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Clement's analysis after a game of two halves

First half positives taken from Hawthorns defeat...

6 October 2018

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West Bromwich Albion have scored four or more goals on four separate occasions this season, and the clinical Baggies deserved all three points this afternoon based on conversion of chances.

However, the scoreline flattered a side who were distinctly second best in the first half as the Royals frustrated the hosts and created chances that could have seen this afternoon's game end very differently.

"It’s our heaviest defeat of the season – but in terms of the way we played, it doesn't feel like it is," manager Paul Clement said after the game.

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"The performance – especially in the first half – was really positive. We contained them really well, we scored our goal early, and we had a couple of other good chances as well.

"So we could have come in at the break with a bigger advantage and better scoreline, because we had played well in the first half.

"I told the players that, because they deserved praise after what they had done in the first half.

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"In the second half, they came out and put more intensity into the game and they were more powerful.

"They are a really good side and they’re right at the top of the division; they’re the highest scoring team and they have Premier League quality all over the pitch. And we gave them a tough game.

"But in the second half we couldn’t contain them. From an attacking perspective, they showed the ability they have. You give them a bit of space or if they get the ball around your box, they have height, power and technically good players.

"Saying that, the goals we conceded weren’t down to tactical reasons...they came from mistakes where we could have done a lot better.

"We’ve had games recently where we’ve lost at home by narrow margins and the performances have been poor, and we’ve all felt disappointed.

"But today is a strange feeling. We’re ultimately on the wrong end of a 4-1 defeat, which is not easy to take, but at the same time we saw some of the best football that we’ve played this season in the first half.

"Sometimes you have to say your congratulations and that the better team got the result today. But at the same time there are a lot of positives that we have to build on from the first-half performance."

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