Cardiff City 0 West Brom 4 - Report

Albion showed their Championship class by securing a thumping 4-0 win at Cardiff.

Callum Robinson of West Bromwich Albion celebrates after scoring a goal to make it 0-2 (Photo by Adam Fradgley - AMA/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).
Callum Robinson of West Bromwich Albion celebrates after scoring a goal to make it 0-2 (Photo by Adam Fradgley - AMA/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).

In what was an excellent display from Valerien Ismael's side, the Baggies put in a composed and professional performance to pile the pressure on Bluebirds boss Mick McCarthy.

A fifth-minute strike from Karlan Grant put Albion on the path to victory before Curtis Nelson scored an own goal.

Alex Mowatt made it three with a truly outstanding volley from the edge of the box.

And in the closing stages, Matt Phillips made it four when he swept in a Grady Diangana cross.

The result saw the Baggies move back to the top of the Championship - with Ismael's side still unbeaten in 10 league outings this season.

Report

Ismael opted to make two changes from the team that left it late to beat QPR when naming his starting line-up.

Karlan Grant of West Bromwich Albion celebrates after scoring a goal to make it 0-1. (Photo by Adam Fradgley - AMA/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).

In attack, Jordan Hugill and Callum Robinson were restored to the side at the expense of Matt Phillips and Grady Diangana.

In Ismael's 3-4-3 formation, Hugill was deployed as the central striker with Robinson on the right and Grant on the left.

Elsewhere, Albion lined up as expected with Conor Townsend continuing to partner Semi Ajayi and Kyle Bartley in the back three.

Darnell Furlong and Adam Reach were deployed at wing-back with Jake Livermore and Alex Mowatt the midfield two.

Cardiff named five centre-backs in their starting line-up but they too opted for a 3-4-3 formation with Mark McGuinness and Ciaron Brown shifted out to wing-back.

Somewhat surprisingly, Kieffer Moore was left on the bench with James Collins their lone striker.

He was supported by Wolves loanee Ryan Giles who started on the left flank with Leandro Bacuna on the right.

Ismael had said in the build up to the game that Grant's two goals against QPR had given him a huge confidence boost.

And that was proven just five minutes in when the forward put Albion ahead with a fabulous finish.

Karlan Grant of West Bromwich Albion celebrates after scoring a goal to make it 0-1 (Photo by Adam Fradgley - AMA/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).

After Robinson had exquisitely switched the play to find Reach, the wing-back then fed Grant who was placed just outside the box.

And from there he arrowed a wonderful strike beyond the outstretched arm of Dillon Phillips and straight into the corner of the net.

The Baggies continued to look bright as the half reached its midway point with Robinson switching the ball to good effect on a number of occasions - with Ismael's side looking to play with more width.

In contrast, Cardiff were offering very little with McCarthy's men guilty of playing too many aimless balls forward.

Albion threatened again just before the half-hour mark when Robinson hit a dipping and swerving strike from the edge of the box that a diving Phillips did well to parry away.

At the half progressed, the home crowd were growing increasingly frustrated with their team's inability to keep the ball.

But out of nowhere they almost pulled level when a deep cross was met at the back post by Bacuna.

The former Villa man planted a smart header across goal.

But Furlong was perfectly placed on the goal line to head the ball away.

McCarthy's side closed out the half by applying some pressure with a series of long throws.

Overall, though, Albion made there way off at the break thoroughly deserving their lead with Ismael's men having kept the ball down and moved it as well as they had all season.

Cardiff began the second-half playing with much more intensity.

In the 55th minute, though, Albion doubled their lead.

Grant hit the byline before sending a cross which Robinson, just yards out, turned towards goal.

Aden Flint Cardiff City and Callum Robinson of West Bromwich Albion (Photo by Adam Fradgley - AMA/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).

And in the panic, Nelson looked too clear but only succeeded in smashing the ball into the corner of his own net.

Ismael made a double change just past the hour with Grady Diangana and Matt Phillips replacing Grant and Robinson.

Kieffer Moore and Mark Harris then replaced McGuinness and Collins.

With the away fans chanting McCarthy was getting sacked in the morning, Albion began piling on the pressure.

And they should have grabbed a third when Reach picked out Hugill in the box only for the striker to sidefoot a strike wide.

Eventually, though, Albion did make the scoreline emphatic.

In the 75th minute Mowatt netted a sensational goal when a cross was cleared to him on the edge of the box.

Just to have got a clean strike on goal would have been an achievement.

But the midfielder produced an outrageous piece of technical skill to volley the ball right into the top corner.

Now the home fans were calling for McCarthy to be sacked.

And Albion went on to grab a fourth when, following a quick free-kick, Diangana sent in a cross which Phillips tapped home.

Teams

Cardiff (3-4-3): Phillips, Nelson, Flint, Morrison, McGuniness (Harris 67), Brown, Pack, Vaulks (Colwill 75), Bacuna, Giles, Collins (Moore 67).

Subs not used: Smithies, Bagan, Ralls, Colwill, Ng.

Albion (3-4-3): Johnstone, Ajayi, Bartley, Townsend, Furlong, Livermore (Molumby 81), Mowatt, Reach, Robinson (Phillips 62), Hugill, Grant (Diangana 62).

Subs not used: Button, Kipre, Bryan, Gardner-Hickman.

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