Blackpool earn historic win
Blackpool claimed their first home Barclays Premier League win with a 2-1 victory over promoted rivals West Brom who were reduced to nine men in the opening half hour.
Charlie Adam scored from the penalty spot after Baggies defender Pablo Ibanez was harshly sent off as the last man after just 11 minutes. The away side's task became even harder when Gonzalo Jara also saw red after 29 minutes, following a ludicrous two-footed challenge on Luke Varney, who scored his side's second on the hour mark.
It proved a decisive strike as Youssouf Mulumbu pulled a goal back and set up a nervy final five minutes during which the Tangerines did just enough to hang on for their first home win in four games.
The Baggies' hopes were dealt their first major blow as they lost their first of two players to a red card after 11 minutes. DJ Campbell ran onto an Adam throughball and with only Ibanez in attendance he went down under the merest of contact from the defender.
Despite that referee Michael Oliver, who at 25 became the Premier League's youngest ever match official earlier this season, had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and then showing the obligatory red card to Ibanez as the last man. Adam blasted the penalty passed Scott Carson, who did get hands on the ball, to give his side the lead.
The away side's task became almost insurmountable when Jara became their second player to see red just before the half hour. This time there was no doubting that Oliver made the correct decision as the Chilean defender needlessly scythed down Varney with a terrible two-footed challenge near the corner flag.
With only a goal in the game West Brom had enough reason to retain some belief and after controlling possession for a 10-minute period started to push numbers forward. It proved their undoing, however, as Blackpool found a second goal to give them a comfortable advantage in the 61st minute.
The industrious David Vaughan recovered the ball high up the pitch and quickly played in Elliot Grandin, who drove into the area and, with the exposed Carson committed to his near post, slid a pass across the face of goal for Varney to tap in.
That should have made the rest of the night comfortable for Blackpool but some poor defending allowed West Brom a way back into the game five minutes from the end. Yousouf Mulumbu was given too much time to trick his way into the area and curl a shot in at the far post to set up a nervy end.
The away fans suddenly sensed their side could snatch a remarkable draw and Paul Scharner almost found it when he headed a Chris Brunt free-kick narrowly wide before Steven Reid blasted over following a goalmouth scramble.