Peter Odemwingie stole the show with a hat-trick as West Brom demolished a hapless Wolves side 5-1 at Molineux, in the Premier League’s fourth Black Country derby.
The Baggies dominated the match from start to finish but Wolves had somehow gone in at half time level after Stephen Fletcher’s excellent finish cancelled out Odemwingie’s opening goal. Wolves came into the game in the second half but it was West Brom who regained the lead after an error from the otherwise outstanding Wayne Hennessey allowed Jonas Olsson’s shot over the line.
As the home side pushed for an equaliser they left themselves vulnerable at the back. Odemwingie grabbed his second from a corner before Keith Andrews’ deflected shot made it four. And Odemwingie claimed his first hat-trick of the season when he finished off an excellent counter attacking move.
Despite a hostile atmosphere at Molineux, West Brom had started the game as they meant to go on and showed real attacking intent in the opening exchanges.
Hennessey was called into action early on as he saved brilliantly from Jerome Thomas after some lacklustre defending from the Wolves defence. After some nice interplay down the right from West Brom, James Morrison burst into the box and when his pass to Marc-Antoine Fortune was cut out by Sebastien Bassong the ball fell to Thomas who saw his shot parried behind from point blank range by the Wolves keeper.
Fortune was next to test the Wolves stopper after a neat turn on the edge of the area but his curling shot was easily gathered up by the Welshman.
After a quiet start to the match Wolves then had two penalty appeals waved away by referee Lee Mason. First Dave Edwards and then Sylvan Ebanks-Blake went down in the area but a penalty would have been very harsh on both occasions.
Odemwingie then saw his powerful strike from the angle blocked by Hennessey, when perhaps he should have chosen to cut the ball back for a team mate. And Hennessey was once again the hero when he tipped a deflected Paul Scharner shot over the bar after Bassong had given the ball away 30 yards from his own goal.
And just as Wolves had started to come into the game, Odemwingie hit a powerful left-footed shot from the edge of the area that found the back of the net via a couple of deflections to give the Baggies the lead they deserved. And just a couple of minutes later Odemwingie almost scored a second with another strong effort this time with his right foot but Hennessey kept it out.
Just as West Brom looked to be going in at half time with the lead some excellent link up play between Ebanks-Blake and Fletcher ended with a brilliant turn and finish from the Scot who scored his tenth goal of the season and drew his side level right on the stroke of half time.
Clearly buoyed by their equaliser, Wolves began the second half in positive fashion, with Fletcher unable to get on the end of Jamie O’Hara’s centre. Shortly afterwards, Fletcher was again in the thick of it as he hit a first time shot from the edge of the box that deflected just wide of Ben Foster’s post.
At the other end, Thomas blazed a shot way over the goal when he should have done better and likewise Andrews wasted a good opportunity by heading over the bar from a corner.
Hennessey then had to be on his toes again as he palmed away an effort from the angle by Fortune. His relief was only short lived however after a comedy of errors from the resulting corner gifted West Brom the lead. Gareth McAuley’s lofted header from the corner drifted onto the post and when it was only half cleared it fell to Olsson whose first time shot somehow found it’s way over the line. Replays showed that O’Hara had perhaps blocked Hennessey’s view who was unable to hold onto the ball which dropped just over his goal line. It was a goal that will not make easy viewing for either player.
Then in a crazy couple of minutes there were chances at both ends. Firstly Foster saved superbly from Fletcher’s header that was destined for the top corner. Then from the corner kick Roger Johnson’s header was defelected onto the bar by the head of Youssouf Mulumbu. And as the ball was cleared up field Odemwingie did brilliantly to skip past two Wolves defenders and found himself clear on goal but as the striker delayed his shot the Wolves defence had time to get back and his shot was blocked on the line by Kevin Foley.
Mick McCarthy will have been very disappointed with his side’s defending when Odemwingie scored the Baggies’ third from a corner. The ball was allowed to bounce around the area without any intervention from a Wolves player before the Nigerian international turned it in.
Fortune almost got his reward for a tireless shift when Johnson didn’t get enough on his header back to Hennessey but the striker couldn’t poke his shot into the goal. But it was a former Wolves man who finished off his old club as Andrews’ deflected first time drive from the edge of the area found the net after an excellent run and cut back from Morrison down the right.
And things went from bad to worse when Odemwingie finished of his hat-trick as West Brom broke quickly following a rare Wolves attack. Morrison squared for his team-mate whose powerful shot was almost kept out by a strong hand from Hennessey.
The score-line was perhaps a little harsh on Wolves who missed a couple of decent chances although in truth West Brom could have had a few more themselves in a match they dominated.
The result gives Roy Hodgson’s men some breathing space between themselves and the relegation zone, which is where McCarthy’s men now find themselves after this humiliating derby defeat.
Wolverhampton (4-4-2): Hennessey, Foley, Johnson, Bassong (Berra, 61), Ward, Doyle, Edwards (Milijas, 69), O’Hara, Jarvis, Ebanks-Blake, Fletcher.
West Brom (4-5-1): Foster, Reid, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell, Odemwingie (Dorrans, 88), Morrison, Scharner (Andrews, 45), Mulumbu, Thomas (Cox, 76), Fortune.
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This article was first posted on February 12, 2012