‘More than three points’ – Slaven Bilic on West Brom’s first win this season
West Bromwich Albion boss Slaven Bilic said beating Sheffield United was more important for the psychological boost than the three points as his side won for the first time this season in the Premier League to move out of the relegation zone.
Conor Gallagher scored the game’s only goal when he drove through a crowded box early in the first half.
Sheffield United rallied late on as they looked to get their first win of the season but a mixture of fine goalkeeping by Sam Johnstone and poor finishing means they remain bottom of the table with just one point.
In total there were 39 shots in the game – the joint-most in any Premier League game this season – underlining the desperation from both sides to get the win.
“This was the game,” said Bilic. “There are enough games after this one, but it was very important – crucial – for both teams to win the game.
“The guys are reading the papers. Everybody’s asking when are you going to get your first win. That’s why it was incredibly important for us to go over that block.
“I see this as more than three points, because it’s our first win. Second, we’ve done it against a team who is down there with us. It’s a great boost for our confidence and for the games that are coming.”
After Gallagher’s opener, Kyle Bartley went close to adding a second for the hosts but his second-half header was superbly kept out by Blades goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.
Baggies keeper Johnstone twice prevented the visitors from equalising with excellent saves, keeping out ex-West Brom winger Oliver Burke’s powerful header before somehow stopping Oli McBurnie’s fierce drive.
George Baldock also had a golden opportunity to equalise but somehow bent a shot over the bar when unmarked inside the box.
The visitors threw players forward in the closing stages in a desperate attempt to rescue a point but when Lys Mousset lashed over from six yards out deep into the seven minutes of time added on, it was clear it was not going to be the Blades’ night.