Albion overwhelm luckless Leicester
The Walkers Stadium
7 November 2009
Football matches can often be reduced to one or two key moments, in some cases one decision or one passage of play can set the tone for the whole 90 minutes.
Today, a crazy three minutes towards the end of the first half unsettled Leicester and left Albion with a two goal lead.
Although West Brom had plenty of chances throughout the game, and dominated possession overall, it was a free kick from Graham Dorrans on 36 minutes that somehow found it's way past a horde of players and into the net past a stunned Chris Weale.
Leicester, shaken up at the back, struggled to organise themselves and a few minutes later they were 2-0 down from a long range blast and debut goal from Gonzalo Jara.
Former Fox, Joe Mattock had to endure a continuous barracking from the Leicester fans, but did well overall to maintain his focus and put in an assured performance.
Although a regular for Roberto Di Matteo this season, Mattock has sometimes struggled to deliver consistent form - today was a big improvement.
The match evolved into a tactical game with Leicester becoming cautious of letting Albion run away with it and West Brom looking to protect their advantage.
Di Matteo chose to strengthen the middle of the park with 25 minutes remaining. He replaced Simon Cox with Youssouf Mulumbu which invited Leicester pressure with Albion playing a counter-attacking game, Luke Moore playing up front on his own.
Moore missed a great chance to ease Baggie nerves as, clear through on goal in the 78th minute, he hooked the ball over Chris Weale but could only watch as it bounced off the crossbar.
Roman Bednar replaced Moore as lone striker on 86 minutes and Albion continued to soak up pressure until in injury time Bruno Berner rallied the home crowd, scoring a late consolation goal from within the six yard box.
The defensive tactics of Di Matteo resulted in a nervy finale but Albion did enough to claim their deserved three points and stay within sight of League leaders Newcastle.