West Brom lost ground on the Championship top two following a 3-0 loss away at Fulham on Saturday.
Aleksandar Mitrovic added yet another hattrick to his collection whilst both Darnell Furlong and Tosin Adarabioyo received red cards in an eventful game at Craven Cottage.
The match started cagey as both sides tried to stomp their authority in the early stages and the first chance of note came with the first goal.
Mitrovic was played through and Kyle Bartley looked to have done brilliantly to hook the ball away from him but the referee pointed to the spot.
No VAR in the Championship meant the Baggies protests went unheard and the Serbian stepped up and converted.
West Brom grew into the game following the goal and looked the more likely.
But just as they were building momentum, a misplaced backpass from Robert Snodgrass fell straight into the path of that man Mitrovic who was able to slot into an empty net.
All hopes of a comeback were tarnished when Darnell Furlong received a red card with 20 minutes to go. The full-back was adjudged to have got none of the ball by Michael Salisbury as he took out Harry Wilson who was through on goal.
Mitrovic completed his hattrick after some lovely work from Wilson down the right and added to the Baggies’ misery.
Tosin Adarabioyo also received a red card for the home side in the dying minutes after a nasty challenge on substitute Grady Diangana.
The result means it’s now 16 years since West Brom have managed a win at Craven Cottage.
The bloke scores goals. Whether he struggles at the level up or not, he’s one of the most deadly the Championship has ever seen.
His three today were three of the easiest he will score in his career but he has a knack of being in the right place at the right time.
He was certainly a villain for West Brom but a hero for his side.
West Brom fans
Despite it being an early kick-off and despite them having an absolute torrid record at Craven Cottage, the Baggies faithful traveled in numbers.
The majority stayed until the end too on a day they’d probably much rather forget. They deserved more today.
Valerien Ismael strayed well away from blaming the referee’s decisions in his post-match interview but there’s no doubt that they had a huge say on this game.
The penalty to put it bluntly, was a shocking decision. It was never, ever a penalty and put the home side in the ascendancy.
Darnell Furlong’s sending off was also debatable. Was he really the last man? And even if he was, he does get some of the ball. This decision essentially killed the game. A bad day all round for Salisbury.
The Fulham defender put in a nasty, nasty tackle on Grady Diangana to receive a red card in the dying minutes and it was one decision the referee certainly did get right.
It may not have been intentional but there was no need to make the challenge, especially with his team 3-0 up.
West Brom were on top for the majority of the first-half following the dubious penalty decision but Robert Snodgrass’ lazy back-pass gave them a mountain to climb right before the break.
Go in 1-0 down at half-time and it’s all to play for in the second-half. 2-0 and it’s a long way back against a team like Fulham.
For an experienced pro like him to make such a sloppy mistake it’s tough to take. You expect much better.
Johnstone 7; Ajayi 5, Bartley 4, Clarke 5; Furlong 4, Livermore 6, Snodgrass 4, Townsend 6; Grant 5 (Molumby N/A), Hugill 5 (Robinson 5), Phillips 5 (Diangana 5)
West Brom are back in Championship action on Wednesday night when lowly Hull City come to the Hawthorns.
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