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West Bromwich Albion
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May 11, 2014
• The Hawthorns, West Bromwich
Referee: L. Probert
• Attendance: 26613
West Bromwich Albion
S. Sessègnon 56'
G. McAuley 22' (own goal)
C. Adam 87'
Right, that's me for this afternoon. Thank you very much for joining me, Alex Stewart, for this live coverage of West Brom vs Stoke. Enjoy the rest of the weekend, and see you again at some point, for something.BYE!
Both sets of players will now turn their attention to the World Cup or the beach. Pepe Mel will be waiting to hear whether he is the man to revamp West Brom, and Mark Hughes will be plotting how to maintain his impressive start at Stoke.
For Stoke, it's been an unqualified success really. The Hughes revolution continues and Stoke's football, especially in the second half of the season, has been brilliant at times. Passing was never anathema under Pulis, but Hughes has driven significant change and will be very pleased with the season.
West Brom have a lot of work to do, it seems, and it remains to be seen if Pepe Mel is the man to do it. Their frailities were apparent in this game too, with defence and a lack of goal threat all too obvious.
Well there you go. The football season is over for West Brom and Stoke. Both are safe and Stoke finish in 10th, which is very good for Mark Hughes' side.
90' + 3'
And that's it! WEST BROMWICH ALBION 1-2 STOKE.The football season draws to a close here at the Hawthorns with a lovely goal from Stoke sub Adam.
90' + 2'
O'Neil does well against Crouch in the corner and hoofs it clear. Stoke comes again but WBA win the throw. Around a minute left. Can WBA equalise?
90' + 1'
Foster manages to throw it without incident and West Brom attack again. Cameron clears for Stoke. N'Zonzi carries it forward and Etherington and N'Zonzi combine to win Stoke a throw.
West Brom are throwing everything forward. Sessegnon tries to set up Anichebe. O'Neil gets it on the overlap and crosses but Sorensen gathers well.
Vydra is on for Mulumbu which is all attack-orientated. WBA want to get the equaliser very much.
Assist Glenn Whelan
Goal Charlie Adam
AND LO CHARLIE ADAM SCORES! Adam is forty yards out and strides forward, with no-one closing him at all. He shoots from around twenty-seven, across his body with his left foot, and it's a superb goal. Told you so.
Straight down the other end and WBA win a corner through O'Neil. Sorensen flaps, Morrison challenges, and Anichebe flashes it wide.
I don't think, even with five to go of the season, that either side wants to settle for a draw. Which is good for football and exciting for the fans and tiring for me. Stoke have it and push forward.
Slightly shady offside call against Crouch. N'Zoniz gathers and sends it out to Arnautovic. He plays it to Adam but WBA win it back and break through Mulumbu and Morrison. The move ends with Anichebe absolutely hammering it over.
Corner to Stoke, won by Arnautovic. Dawson, who has been good and assisted Sessegnon's goal with a fine cross, is replaced by Liam O'Neil.
If Foster gets in the England squad, he will need to practice kicking and throwing. That is the fifth pass forwards he's tried which has been shocking.
Walters, the trier's trier, is off, and the cultured left foot of Charlie Adam, attached to the rest of Charlie Adam, takes to the fray.
Mulumbu bursts forward, almsot into the box and falls over, looking for a foul. He doesn't get one. West Brom are taking the game to Stoke but look vulnerable on the counter. With ten minutes to go, this game is genuinely there for the taking.
Mulumbu is very late on N'Zonzi, who continue their first half friendship in the same vein. Another default yellow card passed up because we're all just relieved it's almost over.
Morrison releases Sessegnon with a delightful through ball. Morrison has excelled this half. Sessegnon's touch is heavy though and it runs through to Sorensen.
Odemwingie doesn't get his goal, but does get a pretty tumultuous set of boos and assorted abuse as he comes off for Crouch. The gangly striker has scored ten this season, Stoke's highest scorer.
Corner West Brom. I think N'Zonzi thought that would be a throw-in, but misjudged. It comes to nought though as the corner is poor.
Ireland has a shot blocked and then sweeps away the legs of Morrison, to whom the ball had broken and who had made the initial block on Ireland. A bit of frustration, that. Any day other than the end of term, and Ireland would have been booked.
Brunt clips it in and Dorrans knocks it on but it's all a bit too training ground move and Stoke leather it up. That's the sort of reductive defending we've come to miss from Stoke! Lovely stuff. And Crouch is readying himself for Stoke too. The good old days are back?
Dorrans surges forwards and wins a free-kick from Cameron. This is in the famously called 'Brunt-territory'.
N'Zonzi flicks it gloriously over his head. He releases Odemwingie who then shoots with Arnautovic in acres of space at the top of the box. The Austrian is grumpy and has every right to be.
Brunt whips a cross in from left. That was lovely, but it evaded all but a glancing Stoke header. Stoke break. Arnautovic teases and draws Foster but cannot quite get the cross in with the keeper stranded. Walters tries to fire one away too. It's all getting a bit silly.
Morrison wins it back beautifully from Odemwingie, nicking it from him then back-heeling it past him up the pitch. That was cute and because it made Odemwingie look daft, the Baggies' fans loved it.
Dawson is down after jumping for the corner and tipping over the back of a Stoke player and landing on his coccyx. Ouch. He hobbles on though.
Odemwingie sets up Arnautovic as Stoke break, forcing a good low save from Foster, plunging to his left. Foster has kept well, his distribution aside. Which has been really bad.
West Brom are now attacking at will and Stoke, and Shawcross and N'Zonzi in particular as the strong voices in the defence and midfield, need to calm things down for Stoke.
MULUMBU! It thunders off the post from a cracking volley across Sorensen. Woof! That deserved better. WBA are rejuvenated here which is good to see. Anichebe is on for Amalfitano, who has scored as a sub this season against Man City, Liverpool, and Chelsea. Which bodes well.
Foster is now passing it straight to Stoke whenever possible. The Baggies keeper really needs to sort out his distribution. Sessegnon forces a decent save from Sorensen with a header after another good cross from Dawson, who got the assist for the goal, by the way.
Sorensen claims from a corner and the counter is on for Stoke. It is ended with a hefty, fair challenge from Dawson.
It looks like Mel's exhortations to get men up have worked. Arnautovic nearly exploits it though straight after WBA scored. It's now all over the shop. Foster messes up another throw out. This is comical.
Assist Craig Dawson
Goal Stéphane Sessegnon
SESSEGNON! That's more like it! He finishes a good sweeping move with a deft, low finish past Sorensen. It's one all now and from nowhere, really, WBA are level!
Odemwingie smacks it low and wide after another good run. He REALLY wants to score today.I don't think he will have a problem with celebrating if he does either.
I'm still chuckling about that Foster throw mess-up as WBA pour forward. Sorensen rises to gather a deep cross from left. WBA had two in the box but they were standing next to each other.
What on earth was that? Foster concedes a corner by throwing the ball out of the back of his arm - you know what I mean, right - Sprake-like. Very odd and not the sort of thing you want to see from a probably England back-up keeper.
Walters has been a threat too and fires a shot againt a WBA defender. Stoke's front three have been a very, very effective unit. Arnautovic forces a good save from Foster.
Berahino breaks forward and plays it back to Dorrans. For once, WBA have men forward, three of them on the left, but Dorrans' pass is well overhit and a total waste. As is Arnautovic's shot at the other end is the same - a total waste.
Arnautovic is offisde after a decent run and pass from Walters. WBA were all backing off there. They seem to struggle at the back and have no-one up front. It's not difficult to see why they've found it hard this season.
Odemwingie's close control has been sublime at times today. He bedevils McAuley, but after the ball ends up on the left with Muniesa, the move dies out.
Sorensen then flaps at a cross but claims a free-kick, as goalkeepers are wont to do if they don't get near the ball. He gets it too, and launches it up towards Walters. Stoke retain possession but have to build again.
And they're off again. Pepe Mel's fur-collared jacket is stalking the touchline attached to some Pepe Mel. He sees a deep, floated cross from Amalfitano almost catch out Sorensen, who does well to tip ot over.
Apparently, West Brom vs Stoke is not the only game going on today. As it stands, Norwich are going down and Manchester City are winning the title. But this west Midlands derby is where the real action is, right?
Right, half-time tea time for me. It's going to be a mint one, I think. See you in a minute.
Otherwise, the most exciting thing has been the McAuley/Odemwingie spat. The former Baggies striker's every touch has been booed to the rafters and after he fouled McAuley, the WBA defender took his legs away in retaliation. Lots of squaring up but no real danger of actual things happening.
This match has been a bit hard to keep track of, if I'm honest. Both sides have attacked a lot to little avail, but Foster has made two good blocks, whereas Sorensen has had one, easy-ish save from Morrison towards the end of the half. Stoke certainly deserve to be ahead.
Well, that was a bit end of term from West Brom. They started brightly but just don't seem to have enough upfront. Berahino is a good player but looks isolated. Stoke got a touch lucky with the own-goal but do look to have the edge in quality.
45' + 1'
Which is neatly gathered by Sorensen. And that's the end of that half. It is WEST BROM 0-1 STOKE CITY!
Brunt wins a corner. WBA have been good from set-pieces. It's dragged in and McAuley goes for it at the near post. He wins another corner off Ireland.
There will be one extra minute. West Brom attack through Morrison who stings the palms of Sorensen who had to adjust his position after the ball moved in the air.
That little spat with McAuley has further endeared the already very popular Odemwingie with the Baggies fans. His every touch is greeted by a chorus of abuse.
After all that, Morrison drives a shot against a Stoke defender before Sessegnon knocks it to Mulumbu, who floats a ball into Berahino at the back post, but he is too well-marked and Stoke get it back.
HANDBAGS! McAuley strides forward and Odemwingie fouls him. McAuley then scythes the former WBA player down in revenge which pleased the WBA fans. Lots of players rush around a bit and Shawcross rampages in and leans towards someone with his forehead. He's not that kind of player, obviously.
Then they lose it again but Odemwingie is tackled. No WBA player really seems to want to take this by the scruff. Stoke win it back and N'Zonzi bursts forward. He's tackled by McAuley and falls over a bit.
West Brom look relieved to have the ball for a bit.
Odemwingie is tormenting the Baggies' defence with his mazy dribbling. His pass to N'Zonzi is intercepted though and WBA break swiftly. A brilliant ball in from the left sees Berahino desperately sliding to make contact on the edge of the six yard box and Stoke clear behind. Olsson heads over from the resulting corner.
A great ball from Arnautovic to Muniesa on the overlap after more good work from Odemwingie wide right. Muniesa's cross is knocked out and Stoke comes again through Cameron.
Walters comes again from the left and plays it to Arnautovic who controls it neatly at the apex of the box and rolls it back to Ireland, who leathers it row Z-wards.
Very tame penalty shout as Walters does his head down, run into things deep into the WBA box and McAuley ends up taking it near the chest. Nothing doing and rightly so.
Dawson crosses from right and it lands softly in the arms of Sorensen with no West Brom players forward enough to challenge.
The other side of Arnautovic there as he drags a shot well wide from thirty-five yards. Heads are shaken.
A cute, dinked pass from Muniesa releases Arnautovic who is having a great battle with McAuley and Dawson. The WBA defence eventually scramble it clear and it breaks via Morrison. This is genuinely end-to-end stuff.
A long, cross field pass just fails to find Amalfitano as Sorensen hares out to claim it. He's otherwise been a spectator really.
Ireland is putting in an impressive stint as a grafting, pressing midfielder. Not exactly what we'd come to expect of the man, but further testament to Hughes' good work. He can't win in back though and Sessegnon and Berahino combine to work a chance from the right. It's weak though and Sorensen gathers.
Morrison crosses from deep and Dawson, hooning in towards the back post, just fails to get enough on it. He was pretty wide and deep though, so it was not really a chance.
WBA seem to want to score another own goal. Odemwingie drives a low cross in and it is deflected behind. The resultant corner is played out but Stoke retain possession. Ireland and Arnautovic combine well but Dawson intercepts and releases Berahino.
Stoke come again, buoyed by their good fortune. Odemwingie and Arnautovic look threatening. Less so Jonathan Walters, who ploughs into Olsson but manages to win a throw-in.
Own Goal Gareth McAuley
OH MCAULEY! SAD FACED BAGGY! Own goal after a sweet, low-driven pull-back from Arnautovic. McAuley tries to get the block in but knocks it past Foster. Not the way I would have seen the deadlock being broken, but what do I know?
That was not against the run of play, exactly, but it has been pretty even with West Brom, if anything, the better side. That own-goal will really deflate West Brom, but the fans are still very much behind their team and they are playing well.
From the throw-in, Amalfitano works a one-on-one against a Stoke defender. The move breaks down and Stoke hurl themselves forward. Odemwingie then plays a great ball low across the WBA box and Foster gets low to push it away from danger.
N'Zonzi and Mulumbu have something of a set-to around that free-kick which was conceded by the Baggies enforcer. The free-kick is played short and after a bit of passing, wasted. WBA take a throw in.
To and fro, back and forth, in the midfield. A free-kick goes Stoke's way and we take a breather for a second.
Both teams are trying to press space but not quite snapping in quickly enough. WBA string together twenty-odd passes but can't develop it into a shooting chance. They look pretty decent, but also vulnerable to a quick break.
Dorrans does well to carve out an opening with some nice, tight control at the edge of the Stoke box, but his shot is hammered against a Stoke player. The ball breaks forward and it ends with Odemwingie dragging a low shot wide right. Every time Odemwingie touches the ball, the Baggies fans show their love. Or something like that.
Amalfitano catches the WBA shoot from thirty yards bug and Sorensen gathers. Both teams are pushing high and it's been a lot more exciting than I expected. There's space all over the pitch, though Stoke are trying to pass it better and WBA are simply trying to run it directly at the Stoke backline.
PEOPLE DON'T WANT TO SCORE! Walters cannot help but score, but somehow contrives to miss after a beautiful cross from Stoke's right hand side. Foster was stranded and Walters just needed to hit the target. Should be 1-1 already. But it isn't.
Stoke are looking at Arnautovic as their main outlet. A long cross-field pass from Shawcross goes straight out. Another long pass is then headed back by the WBA defence, but it lands straight at the feet of Walters rather than Ben Foster. Foster plunges low to his left and produces a very good save.
For all Stoke's passing ability, this is the first time they've actually had much time on the ball. WBA have unsettled them.
It's been pretty decent from WBA so far, this. Stoke look a bit shell-shocked. Dorrans goes on a decent run from midfield but blasts it very wide from around thirty yards out. Not enormously impressive.
Morrison bursts forward brilliantly, attacking Stoke's left-hand side. It's pulled back to Sessegnon who drives it low, but Sorensen saves. WBA curl their third corner already in towards the edge of the box, but Sorensen gathers well.
The subsequent header went over and the resulting West Brom corner was headed over too. West Brom have started brightly as they tend to at home. A long, raking ball from Cameron across the field to Arnautovic goes out and Arnautovic tussles with Dawson. Brunt appears to be playing more of a left-back role for WBA, making their formation more 4-1-4-1
SESSEGNON?! Oh how did he miss that? The ball bounced around in the Stoke box after a throw-in and the WBA player somehow manages to smash the underside of the bar from a yard out.
And they're off! WBA hoof it right. There's some and forth in middle of the park and Odemwingie's first touch is booed to the rafters. You might remember he was a Baggie once upon a time.
Stoke played some very exciting stuff against Fulham, attacking with real pace and verve to score four. Look for the same again today, with Arnautovic and Walters attacking from wide from a solid central midfield platform, of whom only Ireland is likely to get forward.
Tactically, WBA will play with width through Brunt and Morrison, with Sessegnon and Amalfitano looking to find space behind Berahino, with Mulumbu sitting in front of the back three to provide screening cover.
West Brom have struggled to live up to some promising starts in the last few seasons and despite some genuinely quality players, alongside exciting prospects like Berihino, who starts today, they have flirted with the drop this season. They will be looking to end the season on a slight high with a win today and start again next season.
Stoke could finish ninth if they win today which would be a hugely satisfying highest league finish for the Potters. Mark Hughes has done an enormous amount to restore his reputation during his tenure at Stoke, with their transition towards a more fluid, attacking style of football paying dividends.
West Brom are safe from relegation in every respect other than pure mathematical certainty. It would require a WBA loss and a Norwich win by seventeen whole for West Brom to trouble the Championship next year. So that's not going to happen.
West Brom are not missing any obvious first-choice players, but Stoke would have likely picked Assaidi, who is out with some sort of knee injury, but sparkled last weekend against Fulham.
The Stoke line-up, a more prosaic 4-3-3: Sorensen; Muniesa, Wilson, Shawcross, Cameron; Whelan, N'Zonzi, Ireland; Arnautovic, Odemwingie, Walters.
The WBA subs bench: Myhill, Ridgewell, Lugano, O'Neil, Yacob, Anichebe, Vydra.
Let's get some team news. Here is the West Brom line-up in what appears to be a 3-5-1-1: Foster; Olsson, McAuley, Dawson; Brunt, Morrison, Dorrans, Amalfitano, Mulumbu, Sessegnon; Berahino.
My name is Alex Stewart and I'll be your host this afternoon.
Good afternoon and, on this, the last day of the Premier League, welcome to our LIVE coverage of West Bromwich Albion vs Stoke City!
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