Matt Phillips and substitute Hal Robson-Kanu fired West Brom again to the highest of the Championship as struggling Stoke stay rooted to the underside after a disappointing 2-Zero defeat.
Midfielder Phillips’ sixth aim of the season gave the Baggies an eighth-minute lead and Robson-Kanu’s second-half penalty ensured they comfortably averted an upset on the guess365 Stadium and leapfrogged Preston on the summit.
Scotland worldwide Phillips was by no means going to overlook from close-range for his second aim in as many video games as Slaven Bilic’s promotion-hungry facet stretched their unbeaten run to 5 video games.
And Robson-Kanu’s third aim in 4 matches inflicted an 11th defeat in 15 video games on Stoke who, solely three days in the past, sacked supervisor Nathan Jones after a depressing begin to the season. They’re now six factors adrift of security.
Defender Cameron Carter-Vickers fouled winger Grady Diangana and Robson-Kanu coolly scored from the spot.
Victory places the Baggies two factors forward of Preston, Leeds and Swansea.
Teenage Stoke striker Tyrese Campbell pressured an early save from Sam Johnstone, however his left-foot shot was simple for the West Brom goalkeeper.
But it surely was the guests who took the lead simply two minutes later when Phillips slotted residence with a candy strike into the underside left nook.
West Ham mortgage winger Diangana labored a intelligent one-two with skipper Jake Livermore and delivered throughout the face of aim the place the unmarked Phillips simply slotted residence.
On the different finish, the hosts broke on the counter assault and Sam Vokes headed Tommy Smith’s cross straight at Johnstone.
Defender Darnell Furlong tried his luck from distance, however his right-foot strike flew effectively vast for the guests earlier than West Brom striker Charlie Austin ended up with a bloodied nostril after a stray arm from defender Liam Lindsay simply earlier than half-time.
Carter-Vickers ought to have levelled for the Potters straight after the break, however the right-back someway blazed over from point-blank vary.
Danny Batth headed Sam Clucas’ nook completely into his path on the again put up, however the he rushed his effort and it flew effectively over.
Senegal midfielder Badou Ndiaye blazed over from distance with a really optimistic long-range effort as Stoke pushed to restored parity.
However irrespective of how onerous they tried, the hosts struggled to create any clear-cut alternatives for his or her annoyed followers.
Carter-Vickers’ reckless problem on Diangana resulted in West Brom’s penalty – and Robson-Kanu made no mistake to seal the factors.
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The Welshman had solely been on the pitch for six minutes, however he calmly slotted into the underside left nook as goalkeeper Jack Butland dived the alternative approach.
And it ought to have been 3-Zero moments later, however this time Robson-Kanu headed Phillips’ inch-perfect throughout in opposition to the suitable put up.
Robson-Kanu additionally pressured a save out of Butland on the demise as West Brom deservedly picked up most factors on their travels.