Pereira wraps up late come­back

The Daily Telegraph - Sport - - Sky Bet Championsh­ip - By Jon Cul­ley at the Hawthorns

Cham­pi­onship lead­ers West Bromwich Al­bion again demon­strated their ca­pac­ity for com­ing from be­hind to salvage a point against bot­tom-of-the-ta­ble Barns­ley.

Two first-half goals from Cauley Woodrow had given the York­shire side the plat­form to pull off a major shock, and they were still in charge with just over 20 min­utes left, though they earnt eight book­ings in try­ing to pro­tect their lead.

Af­ter a Bambo Di­aby own goal had given Slaven Bilic’s team a way back into the con­test, their Brazil­ian mid­fielder, Matheus Pereira, popped up to equalise with an 81stminute header.

It meant that Al­bion, who have won 16 of their 26 points from los­ing po­si­tions, main­tain their two­point lead over Leeds at the top of the ta­ble.

“I would never set­tle for a draw, but con­sid­er­ing what hap­pened in the first half it is a fan­tas­tic point for us,” Bilic said.

“We started OK but af­ter that we were rush­ing things or try­ing to play key balls, as­sists al­most, when the sit­u­a­tion was nowhere near ready to play them. And the four front play­ers were a bit flat in the first half.

“And af­ter we con­ceded two goals it be­came very dif­fi­cult. In the end we showed char­ac­ter and ma­tu­rity and we had time maybe to win the game, but I had to con­grat­u­late the play­ers for get­ting a point af­ter what had hap­pened in the first half.”

Woodrow, who scored 16 times as Barns­ley were pro­moted from League One last sea­son, headed home Dim­itri Cavare’s cross af­ter 18 min­utes and struck again six min­utes later, beat­ing goal­keeper Sam John­stone with a left-foot shot from out­side the box.

His fourth and fifth goals of the sea­son put Barns­ley in a strong po­si­tion to claim a first win since the open­ing day and a first un­der care­taker head coach Adam Mur­ray, who re­placed Daniel Sten­del dur­ing the in­ter­na­tional break and be­gan with a point at home to Swansea last week­end.

Bilic made two changes at half­time and a third mid­way through the sec­ond half, when Hal Rob­sonkanu re­placed Grady Dian­gana, mo­ments be­fore Di­aby di­verted an in­swing­ing cor­ner from Pereira into his own net.

Ref­eree Dar­ren Bond was in no mood to be le­nient with some of Barns­ley’s more ro­bust chal­lenges, as the eight yel­low cards at­tested.

Pereira, op­er­at­ing in a No10 role, had been Al­bion’s best player and his per­for­mance was duly re­warded when he headed sub­sti­tute Conor Townsend’s cross past Brad Collins to avert what would have been a first home league de­feat since Fe­bru­ary.

“I’m re­ally proud of the shift the play­ers put in against an Al­bion side who were al­ways going to put us un­der the cosh at times,” said Mur­ray.

Late lev­eller: Matheus Pereira nods home to earn a point for the league lead­ers

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.