West Brom returned to the top of the Championship with a relatively comfortable 2-0 win over struggling Stoke City at the bet365 stadium.
Goals from Matt Phillips and Hal Robson-Kanu were enough to secure three points and make sure that Albion leapfrog Leeds United, Swansea City and Preston North End into the top spot.
The game started perfectly for Albion as they got the lead in the 8th minute as Jake Livermore neatly slipped in Grady Diangana who swept the ball across the face of goal to be blasted in by Matt Phillips, who scored his sixth goal of the season.
The Baggies let the Potters back into the game but they were handed a 69th minute penalty as Cameron Carter-Vickers took out Grady Diangana in the box, which probably should have been a red card.
Robson-Kanu from the spot calmly rolled the ball into the net past Butland for his third goal of the season to make sure Slaven Bilic’s men returned to winning ways and returned to the summit, two points clear.
Here’s how we rated the players in the 2-0 win:
Sam Johnstone - 7
Solid evening for Johnstone who came and punched a few crosses when needed but was never properly tested. Distribution solid too and earned himself another clean sheet.
Darnell Furlong - 6
Brilliantly bombed up and down the right side as usual but didn’t have any end product tonight.
Semi Ajayi - 7
Alongside Bartley, Ajayi was solid, easily dealing with the Stoke forwards and keeping a third straight clean sheet away from home.
Kyle Bartley - 8
Another brilliant performance. Made eye-catching tackles and mopped up loose balls when needed. Man of the Match.
Conor Townsend - 6
Townsend loves to get forward but at times he did leave himself exposed at the back. End product wasn’t the best either.
Romaine Sawyers - 8
So composed on the ball again and made an astonishing pass which led to Hal Robson-Kanu hitting the post at 2-0.
Jake Livermore - 7
Started the game well, slipping in Diangana for Phillips’s goal. Went sloppy after that but picked himself back up at the end of the game to help Albion get three points.
Matheus Pereira - 4 (subbed off 62')
A very poor performance from Pereira who was bullied in the middle of the park, constantly giving the ball away and was pulled off just after the hour mark.
Matt Phillips - 7 (subbed off 83')
Grabbed his sixth goal of the season early on and nearly got an assist as Robson-Kanu hit the post.
Grady Diangana - 8
Perfect performance from Diangana who set up Phillips for the first goal and won the penalty for the second goal. Constant threat down the left too.
Charlie Austin - 5 (subbed off 63')
Held the ball up relatively well but yet again didn’t get a clear cut chance.
Filip Krovinovic - 6.5 (subbed on 62')
Slipped through Diangana to win the penalty and made some nice passes to see Albion through to the end.
Hal Robson-Kanu - 8 (subbed on 63'
The super sub strikes again. Scored a penalty and held the ball up so well and drew a number of fouls. Really effective impact again.
Chris Brunt - N/A (subbed on 83')
Made a couple of basic passes but didn’t get enough of the ball to make an impact.