West Brom relegated from Premier League

Darren Moore's West Brom won 11 points from five games
Darren Moore’s West Brom won 11 points from five games

West Bromwich Albion have been relegated from the Premier League after Southampton won 1-0 at Swansea City on Tuesday night.

That result left West Brom five points from safety with one game remaining, Sunday’s trip to Crystal Palace.

It means their eight-year stay in the top flight comes to an end.

The Baggies – currently on 31 points from their 37 games – had hoped to reach the final day and repeat their memorable escape of the 2004-05 season.

With Stoke and West Brom’s relegation confirmed, Southampton’s victory has virtually guaranteed their safety due to their vastly superior goal difference over Swansea and Huddersfield.

The Terriers will confirm their survival by taking a point from their next two fixtures against Chelsea on Wednesday 9 May (19:45 BST) or Arsenal on Sunday 13 May (15:00 BST)

Too little too late?

West Brom were realistically consigned to their fate before Darren Moore took over as caretaker boss in April but it must feel like a case of what might have been for the Baggies supporters.

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The former Albion defender was named Premier League manager of the month for April on Tuesday and the club’s upturn since he took control of first team affairs evoked memories of their survival under Bryan Robson in 2004-05.

In that campaign, West Brom were bottom of the division and eight points from safety at Christmas but recovered to survive on the final day of the season thanks to an unlikely sequence of results.

Moore has accrued 11 points from the 15 available since being named as caretaker and reeled in a 10 point gap to five points.

Victories at Old Trafford against Manchester United and against Newcastle and Tottenham as well as draws against Swansea and Liverpool leave a question mark over what might have been if the Albion board had acted sooner.

What went wrong for West Brom?

On the surface, the season began in serene fashion at the Hawthorns.

With Tony Pulis at the helm Albion opened with consecutive victories to ensure their best start to a top-flight campaign since 1978-79, when the Three Degrees of Cyrille Regis, Laurie Cunningham and Brendon Batson helped the club to a third-place finish.

However, by November Pulis was gone after a dramatic downturn in results, coupled with supporter disenchantment over his defensive style of play, had led owner Guochuan Lai to make a change.

Alan Pardew was initially tasked with preserving the clubs top-flight status but the owner then sacked chairman John Williams and chief executive Martin Goodman in February as the club’s poor run of form continued.

Meanwhile, a trip to Barcelona organised to boost morale ended with senior professionals Gareth Barry, Jonny Evans, Jake Livermore and Boaz Myhill having to apologise after a taxi was stolen from outside a fast-food restaurant in the early hours of the morning.

The quartet were interviewed but not arrested by police, while Pardew called their behaviour “unacceptable” and said he “felt a bit let down” after they had broken a midnight curfew.

At the time of Pardew’s dismissal in early April the club had won just once in 18 league games, taking only eight points from a possible 54 and had suffered eight straight league defeats.