West Brom bounced back to form with their 4-1 thrashing of high-flying Leeds on Saturday evening, as goals from Hal Robson-Kanu, Matt Phillips, Harvey Barnes and Dwight Gayle gave the Baggies a comfortable victory at the Hawthorns.
So far this season there has been huge talk about the tactics of new Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa, but West Brom’s Darren Moore outsmarted the experienced Argentine on the weekend to inflict Leeds’ third defeat of the season so far.
Apart from a couple of games at the beginning of this season, Moore has stuck religiously to his 3-4-1-2 formation that has allowed him to play with Barnes, Gayle and Jay Rodriguez in the attacking roles when all are fit.
Before the Leeds clash though the Baggies had failed to win any of their four previous matches, but Moore’s change to a 4-2-2-2 for the visit of the Whites certainly had the desired effect.
Bielsa has attempted to instil a philosophy of hard-work and high-pressing at the Elland Road outfit, but Moore’s side beat the Whites at their own game in the 4-1 thumping.
The Baggies started the game quickly and with Barnes and Phillips playing in behind Rodriguez and Robson-Kanu, Moore’s side had the legs to press from the front, meaning the new back four was tested far less than they might have expected.
Going toe-to-toe with one of the world’s most well-respected managers is not the tactic that all teams in the Championship will take when playing Leeds this season, but Moore deserves huge credit for his brave team selection and his side’s performance.