The Carlos Corberan era got off to a tough start this afternoon as Sheffield United eased to a 2-0 victory at the Hawthorns. Goals from Iliman Ndiaye and Oli McBurnie saw the Blades take away all three points - winning their first game in six matches.
Some calamitous defensive errors and a lack of cutting edge in the final third made for painful viewing for West Brom supporters. Conor Townsend allowed George Baldock too much space to cross for the opening goal - and a lack of desire allowed Ndiaye to run through and pass to McBurnie for the second.
Boos were heard at the final whistle from the frustrated Albion faithful, with the result cementing Albion’s place in the Championship relegation zone for the time being. United, meanwhile, move up to fourth in the league standings.
Corberan, who only took charge of the Baggies less than a week ago, recognised his side were poor in some areas - but did have some positives to take. “I think it was a reality check. I am here to change the momentum and to fix things,” the Spaniard told Sky Sports post-match.
“The position in the league makes it clear what we ended to do as a team. For me, it’s got to be about thinking how we can improve as a team - to become a more competitive team. In the first half, we conceded three chances and conceded two goals.
“From the beginning, the team was perhaps too excited and took risks - increasing the number of difficult chances. In some moments individually we were unbalanced in the first half. We didn’t attack well enough, with two players on the right making the same moves.
“In the second we needed to correct that - we wanted to play more inside and use the spaces there instead. Unfortunately, we created the chances but couldn’t score a goal. In the second half I can’t criticise the team - they didn’t give up. Even if I hate the defeat, there was a feeling that we could’ve got the result we wanted to achieve.”
West Brom had far more possession on the day with 65% of the ball, and even had more shots - with 15 compared to United’s 11. The Baggies have a chance to respond in just three days as they take on Blackpool - also at the Hawthorns.