Van La Parra hits screamer as West Brom’s strug­gles con­tinue

The Sunday Telegraph - Sport - - Sport | Football - By Steven Sut­cliffe at John Smith’s Sta­dium

Aes­thetic crit­i­cisms may be noth­ing new as far as Tony Pulis is con­cerned but un­til now he has al­ways had a counter ar­gu­ment. Re­sults.

How­ever, there is a sense that sen­ti­ment is wear­ing ever thin­ner with the West Bromwich Al­bion sup­port­ers, par­tic­u­larly af­ter this 1-0 de­feat to 10-man Hud­der­s­field left them with their low­est points tally at this stage of a sea­son since 2005-06, when they were relegated.

Al­bion have suf­fered five de­feats and had four draws since their last vic­tory at Burn­ley in Au­gust and are wor­ry­ingly em­broiled in a rel­e­ga­tion bat­tle.

Re­vert­ing to type with the de­ploy­ment of a five-man de­fence, but­tressed by three mid­field pro­tec­tors in Gareth Barry, Jake Livermore and Grze­gorz Krychowiak, Pulis had at­tempted to sti­fle Hud­der­s­field.

How­ever, those were blown apart a minute be­fore the in­ter­val by a mo­ment of bril­liance that was out of tune with the game. Al­bion were still curs­ing that a free-kick had been awarded against Jay Ro­driguez, when the ball was trans­ferred to Ra­jiv van La Parra.

The winger as­sessed his op­tions and de­liv­ered a cor­us­cat­ing strike which found the top cor­ner from 25 yards out. Cue pan­de­mo­nium as mem­o­ries were stirred from a fort­night ago when Town de­feated Manch­ester United.

“The free-kick is an­noy­ing be­cause we think it’s a free-kick that we should have and, from that po­si­tion, the kid scores a won­der goal,” Pulis said. “It’s an ab­so­lutely fan­tas­tic strike. When he hit it, I was be­hind it and thought it was go­ing wide, but it curls right at the end. I think any­body who’s been on a run of games like we have is go­ing to take crit­i­cism. I’ve been in the game a long time to know that’s what hap­pens ir­re­spec­tive of who you are or what club you’re at.” Hud­der­s­field had con­trolled pro­ceed­ings un­til Christo­pher Schindler was dis­missed for a sec­ond book­ing in the 57th minute.

While they were thank­ful for two cru­cial late in­ter­ven­tions from their goal­keeper Jonas Lossl, they more than mer­ited this vic­tory al­low­ing head coach David Wag­ner to cel­e­brate his two-year an­niver­sary by sprint­ing from his tech­ni­cal area to em­brace his play­ers.

“We’re over the moon, not only be­cause of the re­sult but be­cause of the per­for­mance,” Wag­ner said. “We con­trolled the game over the first 60 min­utes and af­ter the dis­missal the play­ers showed that they could do some­thing dif­fer­ent as well.”

Hud­der­s­field Town (4-2-3-1) Lossl 7; Hadergjonaj 7, Jor­gensen 7, Schindler 5, Malone 6 (Lowe 79); Hogg 7, Mooy 6; Van La Parra 7 (Wil­liams 62), Ince 7, Kachunga 6 (Cranie 61); De­poitre 6. Subs: Green (g), Smith, Quaner, Mounie. Booked Schindler, Wil­liams. Sent off Schindler. West Bromwich Al­bion (3-5-2) Fos­ter 7; McAu­ley 7 (Phillips 59), Hegazi 6, Evans 6; Nyom 7, Livermore 6, Krychowiak 6 (Ron­don 59), Barry 6, Gibbs 6; Ro­driguez 6, Rob­son-Kanu 6 (McClean 59). Subs My­hill (g), Ya­cob, Brunt, Chadli. Booked Hegazi, Nyom, Barry, McClean. Ref­eree R East (Wilt­shire).

Jump for joy: Ra­jiv van La Parra (left) is mobbed af­ter scor­ing the win­ner

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.