Match ends, West Bromwich Albion 3, Swansea City 0.
West Bromwich Albion 3-0 Swansea: Bersant Celina misses bizarre penalty in Baggies win
Managerless West Bromwich Albion rode their luck as they beat Graham Potter's Swansea City to claim their first home league win since Boxing Day.
But, in their first game since the sacking of head coach Darren Moore, it will be remembered for an astonishing first-half penalty miss by Swansea's Bersant Celina.
The former Manchester City youngster made such a dreadful connection with his attempted chipped 40th-minute spot-kick that the ball actually went backwards.
By then, recalled captain Chris Brunt had already put Albion ahead with a low left-foot cross from a free-kick, which eluded all the bodies in the six-yard box to sneak inside Kristoffer Nordfeldt's right post.
It was from Brunt's inswinging corner that Albion scored the second on 54 minutes - before top scorer Jay Rodriguez settled it with a late third, his 18th goal of the season.
That was rough luck on Swansea, who were the better team for much of the first hour and were denied by a string of fine saves from home keeper Sam Johnstone.
Albion move back within nine points of the automatic promotion places and, perhaps more relevantly, nine clear of seventh place.
Swansea stay 15th going into Saturday's FA Cup quarter-final against quadruple-chasing Manchester City.
Baggies on the way back?
On a rather muted night at The Hawthorns, as the home fans appeared uncertain how to take Saturday's shock announcement, Albion got the lucky breaks they needed.
After Connor Roberts had already hit the post for Swansea, the hosts went ahead straight from Brunt's 19th-minute set piece.
The Swans' response was impressive, as Wayne Routledge, Daniel James and Celina all forced fine point-blank saves out of Johnstone.
Nathan Dyer also flashed a shot just wide from the rebound of the first of those chances, but the Albion defence's charmed life seemed to run out when they conceded that late first-half penalty.
Swansea unlocked the Baggies defence down the left and, from Dyer's low left-wing cross, Mike van der Hoorn was flattened by Craig Dawson.
But Swansea were without their regular penalty taker, absent top scorer Oli McBurnie. And, when Celina opted to take the spot-kick 'Panenka-style', with a deft chip down the middle, his standing foot slipped and his right foot met the ball with such a force of back spin that the ball ended up behind him.
Five minutes into the second half, another chance for the visitors went begging when Ahmed Hegazi got a crucial block tackle in to deny the lively Routedge. And, within four minutes, Albion had doubled their lead.
It was a more conventional Brunt set-piece this time as his left-footed inswinging corner from the right eluded keeper Nordeldt, who came off his line too late, and landed on the head of Everton loan man Holgate, who steered the ball into the left corner.
Johnstone was less busy after the break and it needed two fine saves from Nordfeldt to keep the rejuvenated hosts at bay before Rodriguez wrapped up victory for first team coach Jimmy Shan, in his first game in caretaker charge.
West Bromwich Albion first team coach Jimmy Shan told BBC Sport:
"The scoreline flattered us, but the main focus was to achieve three points.
"And our keeper Sam Johnstone was outstanding. He kept us in the game with some outstanding saves.
"To have Chris Brunt back in was important too. He gives us such quality from deadball situations.
"The instruction was to concentrate on one game at a time. But we all know football moves very quickly. We don't know what will happen over the next 24 to 48 hours and our plan at the moment is simply to prepare for Brentford on Saturday.
Swansea City manager Graham Potter told BBC Sport:
"I'm pretty sure nobody has created as many chances here, but they've ended up winning 3-0. That's the madness of football
"It was a horrible moment for Bersant. Just one of those moments you don't wish on anybody.
"But he was our designated penalty taker and fair play to him for wanting to take it. It's easy to mock and I'm sure he'll get a bit of grief about it but at least he had the courage to take it.
"We were the better team between the boxes but we haven't defended well enough and it was just one of those nights in front of goal. If we had those chances again, we'd score them."
- 68HolgateSubstituted forMearsat 80'minutes
- 25DawsonSubstituted forBartleyat 60'minutes
- 70MurphySubstituted forRobson-Kanuat 69'minutes
- 5van der Hoorn
- 26NaughtonSubstituted forMcKayat 70'minutes
- 12DyerSubstituted forDhandaat 80'minutes
- 15RoutledgeSubstituted forBaker-Richardsonat 73'minutes
- Scott Duncan
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, West Bromwich Albion 3, Swansea City 0.
Attempt missed. Yan Dhanda (Swansea City) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Matt Grimes.
Attempt blocked. Yan Dhanda (Swansea City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Daniel James.
Barrie McKay (Swansea City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Jay Rodriguez (West Bromwich Albion).
Foul by Matt Grimes (Swansea City).
Hal Robson-Kanu (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Matt Grimes (Swansea City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Hal Robson-Kanu (West Bromwich Albion).
Goal! West Bromwich Albion 3, Swansea City 0. Jay Rodriguez (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal following a corner.
Attempt blocked. Jake Livermore (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Attempt blocked. Hal Robson-Kanu (West Bromwich Albion) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Jay Rodriguez with a headed pass.
Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Kristoffer Nordfeldt.
Attempt saved. Dwight Gayle (West Bromwich Albion) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Conor Townsend.
Attempt saved. Daniel James (Swansea City) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Matt Grimes.
Corner, Swansea City. Conceded by Jake Livermore.
Attempt missed. Hal Robson-Kanu (West Bromwich Albion) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Dwight Gayle with a headed pass.
Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. Tyrone Mears replaces Mason Holgate.
Substitution, Swansea City. Yan Dhanda replaces Nathan Dyer.