Lyle Taylor bragging rights to Birmingham City in West Brom win

19 April 2022

Blues take on the Baggies at St Andrews in hopes of their first win over local rivals in 15 years #LyleTaylor #handsBirmingham #Citybragging West Bromwich Albion’s hopes of securing a top-six (if any) in the unlikely top-six are sure to be done on Sunday, thanks to Steve Bruce’s humiliating defeat to former club Birmingham City at St Andrews. Lyle Taylor’s second-half penalty, awarded after Conor Townsend’s cross from O’Neal Hernandez, was enough to split the two sides in a game that generally lacked quality and set the pace in two preparations. Games are played between teams on vacation. To reiterate, Blues v Albion doesn’t take fans of either side very seriously when it comes to games and derby days. It would be the mildest line-up of any West Midlands derby, and the opening 45 minutes here just proved it. Albion appeared to have a strong case for a penalty in the opening minutes, but referee Dean Whitestone avoided that. Darnell Furlong threw a customary long shot from the right that caught Mark Roberts’ arm amid the chaos in the box. Jack Livermore and his company insisted they should take the penalty, but the referee didn’t. In fact, it was the most contentious moment of the frustrating first half and it bleeds any atmosphere at St Andrews. Tahith Chong only saw the goal after a beautiful cross from Lyle Taylor, but Semi Ajayi recovered and made the necessary tackle. At the other end, Ajayi’s cross flicked past the goal without a striker, but Callan Grant got nothing else – in fact, he shot from inside the box with a throw-in that summed up the second half more time. A halftime break is needed because that game needs the season to end. However, the Blues performed well in the second half and were unquestionably the best of the two. The exit of Tahith Chong, who looked to have another hamstring problem, was a blow, but the two winter signings combined provide the opportunity for another signing in January. Juninho Bacuna sent Hernandez out on the right, and although it looked like the ball was out of control, the Cuban hooked it back in time. Townsend, presumably calling for the ball to be on track, stretched his arm upwards – the ball bounced off it just in time. This time the referee said a penalty kick. Taylor conversions are cool. Bruce called in Grady Diangana and Andy Carroll and the afternoon seemed to be getting a little slow

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