Recalled pair Ideye and Berahino on target
BROWN Ideye scored and claimed an assist as Albion secured a 2-0 Barclays Premier League victory over Swansea at The Hawthorns.
The club-record signing broke the deadlock with a neat swivelled finish on the hour mark, his second goal in as many games and fourth of the season in all competitions.
Capping an individual display full of energy, Ideye also played a key role in Albion’s second in the 74th minute – highlighting a strike partnership with Saido Berahino which blossomed against the Swans.
Berahino played the ball out wide to Ideye and his reverse pass was sent back to the England international, who slammed home from just inside the penalty area to register his 15th goal of the campaign.
It was no more than Albion deserved for an impressive display full of intensity and purpose, with the Throstles now having lost just one of their eight matches since the turn of the calendar year, seven of which have come under head coach Tony Pulis's reign.
Victory sets the Baggies up perfectly for Saturday’s FA Cup fifth-round tie at home to West Ham.
Albion showed three changes from the starting XI who drew 2-2 at Burnley on Sunday.
In came Ideye, whose second-half header levelled matters at Turf Moor, Berahino and James Morrison – while there were also places on the bench for fit-again goalkeeper Boaz Myhill and Jonas Olsson, who has been missing since September due to an Achilles injury.
January signing and new captain Darren Fletcher was handed his home debut at The Hawthorns.
It was Albion who came closest after 12 minutes as Craig Dawson saw his glancing header superbly saved from point-blank range by Lukasz Fabianski.
Callum McManaman drilled an effort wide before both he and Fletcher saw attempts well blocked as the Baggies enjoyed an impressive start to proceedings – urged on the majority of the vocal 23,516 inside The Hawthorns.
Jonjo Shelvey went close for the Swans just after the half-hour mark before Bafetimbi Gomis’ half-volley was sent straight at Ben Foster before the break.
Albion continued to look the more likely after the restart and finally got their reward in the 60th minute.
Berahino played the ball into Ideye, who saw his initial effort blocked and the rebound fell kindly into his path to sweep home from 12 yards – much to the delight of the home crowd.
Fletcher made a superb interception to deny Swans substitute Wayne Routledge from eight yards.
And the block proved crucial as Albion wrapped up victory in the 74th minute.
Berahino played a neat one-two with Ideye on the right before firing home into the top corner with a smart finish – securing three big points.
Albion: Foster, Dawson, Lescott, McAuley, Brunt, McManaman (Sessegnon 57’), Yacob, Fletcher ©, Morrison (Gardner 85’), Ideye, Berahino.
Subs: Myhill, Wisdom, Pocognoli, Olsson, Baird.
Goals: Ideye (60’), Berahino (74’)
Booked: McManaman (foul 23’), Ideye (foul 41’)
Swansea: Fabianski, Naughton, Fernandez, Williams ©, Taylor, Ki, Cork, Shelvey (Oliveira 62’), Dyer (Routledge 63’), Montero, Gomis.
Subs: Tremmel, Amat, Rangel, Carroll, Fulton.
Booked: Taylor (foul 34’)
Referee: Robert Madley (West Riding)
Albion star man: Brown Ideye