West Bromwich Albion scored 3 times in the final 15 minutes to demolish Wolves 5-1 in an entertaining Black Country Derby. The win takes WBA up to 14th place, 8 points ahead of the relegation zone. For Wolves, not only do they lose to their local rivals, but they also drop into the relegation zone.
West Bromwich Albion started the much stronger of the sides; after just a minute, they’d already had a golden opportunity, with Peter Odemwingie sliding a pass across the box for Jerome Thomas, who’s sidefoot was parried over the bar by Wayne Hennessey. Wolves didn’t play with a holding midfielder, and that space behind their midfield was constantly exploited by Peter Odemwingie cutting in from the right hand side. He had a shot beaten away by Hennessey before he opened the scoring on 34 minutes. The outside run of Steven Reid took away Wolves left back, Steven Ward, and Odemwingie twisted past Matt Jarvis before shooting left footed, with his shot deflecting off Jamie O’Hara and through Wayne Hennessey’s legs.
After WBA scored, though, they dropped deeper, perhaps intent on protecting what they had. Wolves, though, did score, with Steven Fletcher firing across Ben Foster to finish a move he had started with a flicked pass to David Edwards. It was the first time Fletcher and Sylvain Ebanks-Blake had combined all match, and it was largely against the run of play. Wolves started the stronger of the sides in the second half, but West Bromwich Albion took the lead in the 64th minute. James Morrison’s header was flicked on by Jonas Olsson and headed off the bar by Gareth McAuley, before falling back Olsson who smashed the ball towards Wayne Hennessey. It was hit straight at Hennessey, but he let it slip through his arms and over the goal line.
One difference between the two sides was the performance of the two keepers, and moments later, Ben Foster made a great save, leaping to his right to keep out a Steven Fletcher header that was looping into the top corner. From the ensuing corner, Roger Johnson’s header was cleared off the line onto the bar, and then WBA countered, with Odemwingie beating Ward on the right, but delaying his shot, giving Foley a chance to clear his shot off the line. It wouldn’t be long, though, before WBA scored their 3rd. It came again from a corner; Olsson backheeling towards goal and Odemwingie flicking in his second, virtually sealing the 3 points with 13 minutes to go.
Wolves continued to attack, and this left them open to the counter attack. Their left hand side was again exploited by WBA, as James Morrison shrugged off Ward to get to the byline, cutting the ball back into the box, where Keith Andrews made a late run to smash the ball into Hennessey’s bottom left corner for a debut goal. Moments later, Jamie O’Hara’s dipping volley bounced right before Ben Foster, but the keeper’s right hand was strong and pushed the ball behind the goal.
Odemwingie got his hattrick 2 minutes from time, again from a counter attack; Morrison, this time on the left, beat Foley to slide the ball across for Odemwingie, who was unmarked in the middle. Hennessey, falling away to his left, got a hand on Odemwingie’s shot, but Odemwingie’s shot was hit hard enough to ensure that Hennessey could do nothing about it.