This was a crucial six-pointer for the Baggies and the players did what was necessary to snatch all three points from rock-bottom Sheffield United.

Ex-Albion forward Oliver Burke came close to scoring in under a minute when the ball fell before him inside the box, but fortunately it bounced just out of his reach.

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Sheffield United sustained the early pressure on Albion’s backline for the first ten minutes before Slaven’s men started to pick up the pace.

A corner taken by Pereira was deflected out to Connor Gallagher on the edge of the box, who side-footed it into the bottom corner to put the Baggies ahead.

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This was to be the only goal of the game, despite 17 shots (6 on target) from West Brom and 22 shots (6 on target) from Sheffield.

Half-time came and went, and Albion stuck to the same game plan that had worked so well throughout the first-half, but it was clear that the Blades were beginning to find chinks in the Baggies’ armour.

Several golden opportunities were handed to United but they failed to make the most of them each time by either skying the ball or hitting it directly at Sam Johnstone.

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Speaking of Johnstone, he was outstanding this evening: he controlled his area and kept his defenders on their toes through barked instructions; and when the ball was struck on goal, he was there to firmly parry it wide or catch it comfortably and look to initiate a counter-attack.

All in all, a strong performance from the Baggies and three points thoroughly deserved.


Match Ratings: Johnstone (9); Furlong (7), Ajayi (6), Ivanovic (6), Bartley (6), Townsend (6); Gallagher (8), Sawyers (8), Pereira (8); Grant (7), Robinson (7). Subs: Krovinovic (7), Phillips (6), Robson-Kanu (6).

The lineups:

WBA: Johnstone; Furlong, Ajayi, Ivanovic, Bartley, Townsend (Phillips 75′); Sawyers, Gallagher, Pereira; Grant (Krovinovic 75′), Robinson (Robson-Kanu 65′).

Sheffield United: Ramsdale; Basham, Egan, Bryan (Lundstram 63′); Baldock, Berge, Norwood (Brewster 54′), Fleck, Lowe; McBurnie, Burke (Mousset 74′).