James McClean‏ defends Jay Rodriguez against Brighton racism claims

James McClean

West Brom 2 – Brighton 0

For the first time since August, West Brom are enjoying a weekend.

New manager Alan Pardew finally tasted Premier League success on Saturday against Brighton. West Brom had gone 20 matches without a win.

In a huge match at the Hatwhorns for the Baggies, a 2-0 win boosted belief West Brom can beat the drop.

A bullet header from Jonny Evans fired West Brom into an early lead to settle nerves. Craig Dawson doubled the advantage from another set play ten minutes in to the second half.

Despite the three points, West Brom remain second from bottom. However they are now just two points from safety.

Brighton dropped to 15th, and they are just three points off the drop zone.

Jay Rodriguez & Gaitan Bong

Aside from West Brom winning, the big story after the game is what happened between Jay Rodriguez and Gaitan Bong.

The two players clashed during the second half. After pressing heads together, Rodriguez made a gesture in Bong’s direction.

That instantly upset the Brighton full-back, who made his feelings known to referee Martin Atkinson.

Bong seemed to mouth the word ‘racist’ during his conversation with the referee.

That’s obviously an incredibly serious accusation, which has since been sent to the FA for further review.

James McClean‏ defends Jay Rodriguez

On Sunday, James McClean‏ has taken to social media to defend Jay Rodriguez.

McClean‏ labelled his team mates “one of the nicest blokes you could meet”.

So what did Jay Rodriguez actually say? According to reports from the game, while the West Brom forward may have been insulting, his gesture didn’t seem to be racist.

Also see: Arsene Wenger admits ‘second best’ Arsenal could miss out on Evans to Man City.

Why West Brom’s Jake Livermore ‘shoved’ a West Ham fan.