West Bromwich Albion moved to the top of the Championship overnight but were left frustrated by Birmingham in a goalless draw at The Hawthorns yesterday.
Slaven Bilic’s team had 21 shots to their opponents’ seven but could not find a way past Lee Camp in the visitors’ goal. Indeed, despite that dominance from the Baggies, both teams ended the game with two shots on target. [via Sky Sports]
While Albion’s front men would have been left largely disappointed by their inability to break down Pep Clotet’s side, one West Brom player who could feel pleased with his display is defender Ahmed Hegazi.
The Egyptian had suffered a hamstring injury just before the season ground to a halt in March but he was restored to Bilic’s line-up for yesterday’s clash and he nearly made a very quick impact upon his return to the team.
In the early exchanges, the centre-back played an excellent pass in the direction of Matt Phillips, who got in behind the Birmingham defence and chested the ball down neatly but saw his subsequent volley blocked (as per Express & Star).
Indeed, the 29-year-old showed off his impressive range of passing throughout the game, recording no fewer than seven long balls, the most of any Baggies player on the day, while his tally of 61 accurate passes was the second highest among the home side, bettered only by Romaine Sawyers. [via Sofascore]
While Hegazi demonstrated his fine ability in possession, he also performed his defensive duties with competence. He ended the match with three clearances, two interceptions and one block, playing his part in West Brom keeping a fourth clean sheet from their last five Championship matches.
Birmingham Live writer Joseph Chapman gave a positive assessment of the defender in his player ratings, awarding him a seven and noting how he “picked out Phillips with a delightful ball over the top” and was “very comfortable on the ball, dealt with Hogan and Jutkiewicz and their differing strengths”.
It might have been a disappointing day overall for the Baggies, although their Egyptian centre-back looked in fine form upon his return to the starting line-up.
West Brom fans, were you impressed with Hegazi’s performance yesterday? Comment below with your views!
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