West Brom tightened their grip on an automatic promotion place yesterday with a 4-2 win over Hull City in a hugely eventful clash at The Hawthorns.
Charlie Austin marked his 31st birthday with an early goal before Kevin Stewart equalised for the visitors. Ahmed Hegazi restored West Brom’s lead and Mallik Wilks levelled it again just after half-time. Kamil Grosicki instantly replies for the hosts and Grady Diangana eventually settled the tie with 15 minutes to go, with Hegazi then sent off in stoppage time. [via Sky Sports]
Dara O’Shea kept his place at right-back following a fine display against Sheffield Wednesday in midweek after replacing Darnell Furlong and the Irishman strengthened his case for selection on Sunday.
As per WhoScored, the 21-year-old posted some very impressive defensive statistics from yesterday’s match. He won three headers and made three interceptions and three clearances as well as blocking one Hull shot. He also made things happen when in possession, putting in six crosses and delivering six long balls.
As noted by Express & Star, one of those interceptions proved crucial as he cut out an inviting through ball that was played in the direction of Keane Lewis-Potter. He could also have had an assist near the end of the first half when he played in Austin, only for the striker to miscue his shot.
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O’Shea’s contribution caught the eye of some reporters. Joseph Masi of Express & Star saluted “a near faultless display from the Dubliner who should be immensely proud of the way he has conducted himself since being asked to fill in at right back”, adding that he was “strong in the air and good on the ball”, a view backed up by his aforementioned match stats.
Birmingham Live reporter Joseph Chapman also waxed lyrical about the 21-year-old, writing: “What Bilic has done with O’Shea is remarkable, so soon after the disappointment of Nathan Ferguson too. The Irishman didn’t put a foot wrong here, cutting out the danger in his own box and sparking panic in Hull’s.”
The blow of Ferguson rejecting a new deal at West Brom and letting his contract expire hasn’t taken long to be quelled by two magnificent performances from O’Shea over the past week, his return to the side coinciding with two consecutive victories which have seen the Baggies take a giant stride towards returning to the Premier League.
West Brom fans, how good did you think O’Shea was against Hull? Give us your views in the comments section below!
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