Wolves player ratings vs West Brom: One 'heroic' 9/10 and three 8s in historic Black Country Derby win

Wolves player ratings and match report from the 2-0 win at West Brom – a victorious Black Country Derby in the FA Cup fourth round.

Wolverhampton Wanderers finally ended their Hawthorns hoodoo with a first win away at bitter rivals West Bromwich Albion since 1996, progressing to the fifth round of the FA Cup with a 2-0 victory in the Black Country Derby. Goals from Pedro Neto and Matheus Cunha sealed the deal for Wanderers, who took advantage of Albion’s defensive frailties with two devastating counter-attacks to earn the desperately-desired bragging rights.

The first clash between the two sides in three years and the first in front of fans since 2012, there was always bound to be trouble – and such a probability proved true as the game was paused in the 82nd minute. Things got ugly in the corner of the Birmingham Road End immediately after Wolves’ second goal as Wanderers fans appeared to be caught celebrating in the home end, sparking a huge fracas. The game was stopped for over half an hour as police got involved to break up fights and both sets of players were forced to leave the field of play

West Brom, albeit the eventual losers of the clash, came out the stronger of the two teams as they showed better intensity and forced three saves from Wolves goalkeeper Jose Sa within the opening 10 minutes. Brandon Thomas-Asante’s close-range header was sandwiched between two Jed Wallace efforts but all three were simple for Sa to stop. Wanderers eventually got a foothold in the game following a shaky opening quarter of an hour and had a big chance of their own as Matheus Cunha gained a yard in the box. The Brazilian, merely 15 yards out, was teed up brilliantly by a low Pedro Neto cross but couldn’t control his first-time effort, skying the ball well over the bar.

The Hawthorns away end roared into life in the 38th minute as Neto struck a dagger in West Brom hearts with a delightful finish to earn Wolves a 1-0 lead with their very first shot on target. The goal came from a Wanderers counter as an ambitious Albion corner attempt was intercepted by Matt Doherty and the experienced full-back switched the play to find Neto on the right. Wolves’ number seven rode two or three challenges before displaying excellent composure to reverse a shot into the near post, sending the travelling support into raptures. Flare smoke painted the tense Hawthorns air gold; the visitors jubilant before the interval.

It was a cagey start to the second half as neither side were able to gain control of proceedings. The tension grew as the Baggies were denied a penalty when Brandon Thomas-Asante went down in the six-yard box, but it was a fair challenge from Wolves skipper Max Kilman. Albion then had two or three half chances from the edge of the area but it was the Old Gold who had the next big chance as Jean-Ricner Bellegarde went agonisingly to earning his team a two-goal lead. The summer deadline day signing worked space around 25 yards out and opened up his body to curl towards the far corner, but the ball flashed merely inches wide of the post.

Wolves took confidence from that moment and made West Brom pay as they made it 2-0 in the 78th minute. Kilman, pretty much out of nowhere, played a superb long through ball over the top to Cunha and the Brazilian finished cooly, finding a gap between the legs of Josh Griffiths. Kyle Bartley offered no competition whatsoever as Cunha had the time and space to strike low and hard before wheeling away in celebration in front of a packed away end. It was moments later that things turned ugly at The Hawthorns, with emotions heightened and tensions flaring throughout the crowd trouble.

It was all Albion when the game eventually got back underway and there was the odd chance of note - particularly one for John Swift as Jose Sa was forced into a reflex save - but the Old Gold dug deep to hold on for a famous victory. Here are our Wolves player ratings.

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