Football

Big Sam’s first relegation from EPL

West Bromwich Albion manager Sam Allardyce bemoaned his side's profligacy in front of goal, as he suffered the ignominy of relegation from the English Premier League for the first time after a 3-1 loss at Arsenal yesterday morning (Singapore time).

Knowing that they had to avoid defeat to have any chance of staying up, the Baggies created plenty of chances but could make only one of them count.

First-half goals by Emile Smith Rowe and Nicolas Pepe gave the Gunners a 2-0 lead, before Matheus Pereira pulled one back for WBA in the second half. Willian then made it 3-1 in the 90th minute.

Allardyce told BT Sport: "We had the opportunity to take a lead but we failed to find the right ball, failed to produce the right cross or the right finish."

The 66-year-old had managed to stay up with seven previous EPL clubs before taking over when the Baggies sacked Slaven Bilic last December, with the club 19th in the table.

He refused to be drawn on whether he would be staying.

After their Europa League loss to Villarreal, which left the Gunners with the prospect of no European football for the first time in 25 years, manager Mikel Arteta said it was important to finish the season strong.

Arsenal visit third-placed Chelsea on Thursday morning. - REUTERS

Football