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Match Reports

Albion 4 Cardiff 2

5 October 2019

Albion returned to winning ways courtesy of a 4-2 victory over Cardiff City in a six-goal thriller at The Hawthorns.

Matheus Pereira and Grady Diangana both registered delightful long-range strikes to put the Baggies in control at the interval, the latter netting his fourth of the season.

Yet, having twice come agonisingly close, it was a maiden Sky Bet Championship goal of the season for Charlie Austin which drew the biggest cheer of the afternoon from the majority of the 25,140 present, the biggest home crowd of the campaign to date.

Cardiff substitute Danny Ward set up a nervy finale by bagging a brace but it was Albion who secured all three points, Romaine Sawyers bagging his first goal for the club in injury time, to bounce back immediately from losing their nine-match unbeaten start to the season at Leeds United in midweek.

Albion, who celebrated the triumph on the club's annual Foundation Day, now have 22 points from their opening 11 matches and top the table heading into the October international break.

Austin goal Cardiff.jpg

Sam Johnstone was called into action early on to save from Bluebirds captain Sean Morrison before Albion gained a foothold in the game.

Austin went close to getting off the mark when he was denied by the legs of goalkeeper Alex Smithies, who produced a reflex save from close range.

Yet the Baggies were ahead just two minutes later as Periera exchanged a one-two with Diangana on the edge of the penalty area and struck home a first-time effort.

With Albion now firmly in control, the inspired Brazilian was denied by Smithies shortly afterwards following trickery down the left from Diangana.

Johnstone got down well to deny Gavin Whyte before Ajayi headed off target from Phillips' corner at the other end.

Austin was somehow denied again by Smithies from close range and, as like earlier in the first half, Albion found the net almost immediately afterwards.

Diangana led a swift counter-attack before firing low into the bottom corner from 20 yards to double Albion's advantage at the interval.

Robert Glatzel drilled a 51st-minute strike straight at Johnstone, before the Baggies stopper safely collected a downward header from Aden Flint.

Glatzel nodded a good opening off target for the visitors, before seeing a header ruled out for offside, as they looked for a route back into the encounter.

However, it was Albion who added a third goal in the 71st minute courtesy of Austin, much to his relief and those inside The Hawthorns, as he raced through and slotted past Smithies.

City substitute Ward slotted home within minutes of coming on to make it 3-1 with 15 minutes remaining, before heading home another late on.

But it was Albion who held firm, with Sawyers making sure of victory with a cool finish in added time, to celebrate in the first meeting between the two sides since 2014.

Albion: Johnstone, Furlong, Ajayi, Bartley, Ferguson, Livermore (c), Sawyers, Phillips (Krovinović 73) , Pereira, Diangana (Edwards 53), Austin (Zohore 81).

Subs: Bond, Gibbs, O'Shea, Robson-Kanu.


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