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”.
When ever a person holds their nose and waves their hand over their mouth that always indicated that your breath stinks, for as long as iv known anyways, to suggest otherwise and put a mans reputation at risk is poor, given the man is one of the nicest blokes you could meet too
— James McClean (@JamesMcC_14) January 14, 2018
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.
On the Jay Rodriguez and Bong incident. Looked to me that JRod did the classic put-down when players get heated and close. 'Your breath smells mate'. Bong has misinterpreted it and complained to Atkinson. JRod and Pardew looked incredulous at the accusation.
— Matt Wilson (@mattwilson_star) January 13, 2018