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West Bromwich Albion
West Ham United
21 December 2013
• The Hawthorns, West Bromwich
Referee: J. Moss
• Attendance: 24753
West Bromwich Albion
M. Vydra 86'
J. Livermore 28'
That's all from me tonight guys and girls! I've been Alex Moretto, and I'd like to thank you for keeping me company during today's LIVE coverage at the Hawthorns. Enjoy the rest of the weekend, everyone, and have a happy holiday's!
Both teams will return to action in five-days time as West Bromwich travel to White Hart Lane on Boxing Day, while Hull City return home to face the defending Premier League champions, Manchester United.
FULL-TIME WEST BROMWICH 1-1 HULL CITY A draw at the Hawthorns is probably a fair result. Each team will have wanted more based on the course of action in the match, but neither side can argue that they deserved all three points. The Baggies really took control of the game in the second half after failing to show any signs of life in the opening 45. Hull stuck to their plan, and put in another convincing effort this season. They were just minutes away from grabbing all three points, which will make this draw tough to handle for Bruce, but his side came under a lot of pressure in the second half. A late equalizer from Vydra, his first premier league goal, salvages a point for the Baggies as they kick off the post-Steve Clarke era.
90' + 3'
The game fizzles out in the closing minutes, and the referee blows the full-time whistle.
90' + 1'
Bruce with a bad giveaway and West Brom have a chance to break through, but Mulumbu can't pick out Long and it's disaster averted for Hull City!
The referee has signalled three minutes of added time. The West Brom goal has brought the game to life here in the closing minutes! Does this game have an equalizer?
Fryatt will be coming on for Sagbo here, a premier league debut for the 27-year-old after a two month loan spell at Sheffield Wednesday.
HUDDLESTONE!! What an effort from the midfielder! His blistering free kick has Foster beat, but sails just a yard or so shy of the far corner. Hull nearly grab a winner from nothing there!
Yellow Card Zoltán Gera
In all fairness, it is a tough one for Hull to concede, but the way the second half has gone on it is a deserved equalizer.
Assist Zoltán Gera
Goal Matěj Vydra
GOAAAAAAL!! IT'S AN EQUALIZER FOR WEST BROM!!! VYDRA!! It's an incredible move by the hosts! Shane Long collects the ball beautifully, lays it off for Gera who finds Vydra. The substitute slots it home with a very calm finish, and the fans at the Hawthorns have been brought back to life!
Hull able to muster a chance of their own, as the substitute Boyd is sent in, but he's ruled offside.
GERA! There's some unconvincing defending from Hull and Gera sends his ball over the top but again McGregor does well to collect.
Berahino has looked lively here! His clever flick in for Long is collected by McGregor, however.
West Brom are perhaps a bit discouraged here. Hull have been able to frustrate them, and another hopeful cross from Jones is cleared by the Tigers.
VERY DANGEROUS FROM MORRISON! The midfielder's back pass is poor, but some alert goalkeeping by Foster prevents Meyler from getting on the end of it.
Hull win themselves a bit of possession now, but it's won back by West Brom all to quickly, and they break out again on the attack.
Brunt's corner is met by McGregor and punched clear. West Brom have done a horrendous job of attacking the ball on the endless amount of corners they have had so far in this game.
The Baggies continue to up the pressure! Berahino with a clever turn and let's a strong shot go, but it's deflected wide for yet another corner.
FREE HEADER!! Brunt delivers his corner wonderfully and it's met by a wide open Berahino, but he flicks his header well wide of the far post! The substitute really should have done better there.
Morrison rather frustratingly takes aim from about 25 yards out and sails it over the bar. Hull doing well to limit the hosts chances.
Vydra is fouled by Huddlestone and West Brom continue to keep possession in the attacking half, however, are having trouble breaking down the Hull defence.
Downing brings on another striker for West Brom, as Vydra is brought on for Sessegnon. The Czech Republic international has yet to find the back of the net this season, but this would be as vital a time as ever to score.
GREAT STUFF FROM BEN FOSTER!! Sagbo does well to get by McAuley and pick out Huddlestone who has his thumping shot turned aside by a diving Foster. The rebound falls for El Mohamady and Foster does excellent to recover and use his feet to prevent a knockout punch from Hull.
Yellow Card Billy Jones
...and it results in Jones bringing down Figueroa, becoming the first West Brom player to see yellow this afternoon.
This is the first spell of possession Hull have managed in a long time it feels like. They have just managed to weather the storm temporarily here.
Hull have managed to regroup slightly here and relieve the pressure momentarily. The hosts will likely look to bring on some more attacking flair as they continue to search for an equalizer.
Another corner for West Brom! They've had an endless amount of corner but have managed nothing from them. This time it's whipped in towards the far post and met by McAuley, but headed straight into the waiting arms of McGregor.
Still, this is much better from the hosts. For the first time this afternoon they look like scoring a goal. Downing did well to rally his troops during the break.
Poor effort from Shane Long. He runs at the Hull defence well, and tries to cut it back and curl one past McGregor, but his left footed effort is sent yards wide of the goal. He may have been wise to lay it off there.
MAD SCRAMBLE! The ball is bouncing all around the box, but West Brom can't get it on target and Hull break on the counter.
The corner is headed clear, but hardly convincing as Mulumbu hits it from the edge of the box. It's deflected out and behind for another corner.
BERAHINO! Poor clearance from Hull falls to the midfielder who smacks the ball at McGregor and out for a corner.
The Baggies continue to push forward, but are still lacking quality on the attack. Their passing has been far from convincing.
Brunt's ball is again straight at a defender and it's cleared to safety by Hull.
The hosts are doing better to find and expose the space in the midfield, and they've won themselves a free kick just to the right of the box, a promising chance for them....
This is much better from West Brom. They look much more confident moving forward, and in just two minutes they have shown more life on the attack than they did for almost all of the first half.
There is one change for the Baggies at half, and quite surprisingly it's Scott Sinclair coming off for Saido Berahino. As I said, Sinclair barely had an impact on the first half, but it was really to no fault of his own. The service wasn't there, but he did himself no favors.
Techno music greets the players as they make their way back out onto the pitch...
The Baggies will have to get wingers Scott Sinclair and Chris Brunt more involved in the match. The former has hardly had a touch of the ball in the first half. A lively Scott Sinclair could really help flip the game in West Bromwich's favor.
You can see why Hull have made life difficult on their opponents so far this season. They have this innate ability to clog the midfield and limit the opposition to playing the long ball.
The only real chance of the first half was the goal by Hull, which is a true testament to the quality of football we've seen in the opening stages of the match.
HALF-TIME: WEST BROMWICH 0-1 HULL CITY The sacking of manager Steve Clarke has done nothing to wake the Baggies, who put forth a very unimaginative performance in the first half. The visitors have executed their game-plan to perfection, and have the lead thanks to a swift counter-attacking move finished off by Jake Livermore. Surely Keith Downing will make changes at the half? No one has looked like taking control of the match so far, as sloppy play and poor crosses have been the norm in the first 45.
45' + 2'
And that is the last action of the first half as the referee blows his whistle.
45' + 1'
West Brom at least trying to take control of the match now, moving forward in waves, but they've waited far too long and will go into the break down a goal.
Brunt tries to drive it in towards the cluster of bodies in the six yard box, but it's straight into a defender and easily cleared to safety. Disappointing from the Baggies.
Finally some life from West Brom! Ridgewell's ball in falls for Morrison but he fails to connect properly. The pressure is kept up by the home side and Jones wins a free kick just outside the box to the right of the goal.
A long ball played to the tiny Scott Sinclair has evoked a chorus of boos from the home fans who are beginning to grow restless with the play of the hosts.
Yellow Card David Meyler
The first yellow card of the match is given out to David Meyler here by Jonathan Moss, after a clumsy challenge sliding into the back of Mulumbu.
The referee sees a foul in the box and blows immediately, another wasted corner by the Baggies.
The ball in is defended easily, but it's out for another corner for the home side.
Chester concedes a foul about 35 yards out, and West Brom will have a chance to play it into the box from the ensuing free kick.
Corner is cleared easily and the Baggies break back the other way, winning a corner of there own after El Mohamady rushes a clearance. Again, however, the ball in is easily collected by McGregor.
Right out of the stoppage now, Graham does well to hold up the ball in the box and pick out Meyler. His shot takes a dangerous deflection, but disaster averted for West Brom as it's out for a corner.
There's a bit of a lengthy delay here as the medical staff attends to Shane Long, who appears to be in a bit of pain, favoring his left leg after a tackle from Curtis Davies.
Livermore's goal has really brought the game to life! Far more pace in the match now, both teams moving forward with a sense of urgency.
Upon review, the appeals for a penalty were rightly turned away by the referee. The slightest of contact was made outside the box, and Morrison went to ground rather easily.
Assist Danny Graham
Goal Jake Livermore
GOAL!!!! It's a classic counter attacking goal from Hull City! Morrison brought down in the box by Huddlestone, but appeals for a penalty are turned away by referee Jonathan Moss, and it allows the Tigers to break on the counter. Danny Graham sends in Jake Livermore who slides it between the legs of Ben Foster and the visitors take the lead!
Corner for West Brom won by Jones, but it's easily cleared.
Considering Hull have scored just 13 goals on the season, it's surprising how content West Brom are to slow the tempo and play it safe early on. The game is there for the taking, but it's as if they don't want it.
Livermore running at the Baggies defence, but the ball from Sagbo is well behind him and possession is given away. Right idea there from Hull, however.
Hull win themselves a free kick in a promising area, but a foul in the box results in yet another turnover. It's become the norm in the early stages of this match.
West Brom trying a more direct approach, which may actually suit Hull. But in what many consider to be a must-win game for the Baggies, they seem to be lacking any sort of urgency here in the first 20 minutes.
Both teams crowding the midfield. A simple ball over the top could give us a breakthrough, but the passing has been sloppy and lacking quality.
The crowd at the Hawthorns has been lulled to sleep. I can't blame them, really. It will be up to the Baggies to push forward and take control of this game, but they've looked rather uninspired so far.
The midfield continues to be a place where possession goes to die. Sloppy play by both teams is preventing any moves forward. Turnovers a plenty so far in a packed midfield.
STAT: Ahmed El Mohamady leads the Premier League in crosses sent into the box, but ironically has just one assist on the season - perhaps his final balls are lacking a bit of quality? Or they aren't being attacked effectively?
There's a bit of a delay here as Danny Graham receives attention after a clumsy challenge from Billy Jones.
The corner is attacked nicely at the near post by Chester, but his header sails well wide for a goal kick.
El Mohamady picked out with mounds of space on the right but crosses in perhaps a bit too soon and it's turned aside easily for a corner.
The teams are still shaking off the nerves early on. Neither side looks settled.
Hull earn some possession of their own in the attacking third but with the exception of a few throw-ins, there's little to worry about for West Bromwich.
Ridgewell does well to win West Brom a corner, but Sagbo heads clear and temporarily relieves the pressure.
Lacklustre start at the Hawthorns. Both teams cheaply giving away possession in the midfield.
The Baggies push forward early on, as Sessegnon tries to pick out Morrison in the box but it's behind for a goal kick.
West Brom get us off and underway! A vital three points on the line for the home side today.
Mixed emotions from the home fans as the players take the pitch. The match is about to get underway!
STAT ATTACK: This is the first match West Brom will play without Steve Clarke at the helm since May 5, 2012 - Roy Hodgson's last game in charge before leaving to manage England.
The last time Hull City visited the Hawthorns was back in October of 2008, the first and only Premier League meeting between the two teams in West Midlands, with the Tigers earning a commanding 3-0 victory which extended a dream-like start to their first ever season of top flight football.
Steve Bruce has made no changes to his team which tied 0-0 with Stoke last weekend, but has opted for perhaps a more cautious formation change, moving from a 3-5-2 to a 4-4-2.
Interim manager Keith Downing has installed a few changes to the Baggies line-up, with Ben Foster returning between the posts in favour of Glyn Myhill. The back line remains unchanged, however, two changes have been applied in midfield with Scott Sinclair and James Morrison starting ahead of Claudio Yacob and Morgan Amalfitano.
Hull City XI (4-4-2): McGregor; Chester, Bruce, Davies, Figueroa; El Mohamady, Huddlestone, Livermore, Meyler; Sagbo, Graham.
West Bromwich XI (4-4-1-1): Foster; Jones, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell; Sinclair, Morrison, Mulumbu, Brunt; Sessegnon; Long.
The teams have been announced, so let's have ourselves a look at today's starting line-ups:
Bruce will be hoping his men can replicate the form that saw them earn a 1-1 draw at the Liberty Stadium in Wales on their most recent trip away from home, and a date with the slumping Baggies could see Hull into the top half of the table depending on results elsewhere on Saturday.
Hull on the other hand are looking to continue their impressive start to the season under Steve Bruce. The Tigers have lost six of eight on the road, but have faced the tough task of travelling to Chelsea, Manchester City, Everton, Tottenham and Arsenal, among others.
Assistant coach Keith Downing will fill in as temporary manager until the club can find a replacement, and he will be hoping to string together a couple of wins to pull the Baggies closer to safety; they currently sit just two points out of the bottom three, in 16th place.
West Bromwich are hoping for a fresh start today, after the rather shocking dismissal of Steve Clarke as manager, as well as assistant Kevin Keen, after last weekend's 1-0 loss to Cardiff City, a fourth consecutive league defeat for the Baggies. The sacking came as quite a shock to the fans and players, and it's hard to envision there not being something more to this story. The club is citing Clarke's record in the calendar year as reason for his firing, but a manager's results season to season surely holds more weight? That's what makes the decision much more puzzling.
Good day Premiership fans around the world, welcome to today's clash between Hull City and West Browmich at the Hawthorns. I'm Alex Moretto and I'll be your in-game host, guiding you through the match LIVE as it happens!
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