Baggies off the bottom

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Football News

Robert Koren produced an inspired display to help West Brom move off the bottom of the Barclays Premier League with a 3-0 win - and drag Gareth Southgate's Middlesbrough further into the relegation mire.

The Slovenia international set up one goal for debutant Marc-Antoine Fortune and scored another himself after Chris Brunt had made an early breakthrough.

It enabled Albion to complete their first ever Premier League double - after a 1-0 win at the Riverside Stadium earlier in the season - and means Boro have now gone 10 league games without a win.

Brunt put the Baggies in front after only four minutes. Boro defender Tony McMahon failed to make proper contact with a clearance header from a deep cross by Carl Hoefkens and the ball broke to the Northern Ireland international who drilled in a low shot which took a slight deflection off McMahon.

Boro tried to retaliate and only the woodwork denied Afonso Alves an equaliser three minutes later. Scott Carson was at full stretch in palming away a deep centre from acting Boro skipper Stewart Downing and the ball broke to Alves who headed against the crossbar.

Alves then missed a good chance after 24 minutes after David Wheater had flicked on a floated free-kick from Andrew Taylor.

Jay Simpson and Brunt spurned opportunities to extend Albion's lead while Carson denied Alves again before Fortune tested Ross Turnbull at the other end.

Simpson missed a decent chance and then after 54 minutes Albion doubled their lead through Fortune's first goal for the club - although he knew little about it, deflecting home Koren's shot.

Alves missed another opportunity as the chances continued to come thick and fast before Boro were reduced to 10 men after 63 minutes, Didier Digard seeing red for a challenge on Borja Valero.

After 66 minutes Koren capped an excellent individual display by scoring Albion's third goal.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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West Bromwich Albion
Carl Hoefkens
Stewart Downing
Jay Simpson
Andrew Taylor
Chris Brunt
Afonso Alves
Tony McMahon
Robert Koren
Scott Carson
Gareth Southgate
Ross Turnbull
David Wheater
Didier Digard
Andrew Taylor

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