The first hour was ‘scandalous’ - Steve Bruce on West Brom’s derby defeat to Birmingham City

Bruce was furious with his side’s display

Steve Bruce fumed about a “scandalous” display from his West Brom side after they were beaten 3-2 at home by Birmingham.

Scott Hogan’s hat-trick gave City a first win at the Hawthorns in over 17 years and led to the hosts being booed off the pitch.

Bruce’s side sit 20th in the Championship, with one win in nine league games this season, and the Albion boss admitted the goals his side conceded against their Midlands rivals were “something you’d see on the schoolboy pitch with 11-year-olds”.

Scott Hogan of Birmingham City celebrates scoring his hat-trick and his sides third goal during the Sky Bet Championship between West Bromwich Albion and Birmingham City at The Hawthorns on September 14, 2022 in West Bromwich, England. (Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)

“We didn’t take part in the game until the last 20 minutes,” said Bruce.

“In a big derby we were found short. We didn’t win a challenge and we didn’t deal with Troy Deeney and the physicality of Birmingham. We were nowhere near where we should be.

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“Individual errors are something you can’t fix. The concentration of the defenders was awful and the goals were something you’d see on the schoolboy pitch with 11-year-olds.

“When you defend as hideously as that, you’re in for a poor evening. It was awful. What we witnessed in the first hour was scandalous.”

City head coach John Eustace praised “top, top striker” Hogan after the fourth hat-trick of his career and first in nearly six years helped the visitors to victory.

Hogan’s first was a cool, low finish across goalkeeper David Button after Juninho Bacuna’s through ball beat the offside trap.

Jed Wallace quickly levelled but Blues regained the lead in the 54th minute when Hogan sidefooted home after more good work from Bacuna.

Hogan completed his hat-trick when he latched on to a superb through pass from Deeney on the left and cut inside before poking the ball through Button’s legs at the near post. Substitute Brandon Thomas-Asante reduced the arrears with a late penalty after he was brought down by Dion Sanderson, although it looked like it was outside the area.

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Eustace said: “Scott Hogan is a top, top striker. The one thing I was excited about coming here was that I’ve worked with Scott at international level and I know what he can bring to the Championship.

“You don’t have moves like he’s had if you’re not a top striker. The lad just needs confidence but you can see he’s a top, all-round player. The way he took his hat-trick was three different finishes and it was brilliant.”

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