Report: West Bromwich Albion 2-3 Blues

Report: West Bromwich Albion 2-3 Blues

14 September 2022

Blues beat West Bromwich Albion in the Sky Bet Championship on Wednesday night.

Scott Hogan hit a hat-trick in an outstanding team display at the Hawthorns as Birmingham City recorded back-to-back league victories for the first time in nearly a year.

The success was also a second successive win away from home and was no more than John Eustace’s side deserved on an evening that had started with both clubs paying their respects to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Hogan opened the scoring from a fine Juninho Bacuna pass after 14 minutes and although the hosts were level by the break, the striker added two more in the second period to bring his personal tally to three thanks to spellbinding assists from the aforementioned playmaker and Captain Troy Deeney.

Although Brandon Thomas-Asante’s late penalty reduced the two-goal buffer to one, a wholehearted final push saw the three points head back to B9.

TEAM NEWS:

The Head Coach made a single change to the side that won at Preston North End. Jordan Graham missed out and Josh Williams came in at wing-back as his replacement.

Kick-off had to be delayed by 15 minutes due to traffic problems around the Hawthorns.

Kick-off had to be delayed by 15 minutes due to traffic problems around the Hawthorns.

MAIN EVENT:

There was one team at it from the off – and that was Blues. Bacuna seized upon possession, drove into the box and when his scuffed effort was only half-cleared, Deeney rattled the stanchion ferociously inside 60 seconds.

Williams would soon go close with a cross-shot that was put behind and it was not until the tenth minute that West Brom ventured across halfway, winning a corner that Karlan Grant headed off-target at the second contact.

But there was only one set of players that looked threatening in the early stages and before the quarter of an hour mark, that threat became a promise. Tahith Chong won a falling ball and when he shifted it centrally to Bacuna the visitors were cooking. The Curacao international shaped to shoot, instead delivering a threaded pass that not only dissected the defence but an onrushing midfielder’s legs, with Hogan racing clear and slipping the ball past David Button.

Then, against the run of play, Albion levelled after 23 minutes. Jed Wallace was played in behind and delivered a low finish to extinguish the deserved lead.

Following a counter for each side, the game settled into a pattern, although it was one in which the defences were on top and neither goalkeeper was significantly tested. And this was encapsulated in one minute towards the end of the first-half. Chong was halted when approaching the six-yard box and quick as a flash, the hosts had broken forward and John Ruddy was comfortably fielding a long-range attempt.

Scott Hogan fires blues into the lead.

Scott Hogan fires blues into the lead.

HALF-TIME: West Bromwich Albion 1-1 Blues

Blues did have the ball in the back of the net moments after the interval, but Bacuna’s effort came after an offside flag and the referee’s whistle had pulled up a creeping Hogan.

Maxime Colin would fire the second-half’s first legal attempt over but this inaccuracy could not mask that it was Eustace’s men setting the agenda and his team soon retook the lead.

As with the opener, Bacuna and Hogan combined to devasting effect. The former won the ball on the cusp of his own final third and released it to the number nine, Deeney then showed real craft to pick his moment to set Bacuna clear down the left channel before he threaded a pass with the definition and artistry of a brushstroke across to Birmingham’s leading scorer. Without needing to break stride, Hogan planted the ball in at the near post with aplomb to send the away end into bedlam.

Marc Roberts was withdrawn through injury, but the feeling of unbridled joy soon returned to anybody that holds the royal blue close to their heart when a third was added after 70 minutes.

Deeney’s cultured pass gave Hogan an opportunity down the left and as Baggies defenders became preoccupied with runners from deep, the frontman poked the ball through button’s legs for his treble.

A penalty awarded despite Thomas-Asante, who converted from 12-yards, and Dion Sanderson colliding outside the box could have ruined the travelling supporters’ mood. But, as it was and deserved to be, choruses of Keep Right On were ready to be sung long into the night.

John Ruddy enjoys that winning feeling.

John Ruddy enjoys that winning feeling.

KEY MOMENT:

Hogan’s first strike set the tone for a night of clinical finishing and fine midfield artistry from Bacuna. Both assist and conversion were executed expertly and showcased the best of Blues at the business end of the pitch.

FINAL OUTCOME:

The maximum takes Blues into 14th position and onto 11 points from their nine Championship encounters.

Troy Deeney celebrates Scott Hogan's hat-trick goal.

Troy Deeney celebrates Scott Hogan's hat-trick goal.

MATCH DETAILS:

West Bromwich Albion (4-2-3-1): David Button, Taylor Gardner-Hickman, Kyle Bartley (Erik Pieters, 77), Dara O’Shea (captain), Conor Townsend, Jayson Molumby, Okay Yokuslu (Brandon Thomas-Asante 60), Jed Wallace, John Swift, Grady Diangana, Karlan Grant.

Substitutes not used: Alex Palmer, Darnell Furlong, Jake Livermore, Matt Phillips, Adam Reach.

Booking: Townsend 42.

Blues (3-5-2): John Ruddy, Dion Sanderson, Marc Roberts (Jonathan Leko 60), Auston Trusty, Maxime Colin, Juninho Bacuna (Hannibal 76), Krystian Bielik (Jordan James 46), Tahith Chong, Josh Williams (George Hall 86), Troy Deeney (Captain) (Lukas Jutkiewicz 76), Scott Hogan.

Substitutes not used: Neil Etheridge, Jobe Bellingham.

Booking: Sanderson 90+6.

Referee: Josh Smith.

Attendance: 23,089 (away 1,987).

NEXT UP:

Blues round off the first section of the 2022/23 season by hosting Coventry City at St. Andrew's on Saturday, kick-off 3pm. They will return from the international break to take on successive away games, visiting Sheffield United and Middlesbrough at the start of October. Tickets for all fixtures can be purchased by clicking here!