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Cardiff 1 Barnsley 1 – match report: Stephen Foster equaliser denies Bluebirds

Cardiff 1 Barnsley 1: Last-minute equaliser stuns hosts, but Bluebirds remain on track for Premier League

By
Andrew Gwilym, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

21:08 GMT, 9 April 2013

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UPDATED:

21:08 GMT, 9 April 2013

Stephen Foster grabbed a dramatic last-gasp equaliser to earn Barnsley a valuable point and hold up Cardiff's promotion push.

The hosts had looked set to move a step closer to the Barclays Premier League when centre-half Ben Turner guided home Kim Bo-Kyung's corner just before the hour mark.

The Welsh side also hit the post through Craig Bellamy, but they were punished for failing to capitalise on their dominance when Foster's deflected shot trickled over the line with what was effectively the last kick of the match.

Late drama: Foster is mobbed (middle) after scoring the equaliser for Barnsleyequaliser for Barnsley

Late drama: Foster is mobbed (middle) after scoring the equaliser for Barnsley

Match facts

Cardiff: Marshall, McNaughton, Turner, Barnett, Taylor, Smith (Conway 80), Kim (Whittingham 68), Gunnarsson, Mutch, Bellamy, Mason Mason (Helguson 58).

Subs not used: Lewis, Gestede, Noone, Nugent.

Booked: Gunnarsson, Barnett.

Scorer: Turner 59.

Barnsley: Steele, Wiseman, Hassell, Foster, Kennedy, Mellis (Dagnall 70) , Dawson, O'Brien (Cywka 61) , Perkins, Harewood (Scotland 67) , O'Grady.

Subs: Alnwick, Scotland, Dagnall, Jones, Cywka, Rose, Patterson.

Booked: O'Grady.

Scorer: Foster 90.

Referee: Fred Graham (Essex)

Attendance: 22,584.

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Despite the setback, Cardiff's
promotion still appears a formality as they now lead third-placed
Watford by nine points with five games remaining.

Barnsley, though, will not care about
spoiling the party after stealing a point which moves them two clear of
the drop zone, despite being penned in their own half for much of the
game.

The tone of the contest was set
during a confident start from the hosts, which saw Tommy Smith, Bellamy
and Aron Gunnarsson all got away shots on goal, although Luke Steele was
only required to save the first of those efforts.

Bellamy came close to rewarding the
bright opening in the 18th minute – Steele diverting his shot against
the post after the Wales international retrieved Smith's fizzing ball
across the box.

Barnsley were happy to drop deep and
look to hit on the break, but it took almost half an hour for them to
threaten the Cardiff goal; Marlon Harewood had the ball in the net but
was correctly called back for offside.

Jordan Mutch, Kim and Gunnarsson were
enjoying the run of midfield, and Steele made an excellent save to tip
the former Birmingham man's stinging drive round the post.

The midfield trio linked beautifully
again on 37 minutes, and it took a brave Foster block to deny Gunnarsson
as he prepared to pull the trigger.

The extent of Cardiff's dominance was
such it appeared a case of when, not if, they would open the scoring,
but the Tykes gave them a real scare early in the second half.

The Bluebirds were slow to react to a
short corner and Bobby Hassell just failed to make a telling contact
with David Perkins' pin-point cross.

Cardiff responded to the wake-up call
and a lovely touch from Mutch set up Kim for the Korean to fire across
goal, while Leon Barnett could not adjust in time after Steele punched
poorly in his own six-yard box.

Going up Cardiff will hope they can still gain promotion with the remaining five games

Going up Cardiff will hope they can still gain promotion with the remaining five games

Going up Cardiff will hope they can still gain promotion with the remaining five games

Going up Cardiff will hope they can still gain promotion with the remaining five games

The pressure had to tell, and the goal finally came from an unlikely source.

Kim whipped a dangerous corner into
the six-yard box and Turner stuck out a leg to guide the ball just
inside the post for his first goal of the season.

The lead was almost doubled three
minutes later. Mutch had a shot blocked by Hassell, while Barnett and
Gunnarsson had efforts cleared off the line from the resulting corner.

With a single-goal lead, Cardiff were
far from out of sight, and Harewood spurned Barnsley's best chance of
the night with a tame effort from Stephen Dawson's astute pass.

Substitute Heidar Helguson wasted a
wonderful chance to wrap up the three points in stoppage time, and it
proved costly as Foster's shot took a big deflection to leave David
Marshall stranded and level the scores.

Ben Foster ends England exile

Foster ends England exile by giving Hodgson green light to pick him again

By
Neil Moxley

PUBLISHED:

11:42 GMT, 28 February 2013

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UPDATED:

16:06 GMT, 28 February 2013

Ben Foster has ended his England exile and decided to return to the national team squad at the request of England manager Roy Hodgson.

The West Brom goalkeeper has told Hodgson that he is ready to come back for the World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro.

Former Albion boss Hodgson is struggling to find top-class competition for Joe Hart and will be boosted by the news that a man he knows well from the year they spent together at The Hawthorns last season is ready to play international football again.

On the cards Foster is in line for an England return against San Marino and Montenegro, having left the national set-up (below) in 2011

On the cards Foster is in line for an England return against San Marino and Montenegro, having left the national set-up (below) in 2011

Foster

For the last England game, the 2-1 friendly win over Brazil, Hodgson only named two goalkeepers in his squad, Hart and Jack Butland.

Foster announced towards the end of the 2010-11 campaign, when he was still at Birmingham City, that he was withdrawing from the international scene because of injury concerns.

His last game was a 2-1 defeat by France in November 2010.

Two's too few: England only named goalkeepers Joe Hart and Jack Butland (below) in their squad against Italy

Two's too few: England only named goalkeepers Joe Hart and Jack Butland (below) in their squad against Italy

Jack Butland against Italy

The former Manchester United keeper suffers from groin problems and earlier this season underwent surgery to cure the nagging issue.

However, since returning he has been in superb form, saving a penalty from Steven Gerrard during West Brom's 2-0 victory over Liverpool.

He has been a massive factor in Albion's push for a Europa League spot.

Old guard: Hodgson managed Foster during his spell at The Hawthorns

Old guard: Hodgson managed Foster during his spell at The Hawthorns

Alessandro Del Piero and Patrick Dempsey form motor racing team

Italy legend Del Piero forms motor racing team with Hollywood actor Dempsey

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

01:04 GMT, 22 January 2013

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UPDATED:

01:04 GMT, 22 January 2013

Former Juventus striker Alessandro Del Piero has formed his own motor racing team together with American actor Patrick Dempsey.

The World Cup winner said Dempsey/Del Piero Racing has submitted an entry for the Le Mans 24 hour race in June and would run two cars in the American Le Mans Series from March.

Branching out: Del Piero's team will enter the Le Mans 24-hour race

Branching out: Del Piero's team will enter the Le Mans 24-hour race

The US-based team will have three riders in the 24-hour race – Dempsey and American veterans Joe Foster and Michael Avenatti. Drivers for the ALMS series have not been announced but Del Piero is not expected to have a driving role.

Del Piero, who now plays for Sydney FC in the Australian league, said he expects the team to be competitive and 'our central focus will be on winning world championships.' Dempsey is best known for his role on 'Grey's Anatomy' but is a racing enthusiast and has previously competed in Le Mans.

Alex McLeish – 10 reasons why he"s the RIGHT man for Nottingham Forest

Angry Forest fans, read this… 10 reasons why Alex McLeish is the RIGHT man for your club

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UPDATED:

16:03 GMT, 28 December 2012

Alex McLeish has faced a backlash from many Nottingham Forest fans after being appointed to replace sacked Sean O'Driscoll.

After troubles with Birmingham and Aston Villa, it's fair to say not every Forest supporter has welcomed him back to the Midlands' football scene.

Here, Sportsmail offers up 10 reasons why he is a good fit for the ambitious Championship side…

First day at the office: McLeish has run the rules over his new players

First day at the office: McLeish has run the rules over his new players

1 Wealth of experience – you do not manage Motherwell, Hibernian, Glasgow Rangers, the Scotland national team, Birmingham City and Aston Villa in a managerial career spanning almost two decades unless you know your way around football.

2 He knows what is needed to win promotion – he did it with Hibernian in Scotland and Birmingham CIty in England.

3 Good contacts – Sir Alex Ferguson gave McLeish very public backing when he took over at Villa Park. It may only need one or two crucial additions for Forest to reach the top six – or better.

4 Players like him. Upon his appointment last night, both Ben Foster and Liam Ridgewell – who both played under McLeish at St Andrew's – immediately went on twitter to add their voices to the chorus of well-wishers.

Big fan: Ben Foster tweeted his admiration for McLeish after the news

Big fan: Ben Foster tweeted his admiration for McLeish after the news

5 He will receive more time than Sean O'Driscoll because he is a man chosen specifically for the post by the Kuwaiti owners.

McLeish targets promotion

McLeish oversaw his first training session and spoke to the press after being formally unveiled as the new Forest boss today.

He said: 'It looks like an absolutely wonderful challenge for me. It's been a whirlwind for me. A surprise but a very welcome surprise.

'We have to target getting into the top six – then we will be gunning for the Premier League.

'I took both jobs (at Birmingham and Aston Villa) when those clubs were in difficulty. The goal was to guide both to safety. And I was pleased that we got Villa over the line despite the horrors of that season.

'The key to success in this league is winning a succession of games. We did that at Birmingham and got back at the first time of asking.

'Everyone should be bursting to get back into the Premier League.'

6 He will have learnt from his experience at Villa Park which, frankly, was an unmitigated disaster for all concerned.

7 He is hungry for success. He needs another chance to re-establish his credentials.

McLeish is a proud man and won't want the Aston Villa experience to be his epitaph in football.

8 He's leaner! During his time out of the game he hired a personal trainer to get himself fit for action once more.

9 He
will uphold Forest's traditions, certainly off the pitch. He was a good
ambassador both at Birmingham City and Aston Villa. Club staff will
like him.

10 Forest's
fans are a reasonable bunch, they will give him a chance.

McLeish's
style is first and foremost to protect what he has got – it might lead
to more conservative football but it is more likely to be winning
football. And that, ultimately, is what he has been employed to bring to
Nottingham Forest.

The future's bright: Forest are aiming to reach the Premier League

The future's bright: Forest are aiming to reach the Premier League

Darren Bent wanted by Aston Villa

Jol admits interest in Bent as striker edges closer to Aston Villa exit

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 30 November 2012

Out of favour: Bent (right)

Out of favour: Bent (right)

Fulham boss Martin Jol has hinted he may rival new Queens Park Rangers manager Harry Redknapp in a January move for Aston Villa striker Darren Bent.

Bent is expected to leave Villa after falling out of favour with manager Paul Lambert and QPR are the initial favourites to sign him.

Jol, who signed Bent for Tottenham in 2007, was asked if he would be keen to re-sign the striker and said: ‘You never know, but we have three good strikers in Berbatov, Petric and Kacaniklic. We could maybe have one more creative player but you never know.’

Meanwhile, Fulham, West Ham, West Bromwich Albion and Southampton are all monitoring goalkeeper Paul Robinson’s situation at Blackburn Rovers. Albion have concerns over Ben Foster’s groin trouble.

The Midlander: Steve Clarke has West Brom punching above their weight

Cunning Clarke has West Brom punching above their weight

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UPDATED:

19:29 GMT, 22 November 2012

On the ball: West Brom boss Steve Clarke

On the ball: West Brom boss Steve Clarke

It's an interesting case study, what's taking place at West Bromwich Albion at the moment.

Head coach Steve Clarke, reaping the benefits of a settled side, each component of which knows its' job and is performing with confidence.

Or so it may seem.

The reality is somewhat different.

Only once this season has the Scot named the same starting XI in consecutive matches in the Premier League.

If you look at the Baggies' actual fixture list, there was a Capital
One Cup tie which was sandwiched in between those games too – against
Spurs and Everton.

So, strictly speaking, Clarke hasn't fielded the same side in two successive matches at all this season.

Yet on first glance, it would appear that his team is profiting from
the same personnel, building up trust and confidence in each other after
playing together week in, week out.

Of course, the spine of the team has
remained pretty fixed. Ben Foster, Jonas Olsson, Gareth McAuley,
Claudio Yacob and Youssouf Mulumbu would be the first names on his
team-sheet.

But what has taken place at the Hawthorns blows a hole in the theory that only a settled team can thrive.

West Brom, given their wage bill, are punching above their weight.
Someone told me last week that their salary level remains the second
lowest in the Premier League (I believe the players are heavily
incentivised, however).

What is more important, in this instance, is that the Baggies have a
set pattern of play and that pretty much everyone knows their place in
it.

It would be churlish not to pay tribute to Roy Hodgson at this point.

He hammered a team shape into those he inherited at a time of necessity – and it's paid off.

What has been a boon for Clarke –
and where I think he deserves credit – is that he has thought long and
hard about how to mix and match those players under his control.

The Scot demonstrated that by playing with two forwards for the trip
to Wigan a fortnight ago, despite using either Shane Long or Romelu
Lukaku as a sole frontman for the rest of the season.

Given Chelsea's demands that Lukaku must receive game-time, it's not
been an easy balancing act, particularly as Long is such a selfless
operator.

Top man: Peter Odemwingie (right) scores against Chelsea

Top man: Peter Odemwingie (right) scores against Chelsea

But with footballers who can operate in a variety of different positions, it has appeared to be simple.

Take Peter Odemwingie for instance. The striker maddens yours truly because the very aspect of his personality that makes him so effective in front of goal is also the character trait that causes coaches to tear their hair out in frustration.

There was a glaring example of this in the victory over Everton at the Hawthorns.

Odemwingie was given an earful from a
team-mate for not tracking back when Marouane Fellaini spooned over
after Kevin Mirallas's right-wing cross.

Two minutes later, he's crossing the ball for Long to sidefoot the first.

Such are the fine lines.

However, I'm moving off the point, so apologies for that.

What Clarke did after the Southampton game, in which the Nigeria
international scored twice, was to leave him out for the trip to Wigan,
opting instead for Long and Lukaku.

It just so happens that the Baggies boast players, such as James
Morrison, who understand implicitly the demands upon wide midfielders,
operating in a standard 4-4-2 formation.

The same goes for the likes of Chris Brunt, Zoltan Gera and Graham Dorrans.

What I don't know – but I suspect – is that Clarke couldn't trust Odemwingie to do the hard yards running towards his own goal.

Getting the message: Odemwingie needs to work on his defensive side

Getting the message: Odemwingie needs to work on his defensive side

Now, whether that criticism has been hammered home – again I'm pleading ignorance here – but it was a welcome sight to the point of it being a shock when Odemwingie sprinted 60 yards to help out Billy Jones during the second-half of the victory over Chelsea.

Those sitting in the lower tier of the East Stand obviously thought so too as he was given a huge round of applause.

The other point I would like to make is that Clarke is influenced by the sports' scientists as the club's disposal.

I know it's difficult for those who turn up on a weekly basis to believe but some allowance is always taken by coaches following midweek matches – particularly those which involve foreign travel.

He leans heavily on data feedback that he receives from his coaches. And these days you don't even need a system like prozone to tell you how far your star midfielder has run.

(Adidas released a pair of boots on general sale last year that will do the same job.)

Clarke clearly thinks a lot about his team shape and selection and, at the moment, it's going well.

With a team that is growing in confidence and supporters who now have every faith in their team's ability to win matches, despite the change in personnel, what everyone really needs is a clean bill of health.

But that really would be asking too much, wouldn't it

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert

Right way: Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert

I have applauded Paul Lambert's bravery in his vision of a youthful Aston Villa team, if not the execution of that plan.

I couldn't help but think in August that some established Premier League quality in the ranks was required if such a season as this was to be avoided. As ever, time will out.

However, I could not agree more with his words on sending out Villa's youngsters to gain first-team experience at other clubs.

It speaks volumes for the quality of coaches in the junior ranks that the club has gained the highest grading possible in its' Academy.

But I think the manager is right in sending young players out on loan.

So often, we see 21-year-olds breaking through and refer to them as 'youngsters' when the reality is that Wayne Rooney had four years' experience under his belt by that stage.

It's an exaggerated point, but you catch my drift.

Lambert though, having been drafted into St Mirren's team while still 17 years old, knows full well the value of players learning their trade where it matters – in the first-team.

His comments are worth reporting here as they were lost in the press conference last week.

'Unless they are exceptional, they won't get into the first-team,' he said. 'The majority of them have to learn their trade.

'You might have one or two who are exceptional but it won't do them any harm to play men's football.'

I remember Wolves' Jamie O'Hara saying that he was grateful for the lessons learnt at Chesterfield which enabled him to grow as a player when he went back to Tottenham.

It's not always been that way at Villa, but I think there has to be room for it and on a personal level, I'm glad someone in power feels the same way as I do.

West Brom 2 Chelsea 1: Baggies march into Champions League places to give Di Matteo the Blues

West Brom 2 Chelsea 1: Baggies march into Champions League places to give Di Matteo the Blues

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UPDATED:

17:30 GMT, 17 November 2012

West Brom striker Peter Odemwingie made it a miserable return to the Hawthorns for Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo with a second-half winner to stun the Champions League holders.

The Nigerian international headed home a cross from Shane Long whose opening goal had been cancelled out by Eden Hazard.

Baggy boys: West Brom players celebrate Peter Odemwingie's winner

Baggy boys: West Brom players celebrate Peter Odemwingie's winner

Match facts

West Brom: Myhill, Jones, Olsson, Tamas, Ridgewell, Morrison (Dorrans 70), Yacob, Mulumbu, Gera (Brunt 70), Long (Rosenberg 80), Odemwingie. Subs Not Used: Luke Daniels, Reid, Popov, Fortune.

Scorers: Long 10,Odemwingie 50.

Chelsea: Cech, Azpilicueta, Cahill, Luiz, Bertrand, Romeu (Oscar 62), Mikel (Ramires 80), Hazard, Sturridge,Torres (Mata 62), Moses. Subs Not Used: Turnbull, Ivanovic, Cole, Marin.

Scorer: Hazard 39.

Att: 25,933

Ref: Michael Oliver (Northumberland).

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It condemned Di Matteo, who spent two years as Albion boss, and his side to a first away Barclays Premier League defeat of the campaign.

But his former club, managed by ex-Chelsea number two Steve Clarke, are dreaming of Europe after registering a sixth win in seven home games.

The Blues dominated for long periods territorially with Victor Moses and Daniel Sturridge causing problems.

But they found keeper Boaz Myhill, who was deputising for the injured Ben Foster, in inspired form with several crucial saves.

Chelsea clearly missed the physical presence at the back of injured skipper John Terry who will be side-lined for three weeks with a knee injury.

Long and Odemwingie fully capitalised on the absence of the former England defender as they punished some slack defending.

Long appeared on a one-man mission to honour his grandmother, who died yesterday, with another superb performance.

On target: Shane Long opens the scoring for West Brom

Bright start: Shane Long scores the opener for West Brom

Bright start: Shane Long scores the opener for West Brom

The Republic of Ireland international revealed a T-shirt which said 'RIP Nan' after scoring the opening goal.

Chelsea dominated possession in the early stages and Ryan Bertrand came close to putting them ahead after eight minutes.

Hazard warning: Chelsea's Eden Hazard celebrates his goal

Hazard warning: Chelsea's Eden Hazard celebrates his goal

Moses made a powerful run to the byline and squared the ball back across the danger area to Bertrand whose low left-footed drive was cleared off the line by Liam Ridgewell.

But 60 seconds later the Baggies took the lead via their first worthwhile attack. Zoltan Gera played the ball back to James Morrison whose floated cross picked out Long who got in behind David Luiz to head home from close range.

Level pegging: Eden Hazard scores Chelsea's equaliser

Level pegging: Eden Hazard scores Chelsea's equaliser

It was the Republic of Ireland international's sixth goal of the campaign.

Chelsea tried to retaliate and John Obi Mikel's low 30-yard drive was only just off target with Myhill scrambling across his line.

Poor run: Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo

Poor run: Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo

Myhill then got his body behind a swerving first time attempt from Sturridge.

Albion were at their most threatening on the counter-attack and Long, under pressure from Gary Cahill, had a shot saved by Petr Cech after attacking a cross from Billy Jones.

Long game: Shane Long celebrates his opener for West Brom

Long game: Shane Long celebrates his opener for West Brom

Long was then just off target with a curling drive after he had shaken off the challenge of Cahill. But after 38 minutes Hazard levelled for the Blues with his fourth goal of the season.

He attacked Cesar Azpilicueta's deep cross and was able to squeeze the ball past Myhill at the far post with a powerful header.

Chelsea continued to dominate possession and Moses fired over after being teed up by Cahill.

Heading up the table: Peter Odemwingie celebrates his winner for West Brom

Heading up the table: Peter Odemwingie celebrates his winner for West Brom

But Odemwingie restored Albion's lead five minutes into the second half.

This time Long was the creator with a cross to the near post and the Nigerian international got in front of Bertrand to glance his header past Cech for his fourth goal of the campaign.

Di Matteo made a double change with the ineffective Fernando Torres and Oriol Romeu making way for Juan Mata and Oscar respectively.

Frustrated: Daniel Sturridge reacts after missing a chance for Chelsea

Frustrated: Daniel Sturridge reacts after missing a chance for Chelsea

Myhill made a fine save to turn aside Sturridge's close range flick after Mata's ball had opened up the West Brom defence.

He then went down to cling on to Hazard's deflected shot as Chelsea delivered wave after wave of attacks.

Sturridge should have made it 2-2 with three minutes left but screwed his shot across the face of goal.

West Brom send Ben Foster to see groin specialist in Germany

Foster fighting to be fit for Wigan as West Brom send keeper to German groin specialist

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UPDATED:

22:07 GMT, 8 November 2012

Pain game: Ben Foster is struggling with a groin ailment

Pain game: Ben Foster is struggling with a groin ailment

Ben Foster is facing a race against time to be fit for West Brom's trip to Wigan this weekend as the Baggies seek to find the root cause of a nagging groin problem.

The former England keeper flew to Germany to see a specialist about an issue that has dogged him since his days with Birmingham City.

Foster, naturally left footed, chose to kick with his right during Monday night's 2-0 victory over Southampton rather than aggravate the issue.

But the injury was of sufficient worry
for head coach Steve Clarke to sanction a trip to gain a better
prognosis of the underlying problem.

He said: 'Ben's abroad in Germany.
He's gone to see a specialist. We are waiting on a report. Fingers
crossed, it is positive and I'm hopeful he will play again at the
weekend. I'd estimate it's 60-40 in his favour.

'The problem is his groin. Hopefully,
it is something we can manage, similar to what we have done with Shane
Long over the past few weeks. If we can, hopefully we can get some more
games out of him.'

Foster had to nurse himself through a
season at St Andrew's but Clarke said the first he knew about the
problem was on Monday evening when the problem first raised its head.

The Baggies head coach added: 'He's never mentioned to me in the past with the fact he has problems with his kicking.

'I know he likes to play from the back and doesn't always like to kick the ball long. But he does have a good kick on him. We will deal with it and hopefully he will be okay for the weekend.'

Clarke was further boosted by the return to training of James Morrison. The Scotland international missed the victory over Southampton but will be included in the squad for the trip to Wigan.

'It was a solid performance against Southampton, he added, 'we had conceded six goals in three matches previous to that. It's always difficult to win if you are letting in two goals every game.

'It wasn't our best. It wasn't our flashiest in terms of the football that was played. But it was a good solid performance and a much-needed three points.'

West Brom 1 Liverpool 2: Match report

West Brom 1 Liverpool 2: Sahin bags double to take nervy win for holders at Hawthorns

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UPDATED:

22:46 GMT, 26 September 2012

Brendan Rodgers may have overseen the worst Liverpool start to a league campaign in a century, but two goals from Nuri Sahin rewarded the manager for sticking to his principles.

Two points from the opening five matches in the Premier League could have seen the Liverpool boss adopt a more pragmatic approach for this difficult tie in the Black Country.

But far from sending out some of the big guns in a bid to change his luck, Rodgers fielded a team virtually unrecognisable to those without an intimate knowledge of the club.

No 1: Nuri Sahin scored his first two goals for Liverpool

No 1: Nuri Sahin scored his first two goals for Liverpool

Get in: The Liverpool players were delighted with the Real Madrid palyer's contribution

Get in: The Liverpool players were delighted with the Real Madrid palyer's contribution

Match facts:

West Brom: Foster, Jones, Olsson, Tamas, Ridgewell (Dawson 22), Mulumbu, Dorrans, Thorne, Rosenberg, Fortune (El Ghanassy 87), Lukaku (Long 70).

Subs Not Used: Luke Daniels, Yacob, McAuley, Berahino.

Booked: Mulumbu.

Goal: Tamas 3.

Liverpool: Jones, Wisdom, Carragher, Coates, Robinson, Henderson, Sahin, Downing, Pacheco (Fernandez Saez 81), Yesil (Sinclair 81), Assaidi.

Subs Not Used: Gulacsi, Wilson, Sterling, Coady, Sama.

Booked: Wisdom.

Goals: Sahin 17,82.

Attendance: 21,164

Referee: Michael Oliver

And the Northern Irishman was rewarded for his brave and youthful selection eight minutes from time when on-loan Real Madrid midfielder Sahin finished from close range, capping a thoroughly impressive show from Rodgers’ rookies.

The victory was all the more impressive because Liverpool had to recover from the shock of losing a third-minute goal to West Brom centre half Gabriel Tamas that was as soft as they come.

But home keeper Ben Foster was culpable in allowing Sahin to equalise shortly afterwards and Liverpool settled into the tie, running out worthy winners.

Such has been the emphasis placed on youth and Rodgers’ determination to experiment that this third-round clash also saw Jerome Sinclair set a record as the youngest player to wear the club’s colours.

Remember the name, because Liverpool’s staff don’t seem able to do so. Persons unknown filled in the team-sheet beforehand, listing the striker’s name as Jordan. But his introduction in the 81st minute meant Sinclair, aged 16 years and six days, created history.

‘It’s great to have young players like that,’ said Rodgers. ‘I think it’s a symbol of how we are looking to progress.

Good hit: Sahin bagged his first goal in a Liverpool shirt against the Baggies

Good hit: Sahin bagged his first goal in a Liverpool shirt against the Baggies

Get in: Sahin is congratulated after scoring his goal to level up the match

Get in: Sahin is congratulated after scoring his goal to level up the match

Teenager Sinclair makes history

Jerome Sinclair, aged 16 years and six days, became the youngest ever Liverpool player when he came on as an 81st-minute substitute. Sinclair comfortably beat the mark set in 2010 by Jack Robinson (16 years and 250 days).

‘We want to bring in top players but it’s equally important for us to develop top players. For me it’s about talent — irrespective of age. We have a very small squad. At the moment, I’ve got 12 senior players fit. We’ve had four games in 10 days and we are busy again next week.

‘So, young players are going to get their chance, if they have the talent. There’s a bright future here. And I think the fans are buying into what we are trying to do.

‘It’s even more special when you have so many young players against a West Brom side that have had such a fantastic start.’

Rodgers could not avoid a slight hiccup, however, as he referred to record-breaker Sinclair as ‘Jermain’ in his first post-match interview. After the team-sheet gaffe, you could say the youngster made three names for himself.

In it goes: Gabriel Tamas put the Baggies ahead after just three minutes

In it goes: Gabriel Tamas put the Baggies ahead after just three minutes

Tough break: Both teams battled hard for the win

Tough break: Both teams battled hard for the win

Rodgers added: ‘It was a great moment for him and it was nice when he received a round of applause in the dressing-room afterwards. But it’s no good setting the record, the hard work starts here. He wants to learn and he’s a good kid.’

The manager was not the only one to slip up last night. Liverpool goalkeeper Jones was at fault after Liam Ridgewell pumped a 40-yard free-kick deep into Liverpool’s penalty area. Jones sprinted from his line to take what should have been a routine catch.

However, with West Brom defender Jonas Olsson in pursuit, the Australian dropped the ball. Tamas had an empty net to aim for and duly found it from 12 yards.

Well done, son: Brendan Rodgers congratulated Suso after a solid performance

Well done, son: Brendan Rodgers congratulated Suso after a solid performance

As the match progressed, Liverpool enjoyed increasingly more of the ball. They had worked it neatly around the pitch in the 17th minute before Sahin drew them level. The midfielder tried his luck from 30 yards with a low, left-foot drive that did not rise more than a foot above the ground and skidded past Foster.

The keeper did not have a clear view of the shot but the reaction suggested he felt he should have kept it out. Thumping his hand against the turf repeatedly, the ex-England man probably realised at the same time he had given the visitors a confidence boost as well as a way back into the tie.

Jones was properly tested just once more, when he palmed clear a shot from Markus Rosenberg from the edge of the area early in the second half.

Whack: Jack Robinson (right) tackled Marc-Antoine Fortune

Whack: Jack Robinson (right) tackled Marc-Antoine Fortune

Skipper: Jamie Carragher captained Liverpool once more at the Hawthorns

Skipper: Jamie Carragher captained Liverpool once more at the Hawthorns

At the other end, Daniel Pacheco hit the bar with a cheeky 30-yard lob and Samed Yesil missed two headers. He was a nuisance throughout.

To cap an impressive return following his three-goal thumping on the opening day, Rodgers’ substitute Suso set up the outstanding Oussama Assaidi, who crossed for Sahin to sidefoot the winner.

It remained for Rodgers’ satisfactory evening to be rounded off with a home tie in the fourth round. It was the one he must have wanted, too: his old club Swansea, at Anfield.

‘They are two wonderful clubs with fantastic supporters,’ he said. ‘To get a home tie is special. For it to be Swansea is extra special.’

Powerless: Steve Clarke could do nothing to prevent his side losing 2-1 and crashing out

Powerless: Steve Clarke could do nothing to prevent his side losing 2-1 and crashing out

West Bromwich Albion 1 Reading 0: Romelu Lukaku strike lifts baggies

West Brom 1 Reading 0: Lukaku blast has Baggies bouncing

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UPDATED:

16:09 GMT, 22 September 2012

West Brom coach Steve Clarke left out leading scorer Shane Long against his former club and saw his replacement Romelu Lukaku net a second-half winner against Reading at the Hawthorns.

But it needed the second half introduction of three-goal Long to tee up the winner for on-loan Chelsea striker Lukaku in his first Barclays Premier League start for the Baggies.

Going close: West Brom's Romelu Lukaku (right) and Reading's Alex Pearce (left) battle for the ball

Going close: West Brom's Romelu Lukaku (right) and Reading's Alex Pearce (left) battle for the ball

Match facts

WEST BROM: Foster, Jones, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell, Morrison (Long 64), Mulumbu, Yacob, Brunt, Gera (Dorrans 69), LukaKu (Rosenberg 77). Unused subs: Myhill, Jara, Dawson, Fortune.

Goals: Lukaku 71

Booked: Yacob

READING: McCarthy, Gunter (Robson-Kanu 79), Gorkss, Pearce, Shorey, McCleary, Gurthrie, Leigertwood, McAnuff, Pogrebnyak (Hunt 68), Le Fondre. Unused subs: Taylor, Karacan, Church, Cummings.

Referee: C. Foy

Att: 23,854

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Victory enabled Albion to complete a
trio of wins in their opening three home fixtures of a top flight
campaign for the first time in 58 years.

Albion were the more threatening for long periods against Brian McDermott's side despite not firing on all cylinders.

James Morrison impressed in midfield
and was the official man-of-the-match while Lukaku posed problems with
his pace and power before delivering the killer touch.

It leaves Reading still searching
for their first win since returning to the Premier League and West Brom
keeper Ben Foster was untroubled throughout the 90 minutes.

Albion started brightly and Reading
defender Chris Gunter had to react quickly to cut out a Lukaku flick-on
intended to pick out skipper Chris Brunt.

Lukaku skipped past the challenge of
Kaspars Gorkss and drilled a dangerous low ball across the box but
Danny Guthrie was alert to the situation. Brunt produced the first
serious attempt on goal with Royals keeper Alex McCarthy turning his low
25-yard drive around the post at full stretch.

Frustration: Mikele Leigertwood fires in a shot under pressure from Claudio Yacob

So close: Romelu Lukaku bemoans his luck

Frustration: Reading's Mikele Leigertwood fires in a shot under pressure from Claudio Yacob (left) while Romelu Lukaku bemoans his luck (right)

Reading threatened when Garath McCleary attempted an overhead kick which contained plenty of power but flew straight at Foster.

Lukaku continued to pose problems and
McCarthy finger-tipped away a floated cross at full stretch aimed at
the run of Brunt at the far post.

Point made: Ben Foster barks out the orders to his West Brom teammates

Point made: Ben Foster barks out the orders to his West Brom teammates

Albion looked the more likely to
score and James Morrison found space in the box after exchanging passes
with Zoltan Gera but he scuffed his shot across the face of goal.

Morrison seemed in two minds whether
to shoot or pass when he got in behind the Reading defence and his
eventual chip was too high for Lukaku and summed up a disappointing
opening half.

On the chase: Jonas Olsson (right) holds off Pavel Pogrebnyak

On the chase: Jonas Olsson (right) holds off Pavel Pogrebnyak

The nearest either side came to
scoring in that period came at the end of the first half when Albion
defender Jonas Olsson's header hit the angle of bar and post from a
Brunt corner.

Albion continued on the offensive
after the break with Gera having a shot charged down. Baggies defender
Liam Ridgewell vented his anger at Pavel Pogrebnyak after feeling the
striker had gone down too easily under a challenge.

Arms race: Youssouf Mulumbu tries to hold off Reading's Danny Guthrie

Arms race: Youssouf Mulumbu tries to hold off Reading's Danny Guthrie

McCarthy had to be alert to push
aside a fierce dipping volley from Morrison as West Brom looked the more
likely to break the deadlock.

Former Albion defender Nicky Shorey
floated a free-kick wide in his first start since rejoining Reading
during the summer. West Brom fans chanted Long's name before he was
introduced after 65 minutes – and six minutes later he had played his
part in the winner against a side he spent six seasons with.

Take that: Romelu Lukaku fires the winner for West Brom

Take that: Romelu Lukaku fires the winner for West Brom

Buoyant baggies: Romelu Lukaku celebrates his goal

Buoyant baggies: Romelu Lukaku celebrates his goal

Another substitute in Graham Dorrans
floated a ball into the box which was knocked by back by Long to Lukaku
who steadied himself before driving a low shot past the dive of
McCarthy.

Reading tried to respond and substitute Hal Robson-Kanu peeled off at the far post and got on the end of a McCleary cross.

But his header landed on the roof of the net and the home side comfortably saw out time in the closing stages.

Hold on: Youssouf Mulumbu tangles with with Danny Guthrie

Nice tough: Jonas Olsson controls the ball

Hold on: Youssouf Mulumbu tangles with with Danny Guthrie (left) and Jonas Olsson (right) controls the ball