REUTERS - West Bromwich Albion climbed to the heady heights of sixth, above Manchester United, as they repelled a Watford fightback to claim a third victory in four games.
Their 3-1 win also afforded manager Tony Pulis some solace in a week in which the High Court ordered him to pay his former club Crystal Palace, 3.77 million pounds ($4.80 million) in a dispute over his departure in 2014.
“I haven’t taken my eye off the ball and it hasn’t affected the club,” Pulis said afterwards, preferring to focus on his side’s run of form that has seen them climb the table.
A trademark West Brom set-piece goal saw them take a 16th-minute lead, Jonny Evans hanging in the air to head in powerfully from a Chris Brunt corner.
Brunt doubled the lead in the 33rd minute, skimming a free kick just inside the post via a slight deflection.
Watford were a different proposition after the break and Christian Kabasele pulled a goal back after being teed up by Troy Deeney. Watford’s revival was stopped in its tracks six minutes from time, though, when Roberto Pereyra was sent off after a clash with James McClean.
Matt Phillips curled in West Brom’s third to lift them above Manchester United on goal difference.
“It was a proper scrap,” Pulis said. “We had to dig in and show a lot of character.”
($1 = 0.7855 pounds)
Reporting by Martyn Herman,; Editing by Neville Dalton