Player ratings as Baggies line thrilling Black Country derby
West Brom notched their first victory of the Sam Allardyce era by beating Black Country rivals Wolves 3-2 at Molineux on Saturday.
The visitors had a wonderful opportunity to take the lead in the opening ten minutes, when Willy Boly’s reckless challenge knocked Callum Robinson down in the zone. Matheus Pereira took responsibility on the spot and he was right in sending Rui Patricio the wrong way.
The goal brought Wolves to life and two quick strikes at the end of the first half saw the home side take a 2-1 lead in the meantime. First, Fabio Silva came home after a great job from Boly in the Baggies’ penalty area, before Boly got it. himself on the scoresheet to mark an eventful 45 opening for the Ivorian international.
Despite starting the second half 2-1, unbelievably, the visitors ended up 3-2 in the 56th minute. Semi Ajayi equalized his side with a superb loop header shortly after the interval, before Pereira edged out the Baggies with his second penalty of the game, after Conor Coady fouled Robinson in the box.
It was one-way traffic for the rest of the game as Wolves desperately searched for an equalizer, but West Brom’s backline was strong as Allardyce scored the first three points of his Baggies reign.
Anyway, enough of the match highlights, time for player ratings.
Rui Patricio (GK) – 6/10 – Made a huge Robinson save in the first half to prevent his side from losing two goals. There wasn’t much he could do against one of West Brom’s goals.
Nelson Semedo (RB) – 6/10 – There was still a lot of goodwill in chasing the wolves, but not much to show for his efforts. He refused to give up and appeared to be a real threat belatedly as he rushed forward.
Conor Coady (CB) – 4/10 – Very reckless as he awkwardly took down Robinson in the area to give West Brom the opportunity to take the lead. Many have questioned whether he could play in a four-back, and on this point the skepticism is justified. Hooked shortly after the hour – the first time he has been substituted in the Premier League.
Willy Boly (CB) – 7/10 – Marked his return to the starting XI by conceding a penalty in the first ten minutes. Obviously desperate to atone for his mistake and score a goal and an assist before half-time.
Romain Saiss (LB) – 6/10 – He was asked to move to the left back again and he did well as it is not his natural position. Couldn’t offer an offensive threat but a steady performance.
Ruben Neves (CM) – 6/10 – He kept things running and did a good job of sitting deeper as the wolves attacked and he recycled whatever came his way.
Leander Dendoncker (CM) – 6/10 – The liveliest of Wolves’ three midfielders. He sought to coach his side on the pitch whenever he was in possession and was not afraid to test David Button on his Premier League debut for West Brom.
Joao Moutinho (CM) – 5/10 – A screen full of energy but which could not master the game as he would have liked. Pushed further in the later stages but could not find real quality in promising positions.
Adama Traoré (RW) – 5/10 – A frustrating afternoon overall. Seemed to have beaten Kieran Gibbs on Wolves, but couldn’t take advantage of it.
Fabio Silva (ST) – 7/10 – Once again, the youngster has received the nod of his head as Wolves seek to adjust to life without an injured Raul Jimenez. Easily his best performance since arriving in England, showing the strength to ignore defenders and poise in front of goal.
Pedro Neto (LW) – 6/10 – Lively in the first half and continued to demand the ball despite receiving “brutal” treatment from the West Brom backline. A little faded in the second half.
Morgan Gibbs-White (CAM) – 5/10
Rayan Ait-Nouri (LB) – 6/10
Patrick Cutrone (ST) – 5/10
David button (GK) – 6/10 – Postponed his league debut for West Brom after Sam Johnstone tested positive for coronavirus. Wolves were clearly keen to test him early on, but he did well to put off their long-term efforts.
Dara O’Shea (RB) – 4/10 – Criminally bad defense for Wolves’ equalizer as he was caught looking at the ball before being released to the side by Silva who then applied the finish.
Semi Ajayi (CB) – 7/10 – Fantastic loop header at the start of the second half which tied the scores at 2-2. Standing and fighting brilliantly in the air as wolves tossed the kitchen sink late.
Kyle Bartley (CB) – 8/10 – It was fantastic in the air and helped keep West Brom in the game at times with colossal header clearances. Threw himself in front of everything that presented itself to him.
Kieran Gibbs (LB) – 5/10 – Really struggled to contain Adama Traore and was lucky that former Middlesbrough’s last ball dropped him time and time again.
Romaine Sawyers (CM) – 7/10 – Combative and aggressive and did a great job crossing the lines as the pressure started to build up in the later stages of the game.
Jake Livermore (CM) – 5/10 – Clean and tidy but really needs more impact on games. Someone with his passing ability could be a huge asset when the Baggies need to stretch plays, but he seemed happy to hit him from the side and back.
Robert Snodgrass (CAM) – 5/10 – His first Premier League start to the season after collecting just three replacement appearances for West Ham this season. Relatively uneventful display and clearly lacking in sharpness.
Matheus Pereira (RW) – 8/10 – Showed his nerve to come home after missing the shootout against Blackpool in the FA Cup. Absolute quality previews – will undoubtedly be a major player if West Brom is to survive.
Callum Robinson (ST) – 5/10 – Get in and keep the opposition back line busy the entire game. Won both penalties, but it was more of a lazy wolf defense than a big move. When his big chance came in the first half, he pumped up his lines.
Kamil Grosicki (LW) – 4/10 – Granted his chance with Grady Diangana sidelined, but didn’t do much to upset Sam Allardyce when it comes next to pick a starting XI. Virtually anonymous, I was content to play very little.
Hal Robson-Kanu (ST) – 5/10
Darnell Furlong (RB) – 6/10