Perhaps the less said about this one the better.
Allardyce named a relatively attacking team, making three changes from the side that were beaten by West Ham. Snodgrass returned after his controversial absence, Grant started over Grosicki and Furlong came in for Bartley. “It is an attacking side, but only if you get the ball off Man City” said Big Sam. As the scoreline suggests, we didn’t.
A rather eventful first five minutes resulted in Manchester City taking an early lead, but things may have looked rather different if Ajayi had stabbed home a bouncing ball in City’s box in the second minute. Foden tested Johnstone early on at the other end, as his shot was tipped onto the post in a great stop from the Baggies No 1.
After a fairly positive start, the inevitable occurred and Gundogan’s shot from outside the box nestled in the bottom left corner to put the current league leaders ahead.Embed from Getty Images
A controversial Cancelo strike from outside the box doubled City’s lead, as the flag went up, but VAR overturned the decision, despite the protests of the Baggies players. Our best chance of the first half then came as Robinson shot wide from close range to try and narrow the lead.
A calamity of errors then led to a City third, with four West Brom players unable to head the ball clear, resulting in Gundogan dispossessing Sawyers and calmly punishing our terrible defending. The fourth nail in an already battered coffin came from a fantastic finish by Mahrez. We went in at half time 4-0 down, with damage limitation surely at the forefront of Allardyce’s mind.
Damage was limited to a certain extent in the second half, with a defensive change at half time bringing Bartley on for Robinson. Bartley was in the action almost straight away as he blocked a Mahrez strike, while a superb effort from Rodrigo rattled Johnstone’s crossbar. Further embarrassment followed when Mahrez squared to an unmarked Sterling for one of the easiest goals he will ever score.Embed from Getty Images
In truth, City played in second gear for most of the second half with virtually no attacking threat from a wounded Albion. Even the most optimistic Baggie didn’t give us much hope before the game of coming away with anything, but the least that can be expected is to put up a fight.
Attention now turns to the huge game against Fulham at the weekend, with three points needed to give us a glimmer of hope in our survival efforts. Well done to those who tuned in for all 90 minutes, it wasn’t an easy watch.
Player Ratings: Johnstone (5), Furlong (4), Ajayi (4), O’Shea (5), Gibbs (4), Snodgrass (5), Livermore (3), Sawyers (2), Grant (5), Pereira (5), Robinson (5).
West Brom: Johnstone; Furlong, Ajayi, O’Shea, Gibbs; Snodgrass (Phillips, 58), Livermore (C), Sawyers, Grant (Robson-Kanu, 63); Pereira; Robinson (Bartley, 45).
Unused Subs: Button, Ivanovic, Peltier, Townsend, Gallagher, Edwards.
Booked: Robson-Kanu (84′), O’Shea (90+2′)
Manchester City: Ederson; Cancelo, Stones, Dias, Zinchenko; Silva (Jesus 60′), Rodri, Gundogan (Laporte 52′); Sterling, Mahrez, Foden (Torres 52′).
Unused Subs: Steffen, Walker, Mendy, Fernandinho, Garcia, Bernabe.
Referee: Chris Kavanagh