The pressure was on the Baggies in this fixture, with everybody at the club knowing that anything but a win would spell serious trouble for their chances of promotion; but they lived up to the expectations and put three sublime goals past the Owls, securing all three points and boosting that much-needed Goal Difference amount.
Naturally, there was some apprehension ahead of the game, as four matches had passed without Albion scoring a single goal, but any anxiety was dispelled by the end of this one as Charlie Austin scored the opener through a penalty and Matheus Pereira bagged a brace.
From back to front, West Brom showcased a dominance that they had been lacking in recent matches. Clearly, the five alterations Slaven Bilic made to the starting line-up worked wonders.
Sam Johnstone – 6.5
Despite a somewhat unsteady start to proceedings, Johnstone soon found his composure and was a great asset to the side between the sticks. He picks up his 12th clean sheet of the season from this game.
Dara O’Shea – 7
O’Shea looked confident from beginning to end in this game; he was strong on the ball, he never stopped chasing down the oncoming attackers, and cleared it sensibly whenever necessary. His future looks very bright.
Ahmed Hegazi – 8
The Egyptian giant won virtually every aerial battle he was involved in and prevented multiple golden opportunities from materialising as a result of his top-notch tackling. Great performance.
Kyle Bartley – 7.5
Bartley defended well alongside Hegazi and posed a typical threat from set-pieces. He wore the armband in the absence of Jake Livermore and looked like true captain material out there.
Kieran Gibbs – 8
The stalwart left-back put in another superb shift this evening, and even provided an assist, floating a cross in towards Pereira who nodded home to put Albion 2-0 ahead. He showed great chemistry with the rest of the backline, too.
Romaine Sawyers – 8
Sawyers often gets some slack for appearing rather languid when on the ball, but this is his playing style and if it works, it works — and he proved that in this game. He constantly protected the ball well and laid off simple passes to teammates throughout the game, serving as the fulcrum of that Albion midfield.
Rekeem Harper – 6.5
A promising performance by the academy graduate this evening. He worked well alongside Sawyers in the pivot role and even had a good chance to get on the scoresheet in the second-half, but a last-ditch tackle prevented his shot.
Filip Krovinovic – 6
Krovinovic put in an average shift this evening and that’s probably the best that can be said for him. We all know he is capable of much more hence this light criticism of him; but, that said, he gets a 6/10 for working well with the rest of the side.
Matheus Pereira – 9
By far one of the best players on the pitch tonight for the Baggies, the “little magician” roamed all over the attacking third and was a constant thorn in the side of Sheffield Wednesday throughout. Both of his goals were well taken and will be crucial to our Goal Difference tally. The Wednesday defence simply didn’t know how to deal with him — it’s safe to say he’s a level above the Championship.
Grady Diangana – 6.5
Unfortunately this wasn’t one of Diangana’s best performances; he was quick on the counter and was difficult to stop, but ultimately provided very little to his teammates as he would squander chances to assist or shoot at the very last second. He was replaced by Callum Robinson later on and the Sheffield United loanee essentially showed Diangana up, illustrating what could be contributed to the match when the role was carried out adeptly.
Charlie Austin – 7.5
Austin confidently tucked away a penalty in the first-half to put the Baggies ahead, and spent much of his remaining time on the pitch floating around an attacking midfielder role, surprisingly, with the wingers in more advanced roles to latch onto a counter attack. Austin also put in a good shift defending set-pieces.
Callum Robinson – 8
Subbed on in the 55th minute for Grady Diangana, Robinson put in a sublime performance down the left-wing, causing all sorts of trouble for the Sheffield Wednesday backline. He repeatedly drilled the ball low and hard into the penalty area but unfortunately failed to register an assist in the end. An all-round splendid showing.
Kamil Grosicki – 7
The introduction of Grosicki to the game was great to see, especially after the fans had been agitated over his lack of appearances. He played out on the right-wing, replacing Krovinovic, and almost grabbed a goal at one point but was firmly tackled and was sent flying into the air before landing on his head — fortunately, he was okay.
Hal Robson-Kanu – 7
Robson-Kanu replaced Charlie Austin in the 69th minute to inject some pace upfront, and he put in a reasonably good performance, hassling the defenders for the ball and chasing down their goalkeeper, allowing Wednesday no time to think. He did what was needed to see the game out.
Jake Livermore – N/A
Semi Ajayi – N/A