English Premier League

West Brom 1 – 1 Wolves

West Brom boss Sam Allardyce says the Baggies need a “magic miracle and fairy dust” to stay in the Premier League after drawing the Black Country derby with Wolves.

Allardyce’s proud record of never being relegated now requires his side to win all four of their remaining games, beginning with a trip to Arsenal on Sunday, and hope for a complete collapse from one of the five teams outside the drop zone that they can still catch.

That combination seems highly unlikely, even with the battling qualities West Brom showed during a game played in torrential rain to earn a point through Mbaye Diagne’s header after Fabio Silva’s fortunate first-half opener had put Wolves in front.

Nuno Espirito Santo’s depleted squad, who lost Wily Boly in the build-up to a positive coronavirus test, carried the greater threat for most of the contest, with Baggies keeper Sam Johnstone saving well from Nelson Semedo and Adama Traore either side of the interval.

However, while Silva ran away in jubilant celebration after sending the ball over Johnstone and into the net in stoppage time, replays showed the young Portuguese knew nothing about it as Kyle Bartley’s clearance cannoned off his standing foot.

Diagne levelled when he powered home Conor Townsend’s cross.

Allardyce will talk to the board about whether to stay next season.

Diagne levelled when he powered home Conor Townsend‘s cross.

Allardyce will talk to the board about whether to stay next season.

The first half was a microcosm of West Brom’s season as a whole.

They were very poor for the first half-hour, then they made a change, took some time to adjust, should have scored but didn’t and almost immediately conceded a self-inflicted opener.

On an awful night weather-wise, it was hard not to feel sorry for Dara O’Shea, who in addition to the ignominy of being substituted in the first half, was as far as it was possible to be from the dug-out when the board went up, condemning him to a sad, lonely, wet walk around half of the pitch.

The chance was excellent as Semi Ajeyi rose at the far post to meet Conor Gallagher’s cross. Ajeyi’s header was clean but it lacked accuracy, which allowed Roman Saiss to clear.

It was the kind of chance that had to be taken but invariably they have failed to do so over the past few, frustrating weeks, and they were made to pay almost immediately.

From that point, West Brom were always in trouble. For while Wolves are not the most exciting team in the Premier League, they are the only top-flight side not to lose a game after scoring the opening goal, which now extends to 10 matches.

Marshalled superbly by skipper Conor Coady, Wolves’ defence kept their shape as the conditions worsened and by the end, the visitors looked more likely to get a winner than their hosts, who so desperately needed one.


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