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Stoke City 0-2 West Bromwich Albion: Slaven Bilic's Baggies win to go top

Matt Phillips scores for West Brom
West Brom's Matt Phillips has six goals this season - one more than in the whole of 2018-19

West Bromwich Albion eased back to the top of the Championship table as they comfortably saw off managerless bottom-of-the-table Stoke City.

On-loan Grady Diangana was the supply line for both goals as Slaven Bilic's men struck in each half, through Matt Phillips' close-range finish and a Hal Robson-Kanu penalty.

Any hopes from Stoke fans that Friday's sacking of Nathan Jones after less than 10 months in charge might provoke an immediate change in fortune took just eight minutes to evaporate.

Stoke's flat-footed defence were sliced open by an exquisite one-two between Diangana and Jake Livermore. The home defenders stood like statues as Phillips materialised at the far post to drill home unmarked from five yards for his sixth goal of the campaign.

The rest of a poor first half produced little else worthy of note. But, to the credit of the Stoke players, led by the tireless Joe Allen, it took until the 69th minute before the Baggies wrapped it up from the spot.

Phillips' square ball just inside the Stoke penalty area left Diangana in the clear only to be wiped out by a desperate last-ditch challenge from on-loan Spurs defender Cameron Carter-Vickers, who was booked for his concession of probably the clearest penalty conceded anywhere this season.

Substitute Robson-Kanu, who had only been on the pitch for six minutes, had to wait patiently while Diangana received treatment. But he then ran up very slowly, outfoxing Jack Butland by sending him the wrong way.

The Wales international should almost immediately have got a second goal, only to head against the foot of the post - and he was again denied by Butland late on.

Stoke fans fearful of the drop?

Stoke players dejected
Stoke are six points from safety after a third consecutive defeat

Older Stoke fans, in fact even some not so older ones, can recall the dark days of three decades ago when they last dropped into English football's third tier.

It was 30 years ago this week that the Potters sacked Mick Mills and put another former England international in charge. But the late Alan Ball failed to save them from the drop in May 1990.

And the almost tangible feeling of apathy amongst the home fans already suggests a fear that the same might happen again, unless someone can come up with a quicker fix than Ball managed.

Admittedly, Stoke were up against a talented Albion side who already look like they might be the best side in the division this season.

But, whoever comes in to take the reins from caretaker boss Rory Delap and his henchmen Kevin Russell and Andy Quy has got a real job on their hands.

This is a club still seemingly on a downward spiral.

West Bromwich Albion head coach Slaven Bilic told BBC Sport:

"We started brilliantly and ended quite comfortably, but it was not like that until we scored the second goal.

"You can't be happy with just controlling the game when you're only one up. So, in that respect, we're not happy.

"Momentum is everything in this league. They did not look like a team who should be bottom.

"But they had some players who haven't played for a while, so we looked the fitter side by the end."

Stoke City caretaker boss Rory Delap told BBC Sport:

"They had two or three chance but we had no chances. I can take getting beat but we've got to give more.

"We picked our best 11 but we didn't create anything and that's down to a lack of belief.

"I was just asked to prepare the team for this game. And we tried to make the preparations as simple as we could. But we have to take our share of the blame too.

"To see an empty ground at the end like we did, that's not what this club's is about. It was hard to watch, I can understand the fans walking out. It's heartbreaking."

Line-ups

Stoke

  • 1Butland
  • 14Smith
  • 12Carter-VickersBooked at 66mins
  • 6Batth
  • 5LindsaySubstituted forMcCleanat 61'minutes
  • 3Ward
  • 27B NdiayeSubstituted forDuffyat 83'minutes
  • 4Allen
  • 22ClucasBooked at 29mins
  • 26CampbellSubstituted forInceat 74'minutes
  • 9Vokes

Substitutes

  • 7Ince
  • 11McClean
  • 24Cousins
  • 25Powell
  • 31Duffy
  • 32Federici
  • 37Collins

West Brom

  • 1Johnstone
  • 2Furlong
  • 6Ajayi
  • 5Bartley
  • 14Townsend
  • 8LivermoreBooked at 38mins
  • 19Sawyers
  • 10PhillipsSubstituted forBruntat 83'minutes
  • 12Costa PereiraSubstituted forKrovinovicat 62'minutes
  • 29Diangana
  • 15AustinSubstituted forRobson-Kanuat 63'minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Robson-Kanu
  • 7Krovinovic
  • 9Zohore
  • 11Brunt
  • 21Edwards
  • 23Bond
  • 26Hegazi
Referee:
Tim Robinson
Attendance:
22,360

Match Stats

Home TeamStokeAway TeamWest Brom
Possession
Home39%
Away61%
Shots
Home9
Away9
Shots on Target
Home3
Away3
Corners
Home4
Away3
Fouls
Home18
Away17

Live Text

Match ends, Stoke City 0, West Bromwich Albion 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Stoke City 0, West Bromwich Albion 2.

Hal Robson-Kanu (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Stephen Ward (Stoke City).

Semi Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Sam Clucas (Stoke City).

Romaine Sawyers (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Mark Duffy (Stoke City).

Substitution

Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. Chris Brunt replaces Matt Phillips.

Substitution

Substitution, Stoke City. Mark Duffy replaces Badou Ndiaye.

Hal Robson-Kanu (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Badou Ndiaye (Stoke City).

Attempt missed. Matt Phillips (West Bromwich Albion) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Romaine Sawyers.

Foul by Hal Robson-Kanu (West Bromwich Albion).

James McClean (Stoke City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt saved. Hal Robson-Kanu (West Bromwich Albion) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Matt Phillips.

Filip Krovinovic (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Badou Ndiaye (Stoke City).

Foul by Kyle Bartley (West Bromwich Albion).

Sam Clucas (Stoke City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution

Substitution, Stoke City. Tom Ince replaces Tyrese Campbell.

Filip Krovinovic (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Sam Clucas (Stoke City).

Foul by Darnell Furlong (West Bromwich Albion).

Jack Butland (Stoke City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Danny Batth.

Hal Robson-Kanu (West Bromwich Albion) hits the right post with a header from the centre of the box. Assisted by Matt Phillips following a fast break.

Goal!

Goal! Stoke City 0, West Bromwich Albion 2. Hal Robson-Kanu (West Bromwich Albion) converts the penalty with a left footed shot to the centre of the goal.

Booking

Cameron Carter-Vickers (Stoke City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Penalty West Bromwich Albion. Grady Diangana draws a foul in the penalty area.

Penalty conceded by Cameron Carter-Vickers (Stoke City) after a foul in the penalty area.

Foul by Matt Phillips (West Bromwich Albion).

Danny Batth (Stoke City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. Hal Robson-Kanu replaces Charlie Austin.

Substitution

Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. Filip Krovinovic replaces Matheus Pereira.

Romaine Sawyers (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Badou Ndiaye (Stoke City).

Attempt blocked. Joe Allen (Stoke City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Substitution

Substitution, Stoke City. James McClean replaces Liam Lindsay because of an injury.

Foul by Jake Livermore (West Bromwich Albion).

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1West Brom1586128171130
2Preston1584328161228
3Leeds158431981128
4Swansea158432014628
5Nottm Forest147431913625
6Bristol City156722421325
7Sheff Wed157351912724
8Fulham156542317623
9QPR157262428-423
10Charlton156452117422
11Hull156452320322
12Birmingham157171620-422
13Brentford156361813521
14Cardiff155642322121
15Derby155641820-221
16Blackburn155371922-318
17Millwall154651721-418
18Huddersfield154471721-416
19Reading144371620-415
20Wigan154381321-815
21Luton154292227-514
22Middlesbrough152671119-812
23Barnsley151681429-159
24Stoke1522111327-148
View full Championship table

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