West Bromwich Albion beat Stoke City 1-0 at the Hawthorns on Saturday, as the Baggies continue to pull well clear of the relegation zone as Tony Pulis has worked his magic once again.
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The only goal of the game arrived in the 20th minute as Craig Gardner’s wonderful cross from the right was met by Brown Ideye, who beat Phil Bardsley to the ball and sent a diving header into the bottom corner.
In the second half Stoke pushed hard for an equalizer, but the Baggies held on and dominated the majority of the match as they are now 11 points clear of the relegation zone following the massive turnaround after Pulis’ arrival in January. West Brom now sit in 13th on 33 points, while Stoke stay in eighth place on 40 points.
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Early on Saido Berahino came close for West Brom as he cut inside and drilled an effort on goal which Asmir Begovic saved down low.
After 20 minutes West Brom took the lead as patient build up play saw Gardner pick up the ball on the right and his pinpoint cross was headed home by Ideye. 1-0 to the Baggies, as Ideye has now scored five times in his last appearances.
Following that opener the game settled down as Stoke tried to get going but West Brom went close through Berahino and Ideye had a goal ruled out for offside.
U.S. national team man Geoff Cameron came on at half time for Erik Pieters, as Marc Wilson slotted over to left back and within 10 minutes of the restart West Brom’s goalkeeper Ben Foster was replaced by Boaz Myhill after suffering an injury.
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Stoke finally started to pour forward and Jonathan Walters flicked a header towards the top corner which Myhill tipped over and then the Baggies broke with Begovic tipping Brown’s curling shot around the post as the home side looked to seal a vital three points. Begovic denied James Morrison’s powerful effort from distance late on, as Stoke failed to find a way through and Pulis got one over his old side.
West Bromwich Albion: Foster (Myhill, 56′), Dawson, McAuley, Lescott, Brunt, Morrison, Fletcher, Gardner, Sessegnon, Berahino (Baird, 95′), Ideye (Olsson, 90′)
Goal: Ideye (20′)
Stoke City: Begovic; Bardsley, Shawcross, Wilson, Pieters (Cameron, 45′); Nzonzi, Whelan; Walters (Diouf, 68′), Adam, Moses (Arnautovic, 58′); Crouch