West Bromwich Albion’s draw against Queens Park Rangers was enough to secure promotion back to the Premier League on Wednesday evening, as Fulham and Brentford faltered.
Ryan Manning opened the scoring for QPR with a long-ranged strike that flew into the far corner and temporarily shattered the confidence of the Albion side; that was until Grady Diangana pulled the Baggies level just before half-time.
Callum Robinson, who was an unrelenting nuisance to QPR’s defence all game, then tapped in a whipped cross from Diangana to send West Brom ahead.
Heads dropped as Eberechi Eze lobbed Sam Johnstone following a counter-attack, but the scoreline was thankfully enough to get the job done.
Johnstone (6) – Distribution was good. Made a few routine saves. Other than that not really tested. Couldn’t have done anything for either goal.
Furlong (6) – Always an outlet on the right, linked up well with the midfield. Unlucky to be subbed for Townsend.
Bartley (6) – Was selected for his temperament and voice tonight which showed. Unlucky with the ricochet for the first goal.
Ajayi (5) – Looked shaky from his touch onwards. Played a few loose passes and missed a glorious chance to put the game to bed. Despite the significance of the result he’ll be disappointed with his performance.
O’Shea (6) – Again showed his versatility playing LB against QPR dangerman Osayi-Samuel. Got forward well but was caught napping for QPRs second goal.
Sawyers (4) – Despite being a Baggies fan, didn’t see any fight or hunger. Sloppy passes and lack of tempo has been a common theme in recent performances and it was the same again tonight. Rightly substituted for Brunt.
Livermore (7) – Captain Fantastico put in a solid performance with some big tackles to stop a quick QPR side on the break. He played on the front foot all night, leading the press and communicating with the forwards well.
Diangana (9) – Emphatically taken goal and an assist that was all his own work. The man never fails to surprise with his flair and trickery. Also put a shift in defensively. Albion looked half the side offensively without him on the pitch.
Krovinovic (6) – Majority of the first half passed him by. But when Albion are on top he always looks a threat. Played a key role in the first goal and was denied a goal by a brilliant Lumley save in the second half.
Pereira (7) – At the heart of everything tonight but was let down too often by his final pass or shot. Had a good game but we’ve become accustomed to so much more from him.
Robinson (8) – I wonder how many of those draws would’ve been wins with CR47 up top. Ran the channels brilliantly, worked his socks off and got his goal. Squandered the best chance of the game – but who cares, we’re Premier League!
Off the bench:
Brunty (6) – Came on to steady the ship and didn’t put a foot wrong. His calm head needed in a manic game.
Austin (4) – Looked sloppy when he came on. Didn’t offer the pace and directness Robinson showed in the first hour.