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HomeSportsWest Brom 0-2 Swansea: Joel Piroe, Cyrus Christie condemn Steve Bruce's Baggies...

West Brom 0-2 Swansea: Joel Piroe, Cyrus Christie condemn Steve Bruce’s Baggies to another defeat


West Brom’s hopes of making the Sky Bet Championship play-offs were left hanging by a thread as two late goals saw them fall to a 2-0 defeat to Swansea.

Joel Piroe’s second goal in three games and 15th this season put Russell Martin’s men into the lead (79), with Cyrus Christie slamming in five minutes later to spark a mass exodus of Baggies fans, which preceded a loud chorus of boos at full time.

Steve Bruce’s side have now failed to score in each of their last three Championship games at The Hawthorns for the first time since November 2003 under Gary Megson.

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Joel Piroe finished a lovely counter-attack as his goal gives his Swansea side a 1-0 lead over West Brom at the Hawthorns.

They remain 13th as a result of a fifth winless game of Bruce’s tenure, eight points behind sixth-placed Luton with 12 games left to play. Swansea climb to 16th.

Freefalling West Brom suffer another crushing defeat

While Russell Martin’s Swans look neither in danger of relegation nor holding onto hope of a dash for the play-offs, the clash was undoubtedly crucial for the Baggies in order to keep their ailing play-off bid alive.

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Swansea’s Cyrus Christie doubles the Swans’ lead over West Brom as they score twice in five minutes.

They had won just one game since December 11 and scored just five goals in that 11-game stretch, with Bruce having lost three of his opening four in charge. The form guide made for miserable reading.

As they like to do, Swansea dominated the ball in the early stages and, with 20 minutes gone, Andy Carroll had had just two touches of the ball, which summed up how things were progressing for the hosts, from an attacking perspective, at least.

Robinson then flicked a smart header off the left-hand post with Swans goalkeeper Andy Fisher rooted to the spot, before Grady Diangana had a baseless penalty appeal turned down and Kyle Bartley fired a shot into the ground and past the post.

Just before the break, Matt Grimes wrapped his foot around the ball and lifted a shot just inches past the right-hand post, while Christie stung the palms of Sam Johnstone with a header from point-blank range. It was the last action for quite some time, with a real slow tempo to much of the second half.

Robinson struck the woodwork for a second time as the final whistle approached, but within three minutes of him doing so, Piroe held his run and met an inviting cross from substitute Olivier Ntcham on the penalty spot to opening the scoring.

And the Swans double their lead soon after in a similar way, when a cross from the left drifted all the way through to on-loan Fulham man Christie, who thumped his shot through Johnstone’s hands and into the back of the net.

Man of the match – Joel Piroe

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Swansea’s Joel Piroe and Cyrus Christie reflect on their goals and the Swans’ 2-0 victory over West Brom at the Hawthorns.

Andy Hinchcliffe on Sky Sports Football:

“That was only his second goal in the last 10 games, but he broke the deadlock tonight after some intelligent attacking movement. That goal changed everything for Swansea and made it impossible for West Brom to turn it around.”

Analysis: Is West Brom’s promotion hunt over?

Pundits Glenn Murray and Hal Robson-Kanu weighed in on the debate about West Brom’s season on Sky Sports Football:

Murray: “It [promotion] is doable and this group is capable of turning it around, but it is going to be some task. The mood just seems so low around these parts at the moment. I feel sorry for Steve Bruce; he has been given this and it was already going downhill as he took over. Unfortunately, he hasn’t had the impact he would have liked.

“For me, I think this season is about stabilisation and looking towards next season, rather than trying to rescue something that just seems to be going further and further away from them. It is just an added pressure on the players. I don’t think this group has looked happy for a long time. Even when it was going well earlier in the season, I didn’t think the group looked happy playing their football and then, from that point on, it was just downhill.”

Robson-Kanu: “I think West Brom now need to re-group. It is a really difficult task for Bruce coming in here and trying to galvanise the group and it will be an uphill challenge for them now for the rest of the season. But they have to come together, take some positives in terms of the day-to-day training, trying to get back to doing the correct things and then applying that on the pitch.

“You can see that, with the way they are approaching teams, they are lacking that confidence and belief. They just look lost and, ultimately, that is the manager’s job to try and direct them towards winning games. The way to do that is by getting back to basics and doing the right things. That’s what the manager will be fully aware of and will be working hard over the course of the week to try and build that level of consistency where the players can then apply that going into games and then you can begin to get results.”

What the managers said…

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Steve Bruce conceded that his West Brom players were no way near good enough against Swansea and said too many of their big players aren’t performing.

West Brom’s Steve Bruce: “I’m really disappointed, just like everyone else at the club. We have to handle the situations better than what we’re doing at the moment. I understand we’re in a difficult place and we’re in a bad run, but from the first five minutes of the game, the decisions we made and the balls we were playing were a big problem for us.

“It was a difficult evening. We made mistakes. To play here you’ll know there are big expectations. The club expects to be at the top end of the Championship or in the Premier League. You have to handle the expectation. At the moment, we’re simply not doing that. It’s alright saying we’ve got a really good squad of players on paper. We’re not seeing enough of that on the pitch.

“I’m disappointed not just with the manner in which we conceded goals, but it all started in the second minute when the first corner we had was played in too low. There were too many players nervous and anxious. There wasn’t enough confidence. It’s up to me to try and breathe confidence into them. It might have been different if the two Robinson efforts go in rather than hitting the post, but we can’t be happy with the performance. We expect to be a lot better than that, and that’s the disappointment.”

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Swansea City boss Russell Martin praised his players bravery and mentality after they defeated West Brom 2-0 in the Championship.

Swansea’s Russell Martin: “I’m extremely proud of them, especially after the last away game at Sheffield United. It was a completely different performance and testament to the work they have put in over the last seven or eight days. They have been incredible and I said before that I hoped they could just transfer it to the game. To play the way that we play takes big courage and a lot of attention to detail.

“You can do all the tactical work in the world and give as much information as you want, but they have to have the courage to put it into play when they step over the white line. I thought they were so brave tonight and I think we deserved to win. We limited them to one shot on target all game. There were a couple of scary moments, which you expect with the quality they possess, but it was a brilliant team performance.

What’s next?

Both teams are back in action at 3pm on Saturday March 5. West Brom take on Hull at the MKM Stadium, while Swansea host Coventry at the Swansea.com Stadium.





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