A week is a long time in football, and the Manchester City manager, Stuart Pearce, was left scratching his head as the same team who put five goals past Charlton Athletic last Sunday surrendered meekly to West Bromwich Albion.
"It was two totally contrasting performances and it's difficult to tell why," Pearce said after goals from Diomansy Kamara and Kevin Campbell had given West Bromwich victory. "Maybe one or two of our players thought that it was enough just to pull the shirt on today, and you can't turn up with that attitude in the Premiership."
No player suffered more contrasting fortunes than Andrew Cole, who had scored twice at The Valley, but was sent off in the dying minutes yesterday for elbowing Kamara, the man of the match.
The away side took to the field wearing a shocking yellow strip, but it was West Bromwich who made a brighter start in what their manager, Bryan Robson, hailed as "our best performance of the season - better than the 4-0 win against Everton".
After five minutes, Kamara received a long pass from Junichi Inamoto, chipped the ball gloriously over a wrong-footed Ben Thatcher and ran into the open space to fire his shot into the bottom left corner of David James's goal. Thatcher completed a miserable first half when he ran into Kamara with his forearm. It should have been a sending-off, but neither referee nor linesman saw anything wrong.
With City resembling statues, West Bromwich made it two on the hour when Campbell, their unmarked substitute, headed into the top left-hand corner from a Paul Robinson cross.
Campbell was preferred to Rob Earnshaw after Nathan Ellington came off concussed, and the 35-year-old more than justified Robson's faith.Reuse content