West Bromwich Albion, somehow, is still alive in the Premier League. Barely alive. But alive nonetheless.
On a remarkable Saturday afternoon at the Hawthornes, West Brom staved off relegation with just minutes of its Premier League life remaining. Jake Livermore scrambled home a winner against Tottenham to take the Baggies off the bottom of the table. Swansea’s simultaneous loss to Bournemouth means the greatest ever Premier League escape could still be on the cards.
West Brom entered last Saturday afternoon needing all of the following results to stay in the league:
West Brom WIN over Newcastle
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
A week later, they saw Stoke relegated with a 2-1 loss to Crystal Palace. They then got the most improbable result of the 10, a win over Spurs. They also got the Swansea loss.
Southampton could ruin the fun with a win at Everton later on Saturday. But chances are that West Brom will go into the final week of the season with a realistic – though still unlikely – shot at completing the impossible.
The Baggies were dead and buried at the end of March, on just 20 points. With six matches remaining, they were seven points adrift of 19th place. They sacked Alan Pardew because his results had been awful, but also because they were seemingly resigned to failure.
Under caretaker boss Darren Moore, however, they haven’t lost. They’ve beaten Manchester United and Tottenham, and drawn Liverpool. Moore has taken more points in five games than Tony Pulis took in 12 at the beginning of the season, and more than Pardew took in 18.
West Brom’s Premier League status is still in the hands of others. A Southampton-Swansea draw isn’t a likely result, because a draw is never a likely result. The unlikeliest is a Stoke win over Swansea, with the Potters already relegated.
But a ton of unlikely occurrences have occurred already. Why can’t a few more?
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