Express & Star

West Brom debrief: Costly mistake, EFL award fallout and was defeat on cards?

Albion’s progress was checked by Sunderland on Saturday and there is still work to do to secure a play-off place.

Grady Diangana was one of Albion's brighter performers in the opening half against Sunderland, before Brandon Thomas-Asante's red card changed the game. (Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).

The penultimate home fixture of the regular Championship campaign ended in rare Hawthorns disappointment as the hosts paid the price for finding themselves a man down. Here are some of the major talking points.

Seeing red

Albion fans had almost forgotten what it was like to have a player dismissed. Brandon Thomas-Asante’s quickfire cautions, a first red card in 79 games under Carlos Corberan, came with an added sting in the tail. It might have been coincidence Pierre Ekwah netted the winner minutes later, and Thomas-Asante’s absence cannot be blamed for awful set-piece marking.

But it serves as an instant reminder just why Corberan was so proud of his side’s disciplinary record, among the best in the division and certainly the best when factoring in red cards.

Corberan may have been sent off twice from the dugout this term, but his players’ record was flawless.

He stressed afterwards the importance of keeping all players involved. The true story was in the second half, Albion lacked striker competition – Andi Weimann wasn’t turned to – and they had no focal point able to lead the line and test the Black Cats.

On the cards?

The end of a fine unbeaten run – extending the streak to 11 would have been Albion’s best effort since under Slaven Bilic in 2019 – was not really the true story at full-time.

A wider point may be were Albion playing as well as a 10-game unbeaten run, with just one defeat in 14, suggests?