Man City – West Brom: Ilkay Gundogan’s 30th-minute goal was answered by a Ruben Dias own goal before halftime and West Brom took an unlikely point off a Man City at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday.
City carried 77 percent possession and a 26-5 edge in shots, but Semi Ajayi’s shot took a wicked deflection off of Dias and stood up to give the Baggies a valuable point.
[ MORE: Lampard frustrated by Chelsea loss ]
West Brom moves onto seven points, two points back of 17th place, while City moves five points off the top of the table and three back of fourth-place Southampton.
Three things we learned from Man City – West Brom
1. City doesn’t finish: The tale of this one was, again, finishing. Kevin De Bruyne, Phil Foden, and Raheem Sterling sat underneath Gabriel Jesus and combined for 10 key passes. Foden was especially impressive but came off for Sergio Aguero with 16 minutes to go. Gundogan scored the opener and was superbly denied by Sam Johnstone in close when De Bruyne spotted him on the doorstep in stoppage time.
2. Bit of luck for Bilic: You look at West Brom’s roster and wonder what more anyone could expect from Slaven Bilic, who was rumored to get the sack if the Baggies lost to Newcastle last weekend (which they did). But that match, and this one, was without West Brom’s best attacker in suspended Matheus Pereira. Bilic had his gents ready to scrap on Tuesday and they earned this point.
3. Johnstone’s ‘derby’ delight: Sam Johnstone is such an important piece of what West Brom does well, and the goalkeeper made two sublime saves in stoppage time. He was Manchester United property from age 16-25 and would’ve loved making six saves to frustrate his childhood club’s “noisy neighbors.”
Man of the Match: Johnstone
Semi Ajayi levels it for West Brom 💥 pic.twitter.com/qGV0dA3l7k
— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) December 15, 2020
Man City – West Brom recap
Karlan Grant cut inside Nathan Ake to hit a low point-blank shot that was within the reach of a diving Ederson’s left paw.
City went ahead before the half-hour mark, Raheem Sterling finding Ilkay Gundogan from the end line and the German curling in from the heart of the 18.
West Brom found a way through just before halftime when Ruben Dias’ contested header was bodied down by Ajayi. Dias raced back towards his goal when Ajayi swiveled and fired off the City back to leave Ederson wrong-footed.