“Well played”, “Midfield maestro”: Some West Brom fans heap the praise on star debutant after 1-0 win vs Stoke + Match report

Stoke 0-1 West Brom: Dwight Gayle scores as Baggies go fourth

West Brom moved to within four points of the top two with a crucial victory at Stoke City on Saturday. Dwight Gayle scored the only goal of the game to secure the Baggies’ sixth away win in seven games.

The Midlands outfit had lost 3-2 to Middlesbrough last week and Darren Moore will be pleased with his team’s response even though they had to dig in to get three points.

Moore handed full debuts to his January recruits Stefan Johansen and Jacob Murphy and recalled Jake Livermore to his starting XI.

Stoke City started the game brightly, with Peter Etebo blazing a good chance over the bar early on after being found by Joe Allen. West Brom enjoyed plenty of possession but created very little. Jacob Murphy looked lively and went for a couple of pops on goal.

West Brom’s patience finally paid off midway through the half as they took the lead. Johansen clipped an inch-perfect ball to the back post where the unmarked Ahmed Hegazi volleyed across the goal for Gayle to nod home in the 25th minute.

The goal gave West Brom a lot of confidence and they quickly created another opening, with Murphy flashing wide. But five minutes before the break, they were fortunate not to concede a penalty when the referee didn’t spot a Gareth Barry handball.

The first half ended with a great chance for Jay Rodriguez when Jack Butland’s punch fell straight to him. But he volleyed back towards an empty net only to miss the target.

Unlike the first half, Moore’s team started the second half on the front foot. Tom Edwards could have put a Johansen cross into his own net but it stayed out. Stoke’s Tom Ince demonstrated his quality when he marauded through the Baggies defence before dragging a shot wide.

But other than that, Stoke rarely threatened in the final minutes of the game, as the Baggies did everything right to see out the game.

Read more: West Brom have surely missed out on a steal by not signing this outstanding Sunderland star in January

Here’s how the West Brom fans reacted after seeing their team grind out a 1-0 victory at Stoke:

Written by Rohan Sengupta

Hi, I am Rohan Sengupta from one of the busiest cities in India, Mumbai. A Journalism graduate with a keen interest in sports, football is something I simply cannot live without and writing, discussing and analyzing the game is what I do 24*7.

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