Derby-day delight for Baggies
West Brom have claimed local bragging rights after coming back from a goal down to beat Birmingham 3-1.
By Elliot Ball
Last Updated: 18/09/10 5:45pm
West Brom have claimed local bragging rights after coming back from a goal down to beat Birmingham City 3-1 at The Hawthorns.
A well-worked free-kick routine gave the visitors a deserved lead in the 15th minute as Sebastian Larsson's clever ball picked out Scott Dann at the back post and he turned it back across goal to allow Cameron Jerome to tap in his first goal of the season.
But an inspired half-time substitution by Baggies boss Roberto Di Matteo paid dividends as Graham Dorrans came off the bench to help secure a magnificent comeback.
First, Dorrans played in Jerome Thomas down the left who flashed the ball across the box before Dann turned the ball into his own net on 51 minutes after being pressurised by Peter Odemwingie.
Then the Nigerian striker gave the hosts the lead eight minutes later as he rounded Ben Foster after a mistake from Lee Bowyer. Odemwingie will claim the goal but there was a suspicion of another Dann own goal.
Defender Jonas Olsson put the game to bed as he thundered an unstoppable header in the 69th minute to give West Brom their best start to a Premier League season and claim City's unbeaten record in the process.
Odemwingie caused all sort of problems when pushed into attack by Di Matteo for the second half in place of Marc-Antoine Fortune, while Thomas tormented the Blues defence throughout the 90 minutes with his trickery and powerful runs and testing crosses.
Alexander Hleb made a promising debut for City on loan from Barcelona but, like his team-mates, had to play second fiddle to the home side during the second period.
Odemwingie should have put the Baggies ahead after 14 minutes. Thomas made a decisive run into the Birmingham box before turning the ball back across to the unmarked Odemwingie.
But he failed to make proper contact on his shot and Foster was able to make a comfortable save to his right.
It proved a costly miss and 60 seconds later Jerome put unbeaten Blues as he opened his goalscoring account.
Larsson floated a free-kick from the central part of the pitch to Dann who turned the ball back across goal - and Jerome made no mistake from close range.
West Brom tried to retaliate and Foster blocked a shot from a narrow angle by Paul Scharner following a deep centre by Chris Brunt.
Another probing Thomas centre found Brunt but his header did not over extend Foster.
At the other end, Craig Gardner got plenty of power into his first-time 25-yard drive but Scott Carson had his body behind the ball.
Gardner then produced a vital interception inside his own six-yard box to cut out a cross from Brunt with Scharner unmarked behind him and with the goal at his mercy.
Albion finished the first half with a flourish and Gabriel Tamas powered a header just past the post from a deep centre by Brunt.
Di Matteo made a half-time substitution with midfielder Dorrans replacing Fortune, whose place in attack was taken by Odemwingie.
And the swap did not take long to have an effect when, after 51 minutes, an own goal from Dann brought Albion back on level terms.
Thomas was the creator from Dorrans' pass with a run to the by-line and he held off the challenge of Stephen Carr before supplying a low cross through Roger Johnson's legs.
Dann, under pressure from Odemwingie, could only deflect the ball past Foster.
Blues tried to retaliate and Gardner's low cross-shot was only just off target while Jerome's 20-yard strike was just too high.
But after 59 minutes Albion went ahead through Odemwingie.
Bowyer tried to cut out a ball across the box but his mis-control let in Odemwingie who calmly took the ball wide of Foster before slipping into the net before being yellow carded for his goal celebrations.
Bowyer needed lengthy treatment after being on the receiving end of a heavy challenge from Gonzalo Jara.
The City midfielder appeared to be losing his cool and was yellow carded after fouling Tamas. He was immediately substituted and replaced by Nikola Zigic.
Bowyer was involved in some exchanges with Albion fans sat behind the Blues dug-out area and eventually moved seats.
Then after 69 minutes Olsson increased Albion's lead when he was unmarked when heading home an inswinging corner from Brunt.
Carson handed referee Chris Foy an object which was thrown on the pitch from the area housing Birmingham fans behind his goal.
Brunt was too high with a 25-yard effort but Albion were now in complete command.Thomas curled a 20-yard shot just wide before leaving the pitch to a standing ovation and being replaced by Giles Barnes.
|West Bromwich Albion||Team Statistics||Birmingham City|
|0||1st Half Goals||1|
|5||Shots on Target||3|
|8||Shots off Target||2|