How West Brom can complete the greatest ever Premier League escape

The West Bromwich Albion autopsies have already been completed. The postmortems have been prepared. The eulogies have been written. And West Brom … well, it refuses to die.

Seemingly down to their last few Premier League breaths when calendars flipped from March to April, the Baggies have gone unbeaten since. They’ve taken eight points from four matches under caretaker manager Darren Moore, beating Manchester United at Old Trafford and coming from behind to draw Liverpool. They beat Newcastle 1-0 on Saturday to stay alive once again.

But only barely.

Southampton’s win over Bournemouth, which was the most significant Saturday result in the battle to avoid relegation, means there are only a few sets of remaining results that can see West Brom stay in the Premier League:

How West Brom can avoid relegation

After Saturday’s 3 p.m. kickoffs, the bottom of the Premier League table looks like this:

17. Swansea — played: 34 | points: 33
18. Southampton — played: 35 | points: 32
19. Stoke — played: 36 | points: 30
20. West Brom — played: 36 | points: 28

The Baggies, therefore, need the following results to finish 17th and stay up:

Swansea LOSS to Chelsea
Stoke LOSS OR DRAW vs. Crystal Palace
Swansea LOSS to Bournemouth
West Brom WIN over Tottenham
Southampton DRAW with Swansea
West Brom WIN over Crystal Palace
Stoke WIN over Swansea
Southampton MAXIMUM OF ONE POINT vs. Everton and Manchester City

That would leave the bottom four looking like this:

West Brom 34
Swansea 34
Southampton 33 or 34
Stoke 33 or 34

Survival would then depend on goal differential. Southampton is currently at -19. Swansea and West Brom are both at -24. Stoke is at -33. So the Baggies, in their two wins, would need to make up five goals on Southampton – with the Saints hypothetically losing either one or two of their remaining games.

The scenarios are so specific because Swansea, in 17th, plays both Southampton (18th) and Stoke (19th) over the season’s final half-month. That’s why even a Swansea draw against Chelsea in Saturday’s late kickoff would doom West Brom. There would still be just six points between the two teams, but Swansea staying on 34 would require a loss to Southampton … which would in turn take the Saints to 35, out of West Brom’s reach.

And that’s the case because Southampton picked up three massive points Saturday:

Southampton wins its must-win

Dusan Tadic was the hero for the Saints as they finally held onto a lead and beat Bournemouth 2-1. He opened the scoring in the first half:

After Bournemouth pegged back the hosts right before halftime, Tadic won the game in the second half:

Other results

Crystal Palace more or less secured its spot in the Premier League with a rampant 5-0 win over Leicester City.

Huddersfield isn’t quite safe yet after a 2-0 home loss to Everton. The Terriers are only three points clear of the relegation zone.

Burnley and Brighton played to a stalemate. Brighton is close to safety as well.

Earlier in the day, Stoke held Liverpool to a 0-0 draw at Anfield. It was a positive result, but with only two fixtures remaining for the Potters, it might not be enough.

West Brom beat Newcastle 1-0 to complete an unbeaten April in the Premier League. (Getty)
West Brom beat Newcastle 1-0 to complete an unbeaten April in the Premier League. (Getty)

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Henry Bushnell covers global soccer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Question? Comment? Email him at henrydbushnell@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter @HenryBushnell, and on Facebook.

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