Premier League - Vela salvages point for WBA

Sun, 20 Feb 14:04:00 2011

West Bromwich Albion's Carlos Vela scored deep in stoppage time to grab a 1-1 Premier League draw against Wolves in the Black Country derby at The Hawthorns.

Match Highlights: West Brom

The Mexican seized on a rebound in the 92nd minute after Wayne Hennessey spilt a James Morrison shot to ensure Wolves stay bottom of the table.

Jamie O'Hara had earlier given Mick McCarthy's side the lead from a superbly-worked free-kick.

Manager Roy Hodgson escaped with a point from his first full game in charge of the Baggies after watching his new team spurn a host of excellent chances to get back into the game.

Hodgson, who watched his players throw away a three-goal lead against West Ham while caretaker boss Michael Appleton was in charge, made few changes to the personnel used by Appleton and former boss Roberto Di Matteo.

After a shaky start, West Brom dominated proceedings, winning the corner count 12-1 and carving out some promising openings.

But it was Wolves who supplied the cutting edge in the 39th minute. Nenad Milijas played a free-kick square to O'Hara, who powered a first-time shot past Boaz Myhill into the top-left corner from 22 yards.

The Baggies were nothing like as clinical. Marc-Antoine Fortune had a shot from a tight angle deflected behind by Hennessey on 55 minutes, and seconds later George Elokobi made a fine block to deny Peter Odemwingie when the Nigerian appeared to have time and space in the box.

Wolves had barely time to take breath before Paul Scharner found himself completely unmarked at a corner, but he blazed his shot over.

Fortune then perpetrated the worst miss of all, exchanging passes with Odemwingie inside the box, then inexplicably failing to take a shot when the ball came back to him with the goal gaping.

Jonas Olsson then had a header cleared off the line by Matt Jarvis, and Vela saw a deflected shot well saved by Hennessey.

For Wolves's part, Jarvis missed a gilt-edged chance to double the lead after a hopeless defensive header by Gabriel Tamas.

Just when it looked like West Brom's chances had passed them by, Morrison was allowed time to line up a low shot from the edge of the box.

Hennessey fumbled the save, and the ball popped up to Vela to gleefully tuck away his first goal for the club.

How important that equaliser could prove in the final reckoning.

MATCH STATS

- Jamie O'Hara scored a Premier League goal for the first time in 11 months. Three of his five league goals have been scored in away matches and he has failed to win on both occasions that he has scored the opener.

- West Bromwich Albion equalled Stoke City’s season record of being behind 12 times at the break.

- Carlos Vela scored his first Premier League goal for five months and his fourth in total. The last three including today have all been scored in the last seven minutes of matches.

- Vela’s was the first stoppage time goal scored by a West Bromwich Albion player for over two years.

- Roy Hodgson again failed to win his first match in charge of a Premier League club after losing his first at Fulham and drawing his first as Liverpool manager. He did win his first ever Premier League match as a manager, beating Derby 1-0 when manager of Blackburn Rovers.

- Hodgson’s teams have never beaten Wolverhampton Wanderers in four Premier League matches.

Alex Chick / Infostrada Sports / Eurosport

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