Blackpool 2-1 West Brom, Full Time: Mulumbu, Referee Leave Baggies Asking What Could Have Been

The match was over before it even got started, or so it seemed in the 11th minute. That's when Pablo Ibañez was shown a straight red card and Blackpool were given a penalty for not denying a clear goal scoring opportunity for not committing a foul. It was an absurd decision by Michael Oliver, and Charlie Adam converted the penalty kick to put the Seasiders up 1-0. West Brom were in serious trouble, but it would get worse.

Another red card would be shown, and this time, Michael Oliver would get the decision right. Gonzalo Jara put in an absurd two footed, studs up, flailing challenge on Luke Varney, giving Oliver no choice but to send him off. In the 29th minute, West Brom were already down a goal and down to nine men.

Halftime would come without either side scoring, though West Brom looked surprisingly dangerous on a couple of counter attack moves. Regardless, Blackpool controlled the possession and appeared to have an easy route to three points.

The tangerines would have their lead solidified on the 62nd minute by Luke Varney, who tapped in a fantastic Eliot Grandin cross to put his team up 2-0. It appeared that the game was truly over then, but West Brom still had a few tricks up their sleeve.

Youssuf Mulumbu would set up a wild finish with a goal in the 85th minute, a far post curler after a fantastic individual effort. It was a well deserved goal for Mulumbu; the midfielder was at the center of almost all of West Brom's counter attacking moves and his work rate was second to none. Blackpool didn't dominate as much as one would think a team with a two man advantage would, partially because it seemed that Mulumbu was doing a spectacular job of playing the roles of two men at once.

Despite a flurry of opportunities from both sides in the final five minutes of normal time and four minutes of stoppage time, none of them would find the back of the net and the game ended with a 2-1 Blackpool victory. After putting in such a spirited performance with nine men, it's hard not to wonder how the game might have transpired if Michael Oliver didn't make those two poor decisions at the beginning of the match. While West Brom will be disappointed with a loss, the match should be at least a small moral victory. Blackpool have more concerns about just staying in the Premier League than West Brom do, and will be happy to add another three points to their cause.

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