Writer: Craig Coggle
Date:Tuesday February 16 2010
The 4-5-1 system has worked well for West Brom over the last four games or so but it will always only be effective with the right team selection on the pitch.
With plenty of injuries changing the face of the squad Luke Moore found himself up front on his own and, save from a close shot in the opening minutes, found himself lost and on his own.
Neither side really got into their stride during a slow first half but Cardiff got off the mark when Olsson gave away a penalty and Whittingham converted.
Albion certainly matched Cardiff in terms of possession and were worth the first half stoppage time equaliser from Zuiverloon. His first effort was pushed onto the post by Marshall but GZ followed up to level the scores.
With Newcastle not playing tonight, one point would be enough to put West Brom back on the top of the table and we had to wonder how RDM would approach the second half.
Gypes picked up an injury early in the second half and this allowed Albion to push up and test the struggling Cardiff defence. An effort from Brunt crashed into the side netting with West Brom continuing where they left off before half time.
A couple of soft bookings for Dorrans and Koren brought the shadow of yet more disciplinary problems for Albion on the day that Jerome Thomas had received a further one match ban. Tamas and Mattock also picked up yellow cards.
Chris Wood came on to replace Andy Slory, who never looked fully fit, which allowed Moore and Nouble to widen our attack along the wings with Wood up front.
Albion continued to press and enjoy the majority of the possession trying to convert one point into three, but Wood missed a golden chance after being put clear through by Zuiverloon.
With both teams making errors and giving the ball away with alarming regularity the game was there to be won by the team that could shift to a higher gear.
Di Matteo signalled his intentions by bringing Cox on for the booked Koren, whose smile at the boss on being substituted suggested that they had made up their differences.
An opportunity for Chopra with four minutes to go and a clearance off the Cardiff goal line from a late Dorrans corner was the closest that either team got to winning this game.
In the end, both teams tired, weary, and somewhat relieved played out stoppage time to earn a point a piece.
Date:Tuesday February 16 2010
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