I'd have gladly taken a one nil win had someone offered it to me on a plate before the game, getting three points under our belts was all important at this early stage. The icing on the cake was Tottenham's defeat to Boro at the Rivserside, top four my arse, some people never learn do they? Forty million on new players and null points, spending does not appear to guarantee glory.
The goal came early, Denilson bursting through and cutting back for Nasri to cleverly stab the ball low beyond Carson. After this swift stike many would have expected us to go on and win the game in convincing fashion, this didn't happen unfortunately.
Immense credit must go to the Baggies, who worked very hard to stay in the game and gave us a couple of rather hairy moments at the other end; Kim forced an excellent save from Almunia in the first half and the impressive tank-like Miller caused us problems while he was on the pitch, one blocked shot of his led to further goal bound effort that Djorou magnificently hacked off the goal line.
Having given credit to the opposition, we must take a fair share of the blame ourselves for some rather sloppy shooting and slack play in the final third. Eboue, who had a surprisingly good game in centre midfield, was the chief culprit on the profligate shooting front; while Adebayor should have made much more of several very good opportunities.
West Brom did ride their luck somewhat, we could have easily had a penalty for Walcott's goal bound header that was blocked by an arm, there were two almost own goals and several efforts flashed very narrowly wide (Gallas' rasping thirty yarder, Bendtner's powerful header and RVP's toed prod).
Nasri looked a breath of fresh air, he has that rare quality on the ball that enables him to jink back and forth, with the defender not knowing which way to turn, while he is a master at creating chances for this team mates with incisive through balls. He is two footed, direct and strong on the ball. If he continues to play like this then Hleb will be long long forgotten. Denilson had a solid game in midfield. Djorou again defended well, other than one lapse for which he made amends with his goal line clearance; he just needs to be a bit more aggressive at times and take no prisoners.
The one obvious gap in our side was still in the heart of the midfield. Although West Brom were not good enough to maintain much possession in our half of the field, there were a couple of moments in the second half when their players breezed through our central midfield area without being challenged, fortunately they were not good enough to exploit this, however other teams will not be so kind. It's early days and we will get much sharper, but you get the feeling that with a brick wall of a centre midfielder stuck in there, we could be a match for anyone.