West Bromwich Albion fans didn’t have the best Christmas on record, but despite a couple of setbacks, they’re well within their rights to be delighted with the way that things have gone on the whole this season, as they sit 2nd and nine points clear of 3rd placed Brentford.
The most recent result that the Baggies have produced may have been their fourth without a win after 1-1 draws against Brentford and Barnsley and a 2-0 home defeat against a resurgent Middlesbrough, but when Leeds came to town, getting something from the game, albeit a point, has to be celebrated.
The travelling Yorkshire side are something else. When they get going and have their shooting boots on they can cut any side apart and it is no cliche to say that they don’t know when they’re beaten, which was clear as day when the Whites recovered from two late equalisers against Birmingham to win 5-4 recently.
The danger for the home side was that after Slaven Bilic could only manage a paltry two points from a possible nine in his side’s three previous outings, a defeat to Leeds would have them three points adrift of top spot, whilst a draw left them level on points.
It can be very easy to see the game at a glance and view it as 1st vs 2nd, with the home side being the team expected to win, and a draw is looked at as a poor result, but the gap between the automatic spots and the play-off places is at nine points, the Baggies have games against 19th, 21st and 12th placed sides coming up, and they avoided defeat against their closest promotion rival.
Will Slav guide West Brom back to the Premier League?
Whilst a win would certainly have been an amazing result, getting one over on a Marcelo Bielsa side isn’t easy, and as the season draws on the chances to regain top spot will almost certainly surface, so staying in the fight and level on points with a draw can only be a good result.