West Brom's Carlos Corberan not interested in regrets as Leicester strike late
Carlos Corberan insists he has no regrets about the manner of Leicester City's last-gasp stoppage time winner at The Hawthorns.
The Baggies looked set for a useful, deserved and hard-earned point against the Championship leaders after Josh Maja's 89th minute equaliser.
But Leicester's Harry Winks tapped home a match-winner deep into five minutes added on barely 10 seconds after Albion had launched a Darnell Furlong throw-in into the Foxes' penalty area. The visitors' Kelechi Iheanacho played Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall through on goal from deep and the latter showed composure to square for Winks to finish.
Albion had just netted their equaliser from a similar Furlong throw, half-cleared and tossed back into the visitors' box. Momentum was with the Baggies in stoppage time as supporters roared them on for a winner, but it was Enzo Maresca's visitors left celebrating at the death.
Corberan explained he set his side up to attack the long throw-in how he would in any long throw in any fixture. He admitted he would've had regrets if such a winner went in against him from an open-play scenario, also adding he would have regrets for not throwing centre-backs Semi Ajayi and Cedric Kipre into attack, having just netted minutes before.
"I could have regretted the way we managed the goal they scored if they'd achieved something in an open play situation," Corberan said afterwards.
"They achieved one goal in the transition of a set piece, where all the players were in the right position before the throw-in. It's true that the ball arrives to one place where we have two midfielders – Chalobah and Molumby – against one striker.
"He was beating these two players. Once he created the unbalanced situation, in this moment, he eliminated two players and it was only Townsend to protect.
"This (a throw) is how we scored the goal and this how we attacked the throw-in. In terms of positioning, it was only for Chalobah and Molumby to decide which player was on the edge of the box and which wasn't.
"Both were in the limit, maybe without the clarity of not knowing what his role was, and the striker beat them. After, you analyse in detail – Townsend is faced with three players. In that moment, the only thing to do is to delay the attack. Unfortunately, rather than running back we went forwards and the player found the pass.
"As soon as he eliminated Townsend, there is only one player who can stop the attack and the other running back. The player who can stop was Palmer and the recovering player was Furlong. The recovery run from Furlong needed to stop the player who scored, forgetting the player with the ball – then leave Alex one v one with Dewsbury-Hall. In this moment it's better to have one v one rather than two v one.
"I understand that Furlong was running back having taken the throw in. With the video I could've shown you things about how we could've managed it better. We weren't trying to defend the result – we were attacking how I think you need to attack, but prior to the throw in we should've defended more calmly, not as aggressive so as not to give them the option to score."
There was very little between the clash in a tactical and cagey contest. The impressive Dewsbury-Hall broke the deadlock on 72 minutes with a crashing header from Wilfred Ndidi's excellent cross.
Albion responded and following an effective triple substitute, including Maja, the Nigerian poked into the corner with seconds to go before 90 minutes for his first Baggies goal.
But it was heartbreak late on, and just a second Hawthorns reverse of the season – and a second 2-1 defeat suffered in stoppage time after similar against Huddersfield in early September.
"What we did in this situation was to attack how we always attack it," Corberan added when asked about his style of management to 'go for it' late on. " Sometimes to change something is negative. If I told my centre backs not to go up, having scored a goal two minutes ago, at home, it would've been for me...I'd have regretted this.
"It's true that there are many small aspects to correct – not just because we lost, but to not suffer transitions against opponents.
"The next time we have a throw-in, we must be prepared to not only try and score, but to try and score without the risk of suffering the transition. In the minute 93 of the game, sometimes you make mistakes because of the emotion.
"Not even the emotion to attack, but the emotion to recover the ball, to help your team and to try and make a foul, to keep running. We are humans, this is why football is magic. These things happen."