Brandon Thomas-Asante eased dominant West Brom back to winning ways with a 1-0 Championship victory over 10-player Norwich after the visitors had Borja Sainz needlessly sent off in the first half at The Hawthorns.

Thomas-Asante grabbed the all-important goal in the 50th minute to cement West Brom’s position of fifth in the table.

But Norwich were forced to play almost an hour with 10 men after the Spanish winger was dismissed for two bookable offences, the second one dissent.

Carlos Corberan’s side were good value for their second win in six as they created chances galore – virtually all from man of the match Jed Wallace – with John Swift hitting the post.

West Brom dominated the first half-hour and should have been comfortably in the lead.

Swift was the chief culprit, missing no fewer than six openings of various difficulty.

Two early hopeful long-range shots from the former Reading forward flew high and wide before he volleyed against the woodwork from Wallace’s inviting cross on the run.

Swift then sent a floating header high and wide from Okay Yokuslu’s cross before the 28-year-old missed his kick in front of goal after Wallace teed him up again.

The game appeared to swing even more towards Albion when Sainz’s dramatic five minutes started with a 30th-minute booking for bringing down Grady Diangana.

Swift’s dipping shot from 30 yards was tipped away by goalkeeper Angus Gunn before Sainz’s shot was saved by Alex Palmer.

Within 60 seconds, Sainz hooked the ball inches wide after Jonathan Rowe got a faint touch to flick on a long throw-in.

But the Spaniard picked up a second yellow card – for dissent in the 34th minute – to leave his team a man down.

The hosts returned to the attack and Thomas-Asante sent a shot on the turn straight at Gunn.

Norwich head coach David Wagner clearly had defence on his mind as he replaced striker Ashley Barnes and winger Rowe with centre-backs Grant Hanley and Danny Batth at half-time.

But it made little difference as Thomas-Asante finally broke the deadlock.

The striker scrambled home his eighth goal of the season from two yards out after Diangana headed Wallace’s cross goalwards.

It remained one-way traffic and efforts from Diangana, Swift’s chip and Darnell Furlong all went wide, all three chances from Wallace’s assists.

But Palmer had to be alert and he made a vital one-handed save from substitute Ui-Jo Hwang to keep Albion’s lead intact.

The managers

West Brom’s Carlos Corberan:

“The result was fair, from the way the game was going against 11 players and the way it went when we were against 10.

“I know the group wanted to take responsibility when they think something hasn’t gone well and we never want to make excuses.

“I wanted to see a reaction from the previous game because in the last game, I didn’t see his real [Thomas-Asante’s] level. Today I saw him competing much better.

“I think sometimes – depending on the context of the game – it switches towards the advantages of one player.

“He’s not good at every single thing, but the important thing for him is to know what type of striker he is and play with the maximum mentality that he needs to play with.”

Norwich’s David Wagner:

“When you’re on a booking, you can’t ask for another yellow. Everyone knows this – this rule has not been since yesterday and this rule exists all over the world.

“So it’s something you can’t do, especially if you’ve been booked and this is why – even if it’s a harsh decision – it was the correct decision and there is no one to blame but Borja himself.

“I have to speak with him and I will do, for sure, but officially and not in public.

“If he takes what’s right out of this situation – and I’ll make sure he takes what’s right – it will be another step in his progression.

“We’ll support him but it’s my job to speak about the truth as well.”



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