Saturday saw us continue our recent impressive run of form, as we beat Chelsea 1-0 at The Hawthorns.
This victory moved us up to 35 points, just five points away from the total which essentially guarantees safety in the Premier League. It also led to the sacking of Andre Villas-Boas as Chelsea manager, something which has led to the media not giving us the credit we deserve for such a brilliant performance and result.
Beating sides like Chelsea takes on added significance for me, as I know a number of Chelsea fans and our result at the weekend has made the last few days very enjoyable!
As with our performance last weekend, there are plenty of players who performed very well.
Ben Foster was one such player, as he produced a faultless display of goalkeeping to provide a solid foundation for what was a very good team display. He only had one out-and-out save to make all game, but he claimed several crosses and also distributed the ball impressively.
Gareth McAuley was solid at the back once again, and his late goal capped off yet another good display. For somebody who was playing semi-professional football in Northern Ireland until he was 25, his performances throughout this season have been absolutely outstanding.
Liam Ridgewell continued his run of impressive performances since joining the club in January, with another very good defensive display being improved further by several powerful runs forward and a few dangerous crosses into the penalty area.
This game also saw Youssouf Mulumbu return to the kind of form which he showed on such a regular basis last season. He covered every blade of grass and broke up the play superbly, with his energy in midfield being a crucial factor in our success.
Keith Andrews played alongside Mulumbu in midfield and was similarly impressive, as his work-rate made it very difficult for the Chelsea midfield to get a foothold in the game and ensured that we never really came under any pressure throughout the game.
The final player who deserves particular credit for their display is Chris Brunt, who made his return from two months out through injury as a second-half substitute. I was critical of Brunt’s performances before he picked up his injury, but he was very impressive in the closing stages of Saturday’s game.
This Sunday sees us face another one of the bigger clubs in the Premier League when we travel to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United.
The game on Sunday can definitely be included in the ‘bonus game’ category, as we have won our last three games and nobody will be expecting us to get a result at Old Trafford. However, we have shown over the last couple of seasons that we are capable of causing the bigger clubs problems when we play them, so we have no reason to be anything other than cautiously optimistic going into this game.
It will undoubtedly be a tough game, but if we continue to play as well as we have done recently, hopefully we can pick up a positive result!
Can Albion beat Manchester United this Sunday? Have your say at WBA-MAD's fans' forum here at Baggies Banter.