West Brom returned to the top of the Championship in emphatic style as they trounced Swansea City 5-1 at The Hawthorns.
Goals from Semi Ajayi, Matheus Pereira, Hal Robson-Kanu, Matt Phillips and Kyle Edwards rounded off a terrific performance as they handed Swansea there first defeat away from home this season.
The result lifts the Baggies ten points clear of the play off places in top spot as they go ahead of Leeds once again on 45 points.
It did take Albion 25 minutes to take the lead as Kyle Bartley nodded the ball back across goal from Pereira’s deep corner straight on to the head of a grateful Ajayi, who headed the ball past Woodman for his third goal of the season.
Nine minutes later, the Baggies doubled their lead, with Grady Diangana slipping in Kieran Gibbs, who pulled the ball back into the path of Pereira, and he whipped the ball into the near corner of the net.
However, shortly after, the visitors grabbed a goal back. A deep corner went past a herd of players in the box, it fell to Sam Surridge at the back post, whose original effort was blocked on the line by Bartley, but the ball fell back to him and it was tapped in by the striker.
The hosts restored their two goal lead just before half-time as Pereira fantastically slipped in Robson-Kanu, who stroked the ball into the far corner to the relief of the Albion faithful.
The game was put to bed with 20 minutes to go as Matt Grimes lost the ball in his own half. Pereira latched on to it and picked out a ridiculous clipped ball to Phillips who fantastically produced a diving header into the far corner.
4 minutes later, Slaven Bilic’s men grabbed there 5th and final goal as Edwards smashed the ball in to the centre of the goal after being teed up by Matheus Pereira.
The Baggies now move 10 points clear in the automatic promotion places and with the way they are playing, they are destined for Premier League football next season surely.
Here’s how we rated the WBA players in the 5-1 win:
Sam Johnstone - 7
Another decent afternoon’s work for Johnstone who made some key saves, mainly in the first-half and punched dangerous deliveries away.
Nathan Ferguson - 8
A fantastic, composed performance again from the young man who defended very well when needed at both full back positions when Gibbs was injured. Threatened on both sides getting forward mainly in the second-half.
Semi Ajayi - 8
Grabbed his third goal of the season in the first-half latching onto Bartley’s knock back. Composed throughout and didn’t put a foot wrong coming up against Surridge.
Kyle Bartley - 7 (subbed off 66')
Was a bit shaky towards the beginning of the game, but set up Ajayi for the first goal. Failed to keep out Swansea’s goal but picked himself back up and kept composed until he had to come off in the second half after a collision.
Kieran Gibbs - 7 (subbed off 56')
Was a constant threat up the left and set up Pereira for the second goal. So frustrating for him early on in the second-half as he was forced off with a suspected hamstring injury.
Jake Livermore - 9
What a performance from the captain! Was everywhere during the game and stung the hands of Woodman in the first-half. Controlled the midfield perfectly and had one of his best performances in an Albion shirt.
Romaine Sawyers - 8
Another composed and solid shift from Sawyers. Wasn’t too involved in the game but his passing was as accurate as ever and kept calm when needed.
Matheus Pereira - 10
Wow what a stunning display from Pereira. A goal and three assists today for the Brazilian star and easily Man of the Match. Pulled the strings constantly today and is the core to the Baggies free scoring attack.
Matt Phillips - 8
Produced a stunning diving header from Pereira’s cross to notch his tally up to seven goals for the season. Another impressive performance and puts the ball in the back of the net on a regular basis which is brilliant to see.
Grady Diangana - 7 (subbed off 71')
Was a constant threat down the left side in the first-half. Set up Gibbs to pull it back to Pereira for the second goal and produced an outrageous piece skill to lift the ball over Naughton’s head. Wasn’t as effective second half and was withdrawn.
Hal Robson-Kanu - 8
Yet again Robson-Kanu showed why he is the number one choice up front at the moment. Does a fantastic job on his own up front and finished cooly after being slipped in by Pereira for his sixth goal of the season.
Darnell Furlong - 6 (subbed on 56')
Replaced an injured Gibbs early on in the second-half and did a solid job to make sure the Baggies got three points.
Ahmed Hegazi - 6 (subbed on 66')
Replaced Bartley just after the hour mark and again produced a steady defensive performance to make sure Albion got a second half clean sheet.
Kyle Edwards - 7 (subbed on 71')
Came on for the final 20 minutes and grabbed his second goal of the season. Much needed goal for his confidence and so good to see him getting minutes in this side.