West Brom 2-0 Brighton: Jonny Evans and Craig Dawson score to secure Alan Pardew first Premier League win
By James Kilpatrick
Last Updated: 13/01/18 7:14pm
Jonny Evans and Craig Dawson both scored headers to hand Alan Pardew his first Premier League win as West Brom manager in a 2-0 victory against Brighton.
Evans, who has been linked with a move away from the Hawthorns, put the hosts ahead in the fourth minute before Dawson doubled their lead 10 minutes after half-time.
Brighton came closest to pulling a goal back through Anthony Knockaert, who skied his effort over the bar from close-range midway through the second half, but West Brom held on for a comfortable victory.
Three points for Pardew means West Brom are now two points off Premier League safety, while Chris Hughton's Brighton drop down to 15th.
West Brom: Foster (8), Gibbs (7), Evans (8), Dawson (9), Hegazi (7), Barry (6), Krychowiak (6), Phillips (8), Brunt (7), Rodriguez (7), Rondon (8)
Subs: Livermore (6), McAuley (6), Nyom (6)
Brighton: Ryan (5), Bruno (5), Dunk (5), Duffy (6), Bong (5), Knockaert (4), Stephens (5), Propper (4), Gross (5), Izquierdo (6), Murray (5)
Subs: March (6), Kayal (5), Baldock (7)
Man of the match: Craig Dawson
West Brom pressed high early on and the move paid off as the hosts took a fourth-minute lead through their captain Evans. Matt Phillips' drilled corner was instinctively nodded on by Jay Rodriguez before Evans acrobatically nodded the ball home from close range.
The hosts continued to pile on the pressure with Dawson coming close five minutes later from another Phillips corner as Brighton continued to struggle defending set-pieces.
On the half-hour mark, appeals for a West Brom penalty were turned after Phillips' rifled shot hit Glenn Murray's arm before Lewis Dunk came close moments later. His close-range effort was well blocked by Dawson in what was a comfortable first-half performance from Pardew's men.
Three changes for West Brom. Craig Dawson, Jonny Evans and Matt Phillips came in for Allan Nyom, Gareth McAuley and James McClean.
Brighton made eight changes to the side that beat Palace 2-1 in the FA Cup on Monday night.
Even though Brighton started the second half on the front foot, Dawson doubled West Brom's lead. Chris Brunt's driven cross was ferociously attacked by the right-back, who bulleted his header into the ground before the ball bounced into the roof of the net.
Brighton responded by applying some heavy pressure and were helped by the introduction of Sam Baldock off the bench. He kick-started a chance for Murray before he found Knockaert, but somehow the Frenchman missed the glorious opportunity from five-yards out despite having plenty of space and time.
4 - All four of West Brom's Premier League goals at the Hawthorns under Alan Pardew have come from set pieces (three from corners and one from the penalty spot). Schemers.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 13, 2018
Evans and Dawson both had to hobble off late on while Salomon Rondon saw two shots from range narrowly miss the goal in added time to conclude a momentous day for Pardew while ending West Brom's 20-match winless run in the league.
- Alan Pardew picked up his first Premier League win in charge of West Brom, in what was the Baggies' first win in the competition by more than one goal since March 2017 (3-1 v Arsenal).
- The Seagulls have won just one of their last 12 games in the Premier League (D5 L6), failing to score at all in eight of these fixtures.
- Chris Hughton hasn't won any of his five games against Alan Pardew-led sides in the Premier League (D2 L3), managing just one goal across those meetings.
- Excluding penalties, Brighton have conceded more goals from set pieces than any other team in the Premier League this season (16).
Man of the Match - Craig Dawson
The 27-year-old performed excellently down the right flank for West Brom as he caused Brighton's defence all kinds of problems with his positioning and physicality.
As well as coming close from another corner, he nearly grabbed a goal at the near post up against goalkeeper Mat Ryan.
But he was rewarded for his hard work with a superb second goal as he showed great desire to double West Brom's lead. Unfortunately, though, he had to leave the pitch following a head collision with Ahmed Hegazi.
Alan Pardew: "We've put in so much good work in this little run that we've had without actually getting the win so it's nice to get the win today and look strong and threatening all game which is good news for us.
"We had some good chances to make it three but we couldn't get them across the line. Some really good performances today. I was really pleased for the players. They've responded well since I've been in and its nice that they're seeing the reward for the work we've put in at the training ground."
Chris Hughton: "Hugely disappointing because I don't think there was a lot between the two teams.
"We found it difficult defending set plays and corners and we've conceded goals and worked as hard on defending set plays as we have done all season and that's the difference between the two teams.
"The first goal really hurts us because you saw the crowd here today and they're buoyed by the fact they're 1-0 up. The fact they don't get that goal I think we are right in it. On the balance of play I don't think there was much difference between the two teams."
West Brom travel to Merseyside next Saturday to take on Sam Allardyce's Everton. Brighton, meanwhile, take on Chelsea on the same day at 11:30am - live on Sky Sports Football.
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