Scott Hogan’s hat-trick earned a 3-2 victory for Birmingham – their first at the Hawthorns since 2005 – as West Brom‘s poor start to the season continued.
The visitors made a lively start and went ahead in the 14th minute, Hogan finishing low across goalkeeper David Button from Juninho Bacuna’s through ball. Jed Wallace leveled nine minutes later, calmly slotted through John Ruddy’s legs from Jayson Molumby’s pass as the teams went level.
Blues regained the lead in spectacular style in the 54th minute. Hogan sidefooted home his second of the game and fourth of the season, but it owed so much to Bacuna, who started the move by winning the ball from a West Brom corner before taking Troy Deeney’s pass and racing clear, prior to supplying the cross.
Hogan completed his hat-trick when he latched on to a superb through ball from Deeney on the left and cut inside before poking the ball through Button’s legs at the near post. Thomas-Asante pulled one back with a late penalty, although the foul by Dion Sanderson looked like it was outside the area.
Victory allowed John Eustace’s side to climb above their neighbors and into mid-table, while West Brom are in 20th place with one win from nine league games.
Norwich tightened their grip on a top-two spot and made it six league wins in a row after holding off Bristol City 3-2 in an entertaining clash at Carrow Road.
Teemu Pukki pounced on poor defending to open the scoring in the 11th minute, lifting the ball over keeper Dan Bentley before nodding into an empty net. The on-loan Aaron Ramsey then set up Pukki’s second, his through ball fired inside Bentley’s near post by the Finnish forward.
Nigel Pearson’s side got back in the game before half time as Nahki Wells’ cross was headed home by Tommy Conway. As the visitors tried to increase the pressure in the second half, Norwich restored their two-goal cushion. Gabriel Sara’s corner in the 65th minute was headed home by the in-form Josh Sargent.
Bentley then produced a point-blank save to deny Pukki a hat-trick following a scramble at another corner, before substitute Antoine Semenyo fired home Bristol City’s second goal. The hosts held on, and are now one point behind leaders Sheffield United, and four points clear of third-placed Blackburn.
The Norwich manager, Dean Smith, was critical of his players despite the win. “I am disappointed with our performance tonight but I have not lost sight of the fact that it is another three points, that is the most important thing,” he said. “The lads have got a winning mentality at the moment and that’s something we need to harness.”
Reading lost their 100% home league record as they fell to a comprehensive 3-0 defeat to Sunderland. The Black Cats climbed back into the top six after Patrick Roberts struck twice in quick succession just before half time.
After a first half of few chances, Roberts cut in from the right and curled the ball beyond Joe Lumley for the opener in the 39th minute – and repeated the trick two minutes later. Jack Clarke made sure of victory in the 69th minute, latching onto a superb Dan Neil cross to slot home.
Rotherham sit in ninth place after a 3-0 home win over Blackpool. Chiedozie Ogbene’s first-half header was followed by late goals from Wes Harding and Georgie Kelly as the promoted side made it 13 points from their first eight games – their best start to a second-tier campaign since the 1965-66 season.
Coventry came from behind twice at He prays to pick up just their second point in their first six games. There were three goals in the first 15 minutes at Kenilworth Road, with the hosts’ Carlton Morris striking either side of Viktor Gyokeres’ strike. The visitors got a deserved point through Gustavo Hamer’s fine curling finish on the hour.
Queens Park Rangers returned to winning ways with a 2-0 victory at Millwall. After a goalless first half, Chris Willock’s stunning turn and finish from outside the box put the visitors in front, and Hoops captain Stefan Johansen fired home after a well-worked corner routine to settle the London derby at the Den.