West Bromwich Albion have missed out on an immediate return to the Premier League. The Baggies were defeated 4-3 on penalties by Aston Villa after drawing 2-2 on aggregate with their rivals.
Craig Dawson’s goal saw James Shan’s team win 1-0 on the night but a cruel penalty shoot-out saw them miss out on a final berth.
The Baggies have been in an around the top six for the majority of the campaign and this defeat will hurt. The club will probably look to appoint a more permanent successor to Darren Moore ahead of a big push next season.
Penalty kicks are always a heartbreaking way to lose a game of football. West Brom can be proud of their performance, however. Over the two games, Shan’s team were competitive and to some extent unlucky not to progress to Wembley.
One man who was head and shoulders above his team-mates last night was Ahmed Hegazi. The Egyptian kept Villa at bay with some superb defending and the Baggies will desperately hope to keep him for next season.
The 28-year-old has featured in 42 games for the club this season. He has been a real rock at the heart of the defence for the Baggies and they can ill-afford to lose him.
Following last night’s contest, the Albion supporters were keen to praise their strapping central defender. The result might not have gone the way of the home side, but the supporters didn’t believe that was in any way down to Hegazi.
We looked at the best tweets regarding his performance:
One thought. Whoever has coached Dawson, Hegazi and Bartley recently knows their onions. Any coincidence that Appy and Reid have been there? #wba
— Duds (@AdamHingley) May 14, 2019
How murphy gets in that starting 11 over Kyle Edwards is beyond me, apart from that we were incredible. Fresh rebuild next season, an actual manager and I pray Hegazis here next season #wba
— B (@UncIeBenz) May 14, 2019
Hegazi was top draw tonight #wba
— Throstle Fantastic (@ThrstleFantstic) May 14, 2019
Superb effort, game changed with red card, 3 CBs write excellent, Hegazi Motm for me.
Going to be tough summer, we will miss Gayle and Holgate , they were fantastic loans #WBA
— stephen mackenzie (@baggie_boy) May 14, 2019
Brilliant effort tonight. Cannot believe how little Villa created over 210 mins, with around 50 against ten men. Hegazi phenomenal, Bartley excellent and Shan did himself proud. Injuries, suspensions and bad refereeing decisions did for us #wba
— Daniel McCulloch (@DMcCulloch1984) May 14, 2019
Hope whoever’s in charge next season tries his best to keep and build the team around Hegazi #Wba
— Dion (@Dionb99) May 14, 2019
Hegazi put in one of the best defensive performances I’ve seen down the Albion tonight, be gutted if we don’t keep hold of him
— Tom (@_tomwickstead) May 14, 2019
Thought the team did brilliant tonight. So gutted it didn't happen for us. I love Brunt but that challenge was stupid and, ultimately, feel it cost us. You could tell he was distraught. Dawson/Hegazi brilliant tonight. Well, they all were. #WBA
— Adam Townsend (@Adam_Townsend) May 14, 2019
Mason Holgate, Ahmed Hegazi we love you 💙 #wba
— Jay Hickman (@HurricaneHic147) May 14, 2019
Sadly think that'll be Hegazi's last game in an Albion shirt, gutted he missed his penalty
— Psalm 23 ❤ (@wba_tommo) May 14, 2019
Hegazi was brilliant today. Shame he missed the pen. Mustn't be allowed to overshadow a brilliant performance. #WBA
— David (@D_Ooshcruft) May 14, 2019