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PREMIER LEAGUE: West Brom ease relegation fears with huge victory at Wolves

Peter Odemwingie hit a hat-trick as West Bromwich Albion today saluted 5-1 over Wolves in a fairly entertaining encounter at The Molineux to draw further away from the drop zone.

The fourth Black Country derby in the Premier League saw the Baggies go ahead of their rivals with a record of two wins and a draw following the 2-0 home victory earlier this season as Wolves capitulated in the second half.

It was a year to the day that Roy Hodgson took the reins at Albion with the result on that occasion a 1-1 draw with Wolves at The Hawthorns but this time they went much better as they pushed eight points clear of Mick McCarthy's side, going past West Midlands rivals Aston Villa to , who face Manchester City later today.

After a sustained period of dominance, West Brom deservedly hit the lead in the 34th minute when Odemwingie received the ball on the right flank before cutting to the top of the area and sending home a fiercely struck left-footer which took handy deflections off Jamie O'Hara and Dave Edwards to finally beat Wayne Hennessey who had been in top form prior.

Wolves were struggling to trouble Baggies keeper Ben Foster throughout the first half but managed to produce a leveler in stoppage time when Steven Fletcher came up with a brilliant goal to bring up his 10th of the campaign. The Scottish striker took control before flicking onto Kevin Doyle who played it back to Fletcher for a glancing header to Sylvain Ebanks-Blake. He then popped a header back into the path of Fletcher who turned and swung it through the legs of Steven Reid and past Foster for a third Black Country derby goal.

Twenty minutes into the second half, the Baggies got themselves ahead courtesy of captain Jonas Olsson's second of the season which came when a corner was not properly cleared. The ball fell for the Swede who managed to get a 14-yard shot off which bounced in off Hennessey who was standing right on the goal-line with teammate Jarvis standing right in his line of vision.

In the 77th minute, the Baggies had essentially wrapped up the contest when Odemwingie grabbed his second from close range after a corner had been flicked in his direction by Olsson. It was the Nigerian's sixth league goal of the season and his fourth in four against Wolves.

With five minutes left, former Wolves midfielder Keith Andrews - on his Baggies debut - struck a fourth for his new club when James Morrison cut back from the byline for the Irishman to finish with a deflected left-foot shot from the top of the 'D'.

To rub further salt into the wounds of Wolves, Odemwingie completed his treble when Morrison found him at the top of the six-yard box from the left and the Nigerian finished strongly to get it past Hennessey despite the best efforts of the Welshman to make it Albion's second win in their past eight outings for their biggest win overWolves at the Molineux since1962.

Wolves were thoroughly outplayed in the first half with Hennessey keeping them in the contest and although they managed to level late, they fell further behind in the second term despite improving their overall game. In the end, however, Wolves suffered a fourth-straight home defeat to fall to 18th on the table much to the dismay of the home fans.

TRIBAL ASKS: Wolves plummet into the drop zone. Can McCarthy get enough out of his limited squad to keep them up yet again?

Wolverhampton Wanderers: 1 (Steven Fletcher 45+1') West Bromwich Albion: 5 (Peter Odemwingie 34'/77'/88', Jonas Olsson 65', Keith Andrews 85')

Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton

Yellow cards:WOL - Jamie O'Hara 27' WBA - nil

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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