A Swedish Fan's View: Albion 3 Blackburn 0
By Site Editor
Updated Wednesday, 11th April 2012
SwedishBaggie gives his verdict on Albion's win after his first game at The Hawthorns.
I was picked up by BaggieSteve at Birmingham New Street. Steve was awaiting me with a Swedish flag. What a welcome - nothing could go wrong after a start like that! He then kindly drove to me to West Bromwich (I had my eyes closed as we passed Villa Park) so that I could have a proper look around, which I did. Verdict? Interesting, we could say.
After I had raided the club shop I then got another lift, this time by Northy, from the Shrine to the Sportsman. The Sportsman was also something special, and crammed with very nice people from the board - I think a met up with at least ten.
After a few pints it was off to the Shrine, and I must say that it was a very nice stadium with a friendly atmosphere. There was a lot of cheering and the stadium felt tight, just the way it ought to be opposed to new mega stadiums with VIP lounges and people sitting dead silent. Quite vociferous support at times and it felt so good to be part of that (instead of sitting at home shouting in front of the telly, and getting shouted at by the Mrs because of that).
We kicked off bright and put a lot of pressure on Rovers right from the very start of the game. We passed the ball well also. A few alterations had been made with Mulumbu, Dorrans and MAF back in the team. Everyone seemed alert with the exception of ODW running offside and we created a lot of corners to start with. This soon paid dividends when we scored from a corner in the 7th minute, Olsson it was but not the one you would expect from an Albion corner. McAuley headed and the ball was put in the net by Rovers left back Martin Olsson for an own-goal.
We played well in the first half and were in control of the game although I think we let Rovers into the game towards the end of the first half, quite unnecessarily. Up front they had Yakubu and Junior Hoilett and they could cause problems to any defense. All in all, a well deserved lead after the first half and I can’t recall any real Rovers threat.
After the break
The start of the second half saw a rejuvenated Rovers team putting us under pressure. Sometimes we helped them also, Mulumbu had a weak back pass and McAuley gave the ball away on some occasions. Foster was luckily alert on all occasions though.
After ten minutes of the second half, Rovers had a great double chance from Yakubu and Bradley Orr, but Foster made a marvelous double save, a key moment of the game really. Our passing was not good and we did not put the same pressure on Rovers as we did in the first half - but in the 69th minute we could all feel a lot better and less nervous when MAF converted Brunt’s fine cross (after having dispossessed Yakubu), only his second in the league but he does so much good for the team. Ridgewell then scored his first Albion goal in the 85th minute, a sublime header from Dorrans’ free-kick. Rovers added to their own misery when substitute Anthony Modeste was sent off for violent conduct in the 88th minute.
From our 3-0 lead we controlled the game again and everyone was very happy with three points and safety, maybe not mathematical, but we will have a third consecutive Premier League season, be no doubt about that!
The midfield worked very well throughout the game with Mulumbu, Dorrans, Andrews and Brunt. Up front MAF worked very well but ODW ran offside innumerable times, not that good at this level really. The defence (Jones, Olsson, McAuley, Ridgewell) was also good, though McAuley did give the ball away at times which could have cost us dearly, but the Albion star man Foster rescued him as he did with everything throughout the game.
Referee Lee Probert had good control of the game.
I should have betted on the game because I said 3-0 when I was in the Sportsman and my track record at the Shrine is impressive, 1 game, 1 win and 3-0. I will definitely return because it was a very agreeable experience altogether.
Have your say on Albion's win here at Baggies Banter.