West Bromwich Albion recovered from their recent defeat with a convincing win over Wigan Athletic, though the scoreline did not accurately reflect their performance in this Championship encounter.
The game was expected to have significant implications at both ends of the table and has bolstered the Baggies’ chances of reaching the playoff spots, as they now sit just four points adrift.
Despite having 17 shots, the team was only able to convert one of them, which highlights their continued wastefulness in front of goal.
The home side had only scored eight goals in their previous nine matches across all competitions before their encounter with Wigan, but Daryl Dike was able to find the back of the net with a rebound header moments after the ball hit the crossbar.
However, the standout player of the game was undoubtedly John Swift, who was challenged by journalist Lewis Cox to be the “creative spark” for the team prior to kick-off, and the midfielder responded brilliantly.
Since joining the Hawthorns on a free transfer in the summer, Swift has recorded nine goal contributions, highlighting his consistency in the final third for a team that has had a turbulent campaign.
Although he’s had to play in various positions to help the squad, the 27-year-old has consistently performed for the team, and he finally got the opportunity to play in a free role in the game against Wigan.
Swift did not disappoint, recording the highest rating on the pitch with a 7.8 Sofascore rating, outshining the match-winner Daryl Dike. The American striker was a great focal point for the midfielder, giving the team a physical presence up front.
Before being substituted in the 85th minute, Swift recorded 63 touches of the ball, an 85% pass accuracy, and four key passes, according to Sofascore. Cox was particularly pleased with Swift’s cross, describing it as an “outrageous delivery.” Out of the three attempted crosses, all three found their target.
Swift’s exceptional performance helped secure a narrow victory for West Bromwich Albion. If he can maintain this level of play, he could become the catalyst that propels the team back into the Premier League.