Slaven Bilic insisted West Brom “slaughtered” Bristol City as they sealed a comprehensive 4-1 win to return to the top of the Sky Bet Championship.
Goals from Kieran Gibbs, Matheus Pereira, Hal Robson-Kanu and Charlie Austin made Albion the top scorers in the division, with the one blip Famara Diedhiou’s reply to make it 2-1.
“I don’t want to hide it but that was a great example – we showed physicality, shape, one against ones, pace, skill, crosses, second balls – everything,” said head coach Bilic.
“We slaughtered them on second balls and that’s what pleased me. There was no argument about that and this has to be the standard.”
Bilic added: “I was pleased with the performance from the first minute to the last.
“Even at the beginning of the second half when they had a five-minute spell – which you can’t stop – we suffered for seven minutes but we defended as a team, stopping corners, but that’s what I want, being top without the ball.
“Apart from that, the only negative was that we didn’t score more goals, against a team who had lost one in 16 or 17.”
Bilic is delighted with the goals return from his team.
“We should have scored more but goals are coming from all over the place,” he said.
“It’s very good to have that because we try to attack with numbers.
“It wasn’t like we had one chance and scored one.”
Bristol City boss Lee Johnson was not happy with his side’s performance.
Johnson said: “We came with ambition but we didn’t start.
“We were shy on the second balls and we weren’t aggressive enough. I apologise to our fans because they deserve that. They have been absolutely fantastic, particularly away from home.
“Disappointing is an understatement. One thing you have to do at a place like this is earn the right to play.
“I take full responsibility – it’s my team, my identity, and we didn’t do enough, individually, or as a team or staff.
“I don’t think it was a lack of effort but we were found wanting in too many areas against an albeit good side.
“We’re hurting after a loss and we’ve taken a bit of a pride bashing.
“It’s not final, but the players have to show more moving forward in those top six games.
“In one sense, I thought West Brom looked like a Premier League outfit, which was a good test for us and we should stand up to that better than we did.
“If we want to go where we want to go, we must demand more of each other.”
West Brom took the lead with the game’s first attack with a delightfully worked goal.
Grady Diangana tackled Bailey Wright, and completed a one-two with Robson-Kanu before backheeling into the path of Gibbs, who steered the ball home from 10 yards.
Substitute Diedhiou gave Albion a fright when he netted with a shot on the turn from six yards after the hosts failed to clear Niclas Eliasson’s corner 10 minutes from time.
But Robson-Kanu volleyed home at the near post from Matt Phillips’s cross two minutes later, for his fifth goal in seven games.
Then substitute Austin bundled in on 87 after goalkeeper Daniel Bentley diverted his initial effort onto the post, from another Phillips centre.