferguson shown a straight red card for a foul on Chris Solly.

Substitute Hal Robson-Kanu then looked to have secured the hosts’ victory with just nine minutes left but Charlton were awarded a penalty deep into stoppage time and Josh Cullen kept his cool from the spot.

Earlier, Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds both spurned the opportunity to move to the top of the table.

The Yorkshire rivals had to settle for a point from a 0-0 draw at rain-soaked Hillsborough.

Preston took advantage to move up into second place after coming from 2-0 down to beat Blackburn with a late goal from Tom Barkhuizen.

Rovers had taken the lead inside the opening minute when Preston goalkeeper Declan Rudd spilled Sam Gallagher’s header. The forward then curled home a second.

Barkhuizen’s header reduced the deficit early in the second half following a mistake by Rovers keeper Christian Walton.

Preston were level in the 65th minute through a penalty from Dan Johnson after Elliott Bennett had fouled Alan Browne.

Barkhuizen completed the turnaround when he curled in a shot from the edge of the penalty area to send Preston above Leeds on goal difference.

At the other end of the table, Huddersfield moved out of the bottom three with a 2-1 win over struggling Barnsley.

New Millwall boss Gary Rowett got his first win with a 2-0 defeat of former club Stoke and Birmingham beat Luton 2-1 with a late goal from Lukas Jutkiewicz.

In-form forward Jarrod Bowen scored both goals as Hull beat Derby 2-0.

Middlesbrough dropped into the bottom three after a goalless draw at home to Fulham.

Nottingham Forest’s home game against Reading was postponed because of a waterlogged pitch.

AFP

Aston Villa Beat West Brom On Penalties To Reach Playoff Final

Source: Twitter

 

Aston Villa progressed to within one game of a return to the Premier League after edging West Midlands rivals West Bromwich Albion 4-3 on penalties in the Championship playoff semi-finals on Tuesday.

West Brom won 1-0 on the night at the Hawthorns to level the tie at 2-2 on aggregate thanks to Craig Dawson’s first-half header.

However, the Baggies’ hopes of an immediate return to the top-flight were dented when captain Chris Brunt was sent off 10 minutes from the end of normal time.

The hosts held out manfully during extra-time, but Villa goalkeeper Jed Steer saved West Brom’s first two penalties of the shootout from Mason Holgate and Ahmed Hegazi.

“There’s obviously a lot of luck involved but wow,” Steer told Sky Sports. “We practise penalties, so I think I must’ve faced a 100 a day the last few days.”

Conor Hourihane, Mile Jedinak, Jack Grealish and Tammy Abraham kept their cool from the spot as Villa set up a May 27 Wembley meeting with Leeds or Derby for a lucrative place in the Premier League.

Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds hold a 1-0 first-leg lead over Frank Lampard’s Rams ahead of the second leg at Elland Road on Wednesday.

Villa missed out in the playoff final last year, losing 1-0 to Fulham and Grealish, who has been linked with a summer move to Tottenham, is keen to make amends in what could be his final game for the club.

“The crowd made it tough with the atmosphere but in the end I felt we ran out worthy winners,” said the midfielder.

“It’s no good getting to Wembley and falling at the final hurdle again, so fingers crossed. All of us are very hungry.”

Four-Goal Leeds Return To Top Spot In English Championship

Leeds United moved back to the top of the Sky Bet Championship table with an emphatic victory over fellow promotion rivals West Bromwich Albion. Credit: Leeds United Website

 

Leeds ran out impressive 4-0 winners over promotion rivals West Brom on Friday to return to the top of the English Championship.

Pablo Hernandez opened the scoring after just 17 seconds while Patrick Bamford doubled the advantage before the break at Elland Road.

Bamford added his second midway through the second period with Ezgjan Alioski making it 4-0 in stoppage time.

READ ALSO: Premier League: Tottenham Hold Arsenal To A Draw At Wembley

“For me the most important thing was the effort, attitude and state of mind of the whole team during the whole game,” Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa told BBC Radio Leeds.

Leeds have a one-point lead over Norwich who go to struggling Millwall on Saturday.

AFP

West Brom Slump To Defeat On Championship Return

Wolves Seal Premier League Promotion With Birmingham Win
Photo: LLUIS GENE / AFP

 

Bromwich Albion suffered a blow in their bid to bounce straight back to the Premier League on Saturday, conceding late to slip to defeat against Bolton as fancied Middlesbrough scored a last-gasp equaliser against Millwall.

Bolton nearly slipped back into League One last season but they were able to celebrate a 2-1 victory at The Hawthorns on the opening weekend of the season.

Josh Magennis’ opener was cancelled out on the stroke of half-time by Harvey Barnes, and Magennis looked like he might have missed Bolton’s chance to win it.

But Yanic Wildschut, making his debut after signing on loan from Norwich, scored the winner in the 89th minute, and Bolton survived a late onslaught from West Brom, which included Ahmed Hegazi heading against the bar.

Middlesbrough staged a late fightback to claim a 2-2 draw with Millwall, who dominated much of the match and led through goals from Aiden O’Brien and Lee Gregory.

But Martin Braithwaite pulled one back in the 87th minute and there was still time for George Friend to level up in the 97th minute.

There were mixed fortunes for Championship new boys Wigan, Blackburn and Rotherham.

Wigan were promoted back to the second tier as League One champions and made a winning start with a 3-2 victory against Sheffield Wednesday.

Michael Jacobs scored twice in the first half for Paul Cook’s men, with Atdhe Nuhiu, who was later sent off, briefly equalising for the visitors. Jacobs then created a third for Nick Powell on the hour mark and, although Fernando Forestieri pulled one back, Wednesday could not find an equaliser.

Blackburn pushed Wigan all the way in League One last season but they had to settle for a point at Portman Road after debutant Tayo Edun’s late equaliser in a 2-2 draw.

Winger Gwion Edwards scored five minutes into his Ipswich debut but goals from Danny Graham and Bradley Dack put Rovers ahead inside half an hour.

Rotherham also bounced back at the first time of asking but, after their struggles of 2016-17, when they managed just 23 points, they endured a sobering first match against Brentford, which ended in a 5-1 loss.

There was late drama at St Andrew’s, where Birmingham drew 2-2 with Norwich.

Jacques Maghoma put the Blues ahead in the 56th minute but his goal was cancelled out by Onel Hernandez seven minutes from time. Viv Solomon-Otabor looked to have won it for Birmingham only for Hernandez to grab a stoppage-time equaliser.

Alan Browne’s 50th-minute effort earned Preston a 1-0 win over QPR while Bristol City drew 1-1 with Nottingham Forest.

Frank Lampard’s Derby County beat Reading 2-1 on Friday.

AFP

West Brom Relegated From Premier League

West Brom Relegated From Premier League
West Bromwich Albion and Tottenham Hotspur at The Hawthorns stadium in West Bromwich, central England, on May 5, 2018. Geoff CADDICK / AFP

 

West Brom were relegated from the Premier League on Tuesday following Southampton’s 1-0 win over Swansea at the Liberty Stadium, joining Stoke in the Championship next season.

Darren Moore’s side needed a draw between the Saints and Swans in south Wales to take West Brom’s fight to avoid relegation into the final day of the season on Sunday.

After more than 70 minutes of frenetic action, substitute Manolo Gabbiadini provided the decisive moment for Southampton when he reacted quickest to Charlie Austin’s parried shot in a crowded goalmouth.

Gabbiadini had only been on the pitch for four minutes and it was only his fifth goal of a difficult season for the Italian.

The result means Southampton move up to 16th in the table, three points clear of 18th-place Swansea, who are favourites to be the third side relegated.

Southampton’s win confirmed West Brom’s return to the Championship after eight seasons in the top flight, with an eighth-place finish the best the Baggies managed during the 2012/13 season with Steve Clarke in charge.

West Brom’s season started well, with six points taken from a possible six after successive 1-0 wins at home to Bournemouth and away to Burnley.

However, after picking up just four points from a possible 30, Tony Pulis was sacked two days after losing 4-0 at home to Chelsea and was replaced by Gary Megson, who temporarily took charge of two games.

Alan Pardew was named permanent manager but his arrival failed to deliver the improvement needed to guide the side away from relegation.

Pardew, who led the Baggies to an FA Cup fourth-round victory at Liverpool, only had a 2-0 home win against Brighton to show for his efforts in the Premier League.

Problems off the pitch added to the disappointment on it when a mid-season trip to Barcelona made the headlines for the wrong reasons.

Four senior players, including captain Jonny Evans and England midfielder Jake Livermore, were forced to apologise after a taxi was stolen from outside a fast-food restaurant.

On April 2, Pardew’s time was up and he was replaced by Moore until the end of the season, becoming West Brom’s fourth manager of the campaign.

Since Moore’s appointment, West Brom have taken 11 points from a possible 15 to keep alive the hope of a great escape.

 

AFP

West Brom Express Dismay Over British Govt’s Stance

FILE PHOTO West Bromwich Albion’s caretaker manager Darren Moore arrives ahead of the English Premier League football match between West Bromwich Albion and Swansea City at The Hawthorns stadium in West Bromwich, central England. Photo Credit:  Ian KINGTON / AFP

 

The British government’s decision to reject Premier League strugglers West Bromwich Albion’s proposal to have a safe standing area is “surprising” and “disappointing” said a club director.

West Brom staff had visited both Scottish champions Celtic and German outfit Hoffenheim who both have safe standing areas — ‘rail seats’, which can be locked in an upright position with safety barriers separating each row.

West Brom’s plan had been to install 3,600 rail seats in one end of the Hawthorns ground.

However, British Sports minister Tracey Crouch says there are no plans to change the all-seater policy at football stadiums which was brought in as a result of the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, which claimed the lives of 96 Liverpool fans.

West Brom’s director of operations Mark Miles, who has led the proposal, described the decision as “surprising” and “disappointing”.

“I think the minister has taken a short-sighted view and is preventing the club from creating a safer environment for supporters,” he said.

“The all-seater policy was developed over 25 years ago and football is a very different place now.”

Miles said the safe standing deployed by Celtic and Hoffenheim had worked well.

“The system we proposed is well tested across Europe and has also worked successfully at Celtic, who are governed by different legislation than in England and Wales,” he said.

“We were prepared to run a pilot which would enable the club to gather data and feedback to further inform us in the issue of crowd safety.

“But I have become convinced that rail seating would enhance safety. The club is extremely disappointed with this decision and we have written back requesting a review.”

The thorny issue of standing areas appeared to get a boost last year when Liverpool fans overwhelmingly supported it.

AFP

West Brom Crisis Rumbles On With Southampton Cup Defeat

West Bromwich Albion’s English defender Craig Dawson controls the ball during the English FA Cup fifth round football match between West Bromwich Albion and Southampton at The Hawthorns stadium in West Bromwich, central England, on February 17, 2018.
Adrian DENNIS / AFP

 

A week to forget for West Brom was rounded off with an FA Cup exit as fellow Premier League strugglers Southampton won 2-1 at the Hawthorns on Saturday to reach the quarter-finals.

West Brom boss Alan Pardew named Jonny Evans and Gareth Barry in his starting line-up despite the experienced duo forming half of a group of four players questioned by Spanish police this week over the theft of a taxi on the club’s warm weather training trip to Barcelona.

The break was supposed to refresh Pardew’s squad ahead of the run in to the league season with the Baggies rooted to the foot of the table, seven points adrift of safety.

Jake Livermore and Boaz Myhill also admitted they had broken a team curfew when they took a taxi from Barcelona city centre at 5.30 am (0430GMT) on Thursday morning.

Earlier this week, the club sacked chairman John Williams and chief executive Martin Goodman due to poor results on the field this season.

And the only positive for Pardew’s men is that they can now concentrate on survival as the Saints won for the second time in as many weeks at the Hawthorns.

Wesley Hoedt took advantage of some slack West Brom marking to head home his first goal for Southampton just 11 minutes in.

Dusan Tadic doubled the visitors’ advantage on the counter-attack after the break and Southampton held out despite Salomon Rondon’s spectacular volleyed consolation.

Saints join Chelsea and Leicester City in the hat for the quarter-final draw later on Saturday after they saw off Hull and Sheffield United respectively on Friday.

Sheffield Wednesday and Swansea City face an unwanted replay after an insipid 0-0 draw on Swansea boss Carlos Carvalhal’s return to Hillsborough.

“It’s a score nobody wants,” said Carvalhal, whose side are also battling for Premier League survival.

“Maybe in the future, if the managers and referee agree after the first game we can go to penalties, we can finish the game today.

“I believe if you had asked us and the Sheffield Wednesday manager, we’d have gone to penalties.”

Manchester United travel to Huddersfield later on Saturday, but will have to do without Paul Pogba after the Frenchman was ruled out by illness.

AFP

Wenger Banned For Three-Matches, Fined £40,000

Arsene Wenger has been handed a three-match touchline ban and fined by the Football Association over comments he made about the refereeing of Sunday’s Premier League game against West Brom.

In a separate case, the Arsenal boss has also been asked by English football’s governing body to provide his observations on what he said about penalty decisions that went against the Gunners in both of their last two matches over the festive period, against the Baggies and Chelsea.

“Arsene Wenger will serve a touchline ban for Arsenal’s next three matches after he was charged with misconduct,” an FA statement said.

“It follows an independent regulatory commission hearing today at which the Arsenal manager admitted that his language and behaviour in the match officials’ changing room after the West Brom game on Sunday was abusive, improper and questioned the integrity of the match referee. He was also fined £40,000 ($54,000).”

Earlier, Wenger said he was unrepentant over his comments about penalty decisions against the Gunners.

“I maintain what I said in the press conference — 100 percent,” Wenger told reporters on Friday ahead of his side’s FA Cup third-round match at Nottingham Forest on Sunday.

“I try to serve this game with honesty and integrity and when I have something to say I will say it.”

AFP

West Brom Appoint Alan Pardew As New Manager

Alan Pardew. Photo: Ian KINGTON / AFP

Premier League strugglers West Brom on Wednesday appointed Alan Pardew as their new manager following the sacking of Tony Pulis.

The former West Ham, Newcastle and Crystal Palace boss has agreed a two-and-a-half-year contract at the club, languishing just two points above the relegation zone.

“I’m thrilled with the opportunity Albion have provided and looking forward to getting to work with what I consider to be a talented group of players,” he said.

AFP

UPDATED: West Brom Sack Manager Tony Pulis

Tony Pulis   Photo: Roland Harrison / AFP

 

West Bromwich Albion sacked manager Tony Pulis on Monday after a miserable run of form that has seen the Chinese-owned club slump to 17th in the Premier League table.

Pulis has had just two wins in his past 21 Premier League games following Saturday’s 4-0 defeat to Chelsea and the club sit just one place above the relegation zone after an 11-game winless run in all competitions.

“These decisions are never taken lightly but always in the interests of the club,” chairman John Williams said on West Brom’s official website.

“We are in a results business and over the back end of last season and this season to date, ours have been very disappointing.

“We would like to place on record our appreciation of Tony’s contribution and hard work during a period of transition for the club which included a change of ownership. We wish him well in his future endeavours.”

– Aberdeen boss tipped –

Assistant head coach Gary Megson has agreed to take charge of first-team affairs until further notice.

Owner Guochuan Lai watched the Chelsea defeat after flying over from China for a pre-arranged trip and is now tasked with finding a new manager, with Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes linked to the post.

Pulis, 59 — the fifth Premier League manager to be sacked this season — replaced Alan Irvine when the Baggies were a point above the relegation zone in January 2015, eventually leading them to 13th.

They finished 14th in 2015-16 and came 10th last season but failed to win any of their final nine matches.

Pulis made a defence of his record before the Chelsea defeat, suggesting Albion would struggle to get a better replacement.

“If I left tomorrow I’d put my record on the table and put it in front of anybody and see what they think of what I’ve done here in three years,” he said on Friday.

Pulis, who boasts a proud record of never being relegated as a manager, has previously been in charge at Crystal Palace and had two stints at Stoke, where he reached the FA Cup final and qualified for Europe during his second spell at the club.

The number of top-flight sackings was already at a five-season high even before the Welshman’s exit, with four up to November 20 compared with the next highest mark of three by the same stage in the 2015-16 season.

The other bosses fired so far this season are Frank de Boer (Crystal Palace), Craig Shakespeare (Leicester), Ronald Koeman (Everton) and Slaven Bilic (West Ham).

AFP

Arsenal Crash At Home To Watford, As Chelsea Draw At Anfield

Arsenal Crash At Home To Watford, As Chelsea Draw At AnfieldArsenal suffered a shock loss 2-1 loss to Watford at the Emirates in the English Premier League on Tuesday night.

It was Watford’s first Premier League away win at Arsenal as two goals in the first 13 minutes set up the 2-1 victory.

Former Tottenham Hotspur defender Younes Kaboul opened the scoring with a powerful drive aided by a deflection off Aaron Ramsey, who limped off with an injury.

Watford’s second came three minutes later as Troy Deeney slotted in after Petr Cech parried Etienne Capoue’s shot into his path.

But Alex Iwobi slotted in from Alexis Sanchez’s chipped cross on 54 minutes and Lucas Perez crashed an effort against the crossbar as Arsenal piled the pressure on in the second half, but Watford held on.

Chelsea and Liverpool played a 1-1 draw at Anfield as the visitors missed the chance of an 11-point lead at the top of the Premier League.

Georginio Wijnaldum’s header earned Liverpool the equalizer after David Luiz’s 25th minute free-kick had put them ahead.

Chelsea could have taken all three points but Diego Costa’s penalty was saved by Mignolet.

In other matches, Crystal Palace beat Bournemouth 2-0 at the Vitality Stadium while relegation threatened Sunderland played a goalless draw with Tottenham Hotspur to ensure all top teams dropped points on the night.

Elsewhere Sam Voke’s 87th minute goal was all Burnley needed to beat Leicester City 1-0 at Turf Moor while Middleborough and West Brom played a 1-1 draw in a keenly contested encounter at the Riverside Stadium.

Swansea City defeated Southampton 2-1 at the Liberty Stadium.

Gerrard Elated To Be Back With Liverpool

Steven Gerrard, LiverpoolFormer England International, Steven Gerrard, says he is exited to return home and to his former club, Liverpool.

The former captain of the English club, however, said he was also “nervous and anxious” about his impending return to Anfield as a youth coach.

“Liverpool are prepared to help me an awful lot.

“They want to help me to become a better coach or a better manager, but at the same time I’ve got to commit to it and put in the hard work,” the 36-year-old, told BBC.

Gerrard is expected to commence his coaching job with Liverpool in February.

He made his debut for the club in 1998 and retired from playing in 2016.

The former England player made his 500th league appearance for the Reds in a goalless draw against West Brom on 25 April.

The appearance saw him become the third player ever to achieve 500 or more Premier League appearances for one club, after Ryan Giggs and Jamie Carragher.