Five key talking points from West Brom’s 4-0 win over Cardiff City
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West Bromwich Albion moved to the top of the Championship after a 4-0 victory away at Cardiff City.
Karlan Grant’s fifth minute strike, an own goal from Curtis Nelson, a sublime volley from Alex Mowatt and an effort from substitute Matt Philips gave the Baggies their first win in South Wales for 47-years.
The opponents could barely muster up anything to challenge West Brom and it was an assured performance from Valérien Ismaël’s men, who well and truly put their opponents to the sword.
Here are the talking points from the win that takes West Brom to the summit of the Championship.
He may have only played an hour after being brought off for Grady Diangana but he certainly made his mark.
Karlan Grant played a key part in two of the three goals this evening. The goal he scored himself was of high quality. A neat exchange between him and Adam Reach saw him curl a low shot past the helpless Dillon Phillips.
The partnership between Grant and Reach is something that can excite fans. Reach did the dirty stuff whilst Grant tidied things up.
For the second, it was a freakish own goal but Grant did all the hard work. Drifting in from his flank, he put a testing cross-hit-shot that the goalkeeper couldn’t hold and then the work was done for him.
Ruthless West Brom
This is the second time this season that West Brom have put four on a team this season, repeating their feat against Sheffield United from back in August.
All four goals were scored at the right time. The scoreline did not flatter the match. One team turned up and the other didn’t.
West Brom were neat in their play and took their chances when presented to them, whereas Cardiff were full of errors and that played into the hands of the visitors.
Returning to the Cardiff City Stadium after failing to make the grade, Semi Ajayi perhaps had a point to prove to his former employers.
The 27-year-old spent two years in South Wales but didn’t make a first-team appearance. He has since gone on to play in the Premier League, proving that this was one thing Cardiff got wrong.
At times, he had to cover for Darnell Furlong when he went forward, filling in nicely and thwarting many Cardiff attacks in the first-half.
In the second-half there looked like a slight challenge from the home side but he, along with his defensive partners didn’t give them a look in.
On loan Wolves man Giles kept quiet
The one man that Baggies fans would not want to concede to was a player contracted to bitterest rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Fortunately, West Brom nullified the one player that many would have picked to cause problems.
Ryan Giles couldn’t howl this evening as the Baggies defence did their job in marking him out of the game, even when he kept changing flanks throughout the first half.
Mick McCarthy gets it from both sides
Tonight was not a good night if you’re Mick McCarthy. After the second goal went in, the atmosphere turned sour. “Sacked in the morning,” was the chant from the home crowd.
West Brom fans keen to rub salt into the wounds joined in, as well as adding their own, including one which reminds McCarthy of the 5-1 scoreline he suffered back in 2012.
The former Republic of Ireland boss is definitely under pressure and the Baggies may have loosened the job security that he has in his role given the thrashing he received this evening.