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West Brom: Grant’s penalty miss could have been a blessing in disguise

West Brom‘s shocking start to the Championship season continued on Saturday as they lost 3-2 against Swansea City at the Hawthorns.

Steve Bruce’s side bounced back from Matthew Sorinola’s early opener for the Swans to take a 2-1 lead after goals from Jake Livermore and Grady Diangana.

However, their lead was short-lived as Olivier Ntcham made it 2-2, before the crucial moment which will leave the majority of Baggies fans absolutely fuming.

After a foul in the box, substitute Karlan Grant stepped up for an 82nd-minute penalty, only to send a weak, chipped effort straight down the middle, with Steven Benda comfortably saving.

To make matters worse, Michael Obafemi would score an 89th-minute winner for the Swans to leave the Baggies in 21st position and put Bruce under even more pressure.

Grant was understandably criticised by journalists after the game, with Chris Lepkowski labelling the penalty “utterly unprofessional“, while Birmingham Live’s Joe Chapman described it as “dreadful“.

His overall performance from the bench was less than impressive, as he had just 11 touches and completed four passes but while he let his manager down, there may be a silver lining.

Do you think Bruce will be sacked?

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While it is understandably frustrating that the Baggies lost again, had Grant converted the penalty and West Brom held on for three points, then it might have extended Bruce’s stay even further.

The former Newcastle United boss should be under serious pressure at the Hawthorns after a woeful start to the season that has returned just one win against Hull City in 11 Championship games.

West Brom were one of the pre-season favourites for promotion but now find themselves in a relegation battle and a change at the helm is needed if they are to turn things around. Indeed, a defeat, rather than a draw will surely accelerate any plans for a new manager, something that will surely only benefit Albion going forward.

Bruce admitted ahead of the international break that he was under pressure so after another disappointing home defeat, it is surely time for the board to act and sack him while the season can still be salvaged.

Hopefully, the penalty miss and subsequent loss prove to be the catalyst in Bruce being replaced as manager before Wednesday’s game against Preston North End.

Article title: West Brom: Grant’s penalty miss could have been a blessing in disguise

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