West Brom set pieces to beat Watford 3-1
WEST BROMWICH: Coach Tony Pulis ended a bad week on a high note as West Brom beat Watford 3-1 to move above Manchester United in the Premier League yesterday.
Pulis was criticised by a judge this week and ordered to pay back a hefty bonus to ex-club Crystal Palace, but West Brom fans won’t mind the blemish on his reputation with three wins from the last five games.
The victory at the Hawthorns moved West Brom above United, in action on Sunday, into sixth on goal difference.
Their opener came on 16 minutes as Chris Brunt’s corner dropped at the far post where Northern Irishman Johnny Evans rose to plunge home a towering header against the run of play.
Just after the half hour things got worse for Watford, who under Italian coach Walter Mazzarri are enjoying their best start to a season for decades.
Watford defender Camilo Zuniga was loitering near the wall at a free-kick when he deflected Brunt’s hard low shot so badly it wrong-footed a horrified Huerelho Gomes as he dived the wrong way.
For all Watford’s good build up play home ‘keeper Ben Foster didn’t have to make a save in the first half.
But the visitors dug deep and pulled a goal back after some intense pressure on the hour when Christian Kabasele finally delivered with a close range side-foot.
It was the stand in defender’s first goal for the club since joining from Genk after his summer adventure with Belgium at the Euros.
The goal followed hot on the heels of a previous chance Foster tipped over the bar when West Brom defender Gareth McAuley was panicked into firing at his own goal.
But with the game in the balance things swung in the home side’s favour as Watford’s Roberto Pereyra was sent off after a mass brawl.
The Argentinian reacted furiously to being run into whilst on the ground to spark the melee. In injury time Matty Phillips then took advantage of some more dreadful defending to make it 3-1 and secure another win as Pulis’s record for turning things round at crisis clubs continues.
Pulis’ behaviour while coaching at Crystal Palace was described by a judge this week as ‘disgraceful by any standards’, as the coach lost a £3.7 million ($4.6 million, 4.3 million euros) legal action the London club.
West Brom 3 Watford 1