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West Bromwich Albion
Posted by Matthew Evans on 04/09/2012

And now everybody can relax as West Brom all but secured their top flight status for next season with a 3-0 victory over Steve Kean's Blackburn Rovers.

In truth, the scoreline flattered Albion somewhat. Rovers saw a lot more of the ball than the home side, particularly in the 2nd half. Having said that, they did not create too many clear chances for all their possession with Ben Foster providing the heroics when Blackburn did create some opportunities.

The afternoon started off well for West Brom, gaining 4 corners in a fast-paced opening salvo. Skipper Brunt produced quality from all these set pieces, the ball being delivered to the back post where Jonas Olsson and Gareth McAuley demonstrated their aerial prowess by winning every ball. It was McAuley who helped Albion grab the lead, though he will have a tough job claiming the opener as his goal.

Brunt's 4th corner went into the same back-post area, McAuley heading the ball back across goal where Martin Olsson prevented the ball from reaching Liam Ridgewell on the far post, as he instead send the ball into the roof of his own net. Albion continued to press, Graham Dorrans looking impressive in midfield, but they struggled to find the killer pass.

Dorrans did some great defensive working in preventing Blackburn's first real chance, putting off right back Bradley Orr who looked like he would have a free header from 6 yards out. Blackburn picked up after this, with Junior Hoilett particularly impressive for the opposition. He fashioned Rovers best chance of the half, dribbling past a couple of Albion defenders, his effort rebounding to David Dunn who attempted to place the ball past Foster, but he dealt with the shot with ease. Albion had a similar chance, the ball falling to Youssuff Mulumbu but he tamely side-footed the ball into Paul Robinson's grateful arms, the effort of a man with only one goal to his name this year.

The 2nd half was much better for the away side, Blackburn dominating the ball, with Yakubu linking well with Hoilett who was moved to a more central position but they were still restricted to long-range efforts, many of which were on target but easily dealt with by Foster. It was after these long-range efforts that Foster showed how good he is, as Yakubu got in from a Hoilett "back-heel" his shot superbly saved by a diving Foster, who somehow managed to get back onto his feet to block Orr's rebound from 10 yards.

That was the turning point in the 2nd half, a quite magnificent double-save fromt he on-loan keeper Albion fans are so desperate to see signed up. It was soon after that West Brom got their 2nd, after a bustling run from Marc Antoine Fortune. Dorrans' corner was cleared, Yakubu collected the ball but Brunt tackled him on the right, cut inside Yakubu's half-hearted tackle before whipping in a left-footed cross to the back post, Fortune controlling and then rifling past Robinson.

This made things more comfortable for Albion, and it was reward for a hard-working display from Fortune. He also had a hand in the 3rd goal, being fouled by Orr. Albion had only two men in the box for the free kick, but Dorrans' expert delivery found the head of left-back Liam Ridgewell who glanced home for his first goal for the club.

That was not the end of proceeding, as there was still time for a sending off. Billy Jones tackled substitute striker Modeste on the right flank. Jones kicked the ball away from him slightly, Modeste reacting by kicking out at the right-back. After things were calmed, Lee Probert sent off the striker to complete a miserable day for Blackburn.

Miserable for Blackburn, Egg-cellent for West Brom(Sorry I couldn't resist)

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David Young Matthew Evans: I've supported West Brom all my life, and it's fair to say that they give me my fair share of ups and downs. I'm always guaranteed an emotional rollercoaster of a season whatever division the Baggies are in. I try to remain positive in my views on Albion, although that is impossible at some points. My favourite Albion player of the moment is Youssuff Mulumbu, and of my lifetime it has to be Super Bob Taylor.You can follow me on twitter @MattEvansWBA

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