West Brom came from behind to win a 1-1 draw at home against rivals Wolves, but the lonely point brings them closer to the fall.
Mbaye Diagne’s second-half header canceled Fabio Silva’s lucky goal in the first-half stoppage but the draw means Sam Allardyce’s side are 10 points away from safety with four games to play.
Wolves had more ball throughout, but their own weaknesses were evident as Nuno Espirito Santo’s out of form side failed to withstand pressure from West Brom after the interval.
As the rain swept the ground, it took a while for both teams to settle into any rhythm, but it was the Wolves who got the first chance when Romain Saiss headed straight for Sam. Johnstone.
The away side dominated possession for much of the first half, with Nelson Semedo forcing a much better save from the Baggies goalie in the half hour before Vitinha tried his luck from a distance.
West Brom came close to the breakthrough at the end of the half when a short corner found its way to Diagne at the far post, but he could only deflect the goal rather than into the net.
It was to prove costly within minutes when Wolves took the lead in wacky circumstances on the other end after an impressive construction game involving Owen Otasowie and Vitinha.
Kyle Bartley looked likely to break free, but his attempt ricocheted off Silva, passing over Johnstone and into Albion’s net, much to the delight of the striker teenager who walked away to celebrate.
The Portuguese struggled to fill the void left by Raul Jimenez but it was his second goal against Wolves’ biggest rivals and more than justified his return to the starting lineup.
West Brom went with a five comeback with Dara O’Shea back on defense, and Matheus Pereira providing support for Mbaye Diagne in attack. The victim of the 2-2 draw at Aston Villa was Callum Robinson, who returned to the bench.
Wolves have made three changes to the squad that Burnley beat last time around with the inexperienced trio of Vitinha, Owen Otasowie and Fabio Silva to replace Willy Boly, Daniel Podence and Willian Jose. This saw a lineup change with Nuno Espirito Santo coming back to back four.
The only change at halftime was the official, with Mike Dean stepping in to referee the second half after Paul Tierney was injured, but there was a change in momentum towards the home team.
West Brom started it all against Wolves early in the second half with goalkeeper Rui Patricio making two huge saves as the equalizer seemed inevitable.
First, the impressive Matheus Pereira slipped the ball to Conor Townsend only for the full-back to shoot too close to Patricio on the corner. Then the good work of substitute Matty Phillips found Sam Gallagher in the space at the far post only so the midfielder could see his efforts in the distance.
The goal finally came just past the hour mark when Diagne was left unmarked in the middle of the goal to calmly come home past the expertly led left wing cross from Townsend.
With both teams chasing a winning goal, it allowed for an open final as rain poured down on the hawthorn-soaked turf, but neither team had the quality to forge another clear chance late on.
The result means West Brom had the best Black Country derby this season, having won at Molineux in January. But a repeat of the match next time now seems highly unlikely.
West Brom: Johnstone (6), Townsend (7), O’Shea (5), Bartley (6), Ajayi (6), Furlong (7), Maitland-Niles (6), Yokuslu (6), Gallagher (6), Pereira (7), Diagne (6).
Submarines: Phillips (7), Robinson (6).
Wolves: Patricio (7), Semedo (7), Saiss, Dendoncker (6), Coady (6), Ait-Nouri (7), Otasowie (6), Neves (6), Vitinha (7), Traoré (6), Silva (6).
Submarines: Podence (6), Gibbs-White (6), Kilman (6).
Man of the match: Vitinha
Man of the Match: Vitinha
It was only Vitinha’s third Premier League start to their career, having never started a league game for parent club Porto, but the small midfielder made a strong impression on the Hawthorns.
His impeccable control and hard work in a derby match taking place under dangerous conditions drew attention. He has a fierce shot on him and was involved in the preparation for the first goal.
Vitinha was late substituted, but he had already done enough to win the man of the match award by then and with that proof, Wolves would do well to keep their hands on a player with real promise.
- Wolves remain winless in their last 10 away league games against West Brom (D5 L5) since a 4-2 win in September 1996.
- West Brom manager Sam Allardyce faced Wolves without losing more often than any other Premier League team (7 – W4 D3).
- Wolves remain the only team not to lose in the first goal of a Premier League game this season (W8 D2).
- Only Ruben Neves and Pedro Neto (5 each) have scored more Premier League goals for Wolves this season than 18-year-old Fabio Silva (4).
- Wolves’ Fabio Silva (4 goals) overtook Ricardo Vaz Te (3) to become the second strongest Portuguese teenager in Premier League history, with only Cristiano Ronaldo (8) making more in the competition before turning 20 years.
- Wolves’ Fabio Silva is one of 14 players to have scored in four or more Premier League games without winning any of those games (D1 L3), with Michael Kightly holding the record, having won none of the seven games he has won. marked. in, in competition (D2 L5).
- Conor Townsend’s assist to equalize Mbaye Diagne was his first in 46 league games for West Brom, since setting up a goal against Barnsley in October 2019 in the Championship.
- Wolves captain Conor Coady and goalkeeper Rui Patricio both played their 109th Premier League game for Wolves tonight, making them the record-breaking appearance makers for the club in the competition (overtaking Matt Jarvis , 108).
West Brom is fighting their battle for survival at Emirates Stadium and Arsenal next Sunday; Kick-off at 7 p.m.
Earlier in the day, the Wolves welcome Brighton to Molineux; Kick-off at 12 noon.