Here is a game to buck the new trend very bad defence and goals from the rain in every 10 minutes, but Tony Pulis will not be losing sleep more than. The only goal of the afternoon came from an item, and the West Bromwich Albion manager will not have any objection to that either.
On his side three points in the bag, their first victory since the month of March, and Jay Rodriguez and Ahmed Hegazi small Bags seem to have found a couple of players who will lead the Saturday afternoon at the Hawthorns. Rodriguez slowed after a lively start, and ended up being booked for a foul on Ryan Fraser, if Hegazi has been awesome all the way through.
A rugged centre-half-loan from Al Ahly, the Egyptian defended and distributed well in addition to score the goal of victory, and considering that it was his first taste of the Premier League could easily emerge as a cult hero with a few more games under his belt. Albion supporters probably need a little more excitement in their lives, judging by the way they welcomed the new season with a chant of “there’s only one Gary Megson”, although Pulis new companion has spent four years as a manager and he received a royal welcome back.
West Brom is more spirited opening, with a new signing Rodriguez as prominent in most of their attacks. The attacker set up Matt Phillips for the first shot of the game floated over the bar, then brought the first save of the afternoon from Asmir Begovic with a cheeky effort on the turn. It took a good tackle from Steve Cook in Rodriguez relating to the goal after a smart Jake Livermore’s pass had set him, and then, from a corner after another Begovic save of the previous player of Southampton head too high of a Chris Brunt cross.
It was another debutant who opened the scoring on the half hour, however, when Hegazi made a start to his career in England by the meeting Shock of the well-flighted free-kick at the far post to nod down and under Begovic. It was not a big goal for the Cherries to admit it; Weight of delivery is generally reliable, but there was little pressure on Hegazi as he reached the ball and Begovic might have reacted more decisively.
The robust defender almost had a second a few minutes later, but shot hurriedly over the bar when the ball unexpectedly broke to him in a forward position, but Tony Pulis will have been pleased to note the new acquisition continues to cause havoc at set pieces. He reached a corner just before the break to set up a chance for brunt to put it narrowly wide, before resuming his duties defensive clear Benik Afobe.
The only brief chance of Bournemouth had of drawing level before half-time came when Ben Foster came a long way off his line for a ball he couldn’t quite reach, but Josh King slipped trying to take the advantage, and Claudio Yacob has been able to put things in order.
After 18 years without incident second-half minutes for the home side lock himself in defence and the visitors difficult to break down now known in these regions as Walking into a Megson Wonderland – Eddie Howe has done the obvious thing and sent on Jermain Defoe for the last half hour. The 34-year-old would dearly have loved a goal on his last appearance, but he was not allowed a sniff. You have to work hard to force openings against West Brom, at this stage of the season, and with Bournemouth not forced or creativity, the home defence was never really in trouble. The closest thing to a second goal, which came at the end, when Salomón Rondûn made a stop of the time, save from Begovic. While there was still time for Foster to have to make one from Fraser, nothing looked to change the score.