Baggies show fighting spirit in draw

Posted by Matthew Evans

This blog was looking a lot different when Lee Probert blew his whistle for half-time and the West Brom players went down the tunnel 2-0 behind to their local rivals Aston Villa.

- Match report: Odemwingie rescues point

However, Albion showed the kind of fighting spirit that has been sorely lacking over the past couple of weeks, particularly in the defeat at Reading last weekend where West Brom inexplicably lost a two-goal lead with 10 minutes to go.

This weekend the shoe was on the other foot, as the West Brom players came out for the second-half with a renewed vigour and played at a much higher tempo than the drab first half that saw Christian Benteke and Gabby Agbonlahor give Villa the advantage. Both goals were preventable - Agbonlahor's in particular, but let's not dwell on that and instead focus on the comeback.

Jerome Thomas and Peter Odemwingie were particularly impressive, linking up many times down the left-hand side, ably supported by Liam Ridgewell, who continued to drive forward. It was a brave decision from Steve Clarke to bring on Thomas when Claudio Yacob went off injured, he could have quite easily put George Thorne on in a like for like replacement but took the risk at 2-0 down and it paid off as Thomas provided Albion with the width they had been lacking.

In truth Peter Odemwingie didn't have one of his best games, whilst he was dangerous for most of the game his decision making was off and when he made the right decision, the execution was poor. But the Nigerian is a big-game player, he lives for the big moments and it was he who got the equaliser with a goal reminiscent of his second against Wolves in the 5-1 win last season.

West Brom needed something to stop their five game losing run and this comeback should be that. With two weeks off, this should give The Baggies some time to get their injured players back and possibly do some business in the transfer window.

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