The first Black Country derby in just under nine years did not disappoint as West Brom beat Wolves 3-2 to give Sam Allardyce his first win as their manager.
Feistiness was on show right from the get-go as Willy Boly brought down Callum Robinson in only the eighth minute to give away a penalty, which was converted with ease by Matheus Pereira.
Boly then made amends with a backheel assist for Wolves’ equaliser and 18 year-old Fabio Silva’s first goal at the Molineux, before scoring himself just five minutes later.
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However, the Baggies came out all guns blazing after the half-time break with Semi Ajayi making it 2-2 thanks to his looping header in the 52nd minute.
Wolves defenders could then be forgiven for experiencing a sense of déjà vu as Robinson once again won a penalty that was scored by Pereira, this time to lead 3-2.
West Brom were able to hold on thanks to some valiant defending, ensuring that they narrow the gap to a mere three points adrift of safety.
They next visit West Ham on Tuesday night. Meanwhile, Wolves’ next outing is an FA Cup fourth round tie against National League North side Chorley on Friday.
TALKING POINT - WHO WILL FILL RAUL JIMENEZ'S BOOTS?
Since their talisman Jimenez fractured his skull in late November, for a Wolves side that are typically starved of consistent goals anyway, goals have been even harder to come by. This need for goals has piled even more pressure on club record signing Fabio Silva, who still needs time to adjust despite his goal today, as well as causing both Morgan Gibbs-White and Patrick Cutrone to be recalled from their respective loans. Romanian teenager Theodor Corbeanu is another option - an academy graduate who has made the bench in recent weeks.
However, it is now looking increasingly likely that Wolves will have to dip into their pockets before the end of the month to fill the void left by Jimenez, who still appears to be a long way off returning to action.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Matheus Pereira (West Brom) - The Brazilian playmaker had found life tough in the Premier League after excelling in the Championship on loan at the Baggies last season. However, today him and Robert Snodgrass gave West Brom the creativity and inventiveness they need to create a plethora of chances. A particular highlight was a lovely chipped pass into Robinson, who really should have hit the target with his effort from inside the box. Pereira's two goals from penalties were the cherry on the cake, with that performance surely making the West Brom hierarchy and fans alike even more keen to end the current impasse regarding his contractual situation.
Wolves: Patricio 6, Saiss 5, Semedo 7, Boly 8, Coady 5, Neves 5, Dendoncker 6, Moutinho 6, Traore 7, Neto 8, Silva 7...Subs: Gibbs-White 6, Ait-Nouri 5, Cutrone N/A
West Brom: Button 6, O'Shea 6, Gibbs 6, Bartley 8, Ajayi 8, Grosicki 6, Snodgrass 7, Livermore 5, Sawyers 5, Pereira 9, Robinson 7...Subs: Robson-Kanu 5, Furlong N/A
8' - GOOOAAAALLLL!!! A quick VAR check confirms that contact was in fact made just inside the box and Pereira converts the penalty in a composed manner to put the Baggies a goal ahead!
31' - WHAT A STOP FROM PATRICIO!!! Grosicki's header falls to Robinson who's just about onside, but the Wolves 'keeper reacts quickly to deny the Republic of Ireland international a goal.
38' - GOOOAAAALLL!!! Silva bags his first ever goal at Molineux, slotting the ball into the bottom-right corner from Boly's backheel to equalise for Wolves!
52' - GOOOAAAALLL!!! West Brom are back in it with an equaliser! O'Shea's long throw-in finds Bartley in the box. He flicks on a header to Ajayi, who loops his own header into the net to make it 2-2!
55' - ANOTHER PENALTY TO WEST BROM!! And it's Robinson who's won it again! Grosicki plays a simple pass to him in the box, he tries to turn the defender and gets clipped in the process. Not much contact in that but VAR doesn't overturn it.
56' - GOOOAALLLL!!! Pereira slots home his second penalty of the day comfortably and after being 2-1 down at half-time, the Baggies suddenly lead 3-2! This match has everything!
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