Middlesbrough manager Michael Carrick was left to rue what he deemed to be a foul in the build-up to West Brom’s opening goal as Boro were beaten 4-2 at The Hawthorns.

Carrick’s winless side, who reached the Championship play-offs last season, suffered their third defeat in four matches after going down to Carlos Corberan’s Baggies.

The hosts took control of the match with two goals in quick succession midway through the first half, but Carrick bemoaned referee Jeremy Simpson’s decision to not award a free-kick to Jonny Howson prior to Cedric Kipre opening the scoring.

“It’s a big moment,” Carrick said.

“It’s hard not to get too frustrated, but I thought it was a clear two-handed push. You’re going to suffer things which go against you over a season. I’m not going to sit here and say everything is fantastic because we haven’t won yet, but equally there’s more to it than that.”

Although Middlesbrough, who had Tommy Smith sent off just after half-time following a second booking, have begun the season slowly, Carrick remains encouraged with many aspects of what he has seen from his team, which is still finding its feet after the loss of top scorers Chuba Akpom and Cameron Archer over the course of the summer.

Carrick added: “I feel for the boys. There are two sides of it – there’s the result which you can’t hide from, but it’s what happens within that which leads to the result.

“We’ve conceded four shots on target, and four goals. One is a foul, one was a mistake and for a large part I thought there were a lot of good things. We have finished the game strong with 10 men. I was encouraged by things I’m seeing – it’s a strange feeling in many ways.

“You can’t hide from it, but it doesn’t knock my belief in the boys in the squad. We keep doing a lot of things we’re doing and the results will come.”

West Brom quickly backed up Kipre’s 22nd-minute opener with John Swift’s superb 27th-minute thunderbolt, but Boro replied a minute later through Emmanuel Latte Lath.

Albion struck quickly in the second period through Brandon Thomas-Asante before Smith was sent off and, although Boro responded again via Marcus Forss’ late penalty, Jeremy Sarmiento sealed the points in stoppage time for the hosts.

Despite making it two wins from two at home this season, Baggies boss Corberan still sees room for improvement in his side.

“It was hard for me, emotionally, to see that we were better than them at 2-0 and you go to 2-1. We need to control better some moments of the game, in some areas of the pitch, to stop conceding goals that we need to avoid,” he said.

“At 3-1, we were allowed to be more dominant in attack without hurting them, and the red card meant we had a numerical advantage. Sometimes when you have the ball so much, you lose concentration. We started to relax in defence.

“In some moments they found ways to create chances against us. This is something I want to correct, because I want a strong team in attack and a strong team in defence. The fact that we score goals doesn’t mean anything.”

West Brom recorded their second home win of the new Championship season as they eventually prevailed against 10-man Middlesbrough in a breathless encounter at The Hawthorns.

The Baggies stormed ahead in a frantic first half thanks to Cedric Kipre’s 22nd-minute strike and John Swift’s 27th-minute thunderbolt, but Boro replied a minute later through Emmanuel Latte Lath.

Albion struck quickly in the second period through Brandon Thomas-Asante to make it 3-1 before Tommy Smith was shown his marching orders for the visitors soon after.

Marcus Forss did convert a late penalty, but the Baggies made sure of the points when Jeremy Sarmiento struck in stoppage time.

The first notable opportunity fell to the visitors, but it was of West Brom’s own making. Semi Ajayi, when receiving Okay Yokuslu’s pass inside his own penalty area, was caught in possession by Riley McGree and the Australian poked a low effort at goal which Alex Palmer was able to save with his leg.

Passing up that chance would prove costly, as Albion went up the other end and produced the afternoon’s first goal.

Darnell Furlong’s long throw-in was contested by Ajayi and Darragh Lenihan, but the loose ball fell to Kipre, who made room for himself, chested the ball down and struck a smart half-volley past Seny Dieng.

West Brom doubled their advantage a little over five minutes later when Jayson Molumby fed Swift, who was allowed time and space to drive forwards from midfield and fire a powerful shot into the top corner.

The first half fun and games were not done there, though, as Boro hit back instantly. Samuel Silvera ran at Matt Phillips on the right-hand side and the cross which followed was nodded past Palmer by Latte Lath.

The Ivorian centre-forward might have doubled his own tally before half-time, but he lifted another attempt over Palmer and also over the bar.

Equally, Albion could have extended their advantage at the other end, but Phillips pulled a low shot just wide of the far post.

Boro right-back Smith was booked for catching Jed Wallace just before half-time but it was his full-back counterpart Lukas Engel who endured a nightmare beginning to the second period when his attempted pass back was cut out by the lurking Thomas-Asante, who nipped in, took advantage of the loose ball and rounded Dieng before calmly rolling the ball home.

The Baggies were two goals to the good again, and shortly after they had a man advantage too, when Smith pulled Phillips’ shirt on the run and was dismissed with his second booking.

The home side, though, failed to put the game to bed and 10-man Boro were encouraged in the later stages when Isaiah Jones’ cross from the left struck the arm of Furlong and fellow substitute Forss rolled home the resulting penalty.

But West Brom would prevail when on-loan Brighton forward Sarmiento collected the ball from former Boro loanee Alex Mowatt in the penalty area before rifling his shot into the roof of the net.

Leeds boss Daniel Farke knows he has a “hell of a task” on his hands at the club this season.

The Whites boss was talking after his side’s 1-1 draw with West Brom.

Brandon Thomas-Asante opened the scoring with a controversial goal which came off his hand before captain Luke Ayling rescued the hosts a point at Elland Road.

Willy Gnonto has this week handed in a transfer request after a string of high-profile departures since the club were relegated from the Premier League.

Farke, whose side are searching for a first league win since the start of April, said: “It’s a hell of a challenge. We were expecting to keep a few of our quality players.

“We also have a few injuries to our key players which is also unlucky.

“We had to wait so long for the financial restrictions to get some incomings so it’s not been easy.

“Hopefully we can get better and better as the season goes. There were many encouraging signs today.

“It’s a long road, a bumpy road, a hell of a task. If it was easy then everybody would do it and I’m looking forward to this challenge.”

On the Albion goal, Farke added: “I wasn’t aware their goal was handball. I was thinking it might be, but I was too far away to judge it.

“We can only concentrate on what we can influence and that’s our performance.

“I only have compliments for the lads. I like this attitude, the lads never know when they are beaten.

“You have these periods in the season where you find it hard to win games so you have to make sure you don’t lose.

“I’m pretty pleased with our performance. It would normally be enough for three points, but I’m pleased with our spirit and the comeback attitude.”

Baggies boss Carlos Corberan spent three years as U23s coach at the club.

But hopes of a happy return to the club were dashed by Ayling’s equaliser.

He reflected: “I think it was a fair result. But we didn’t use our attacking advantages as well as we could have.

“We put pressure on them, but we conceded chances with our mistakes which gave Leeds the mentality that they could hurt us.

“We scored the goal early in the second half and that made us more focused to defend the result.

“I liked how the team’s intensity didn’t decrease after we conceded the goal. We stayed concentrated and we reacted enough and didn’t allow them to keep that momentum and attack us.

“I liked the reaction from the team, I liked the way we showed our personality early in the second half.

“But it is true that we need to avoid the mistakes and to take advantage when we’re attacking to harm the opponent.

“I don’t want to review the actions which may have been complicated for the referees.

“Maybe after we scored the goal we were too focused on defending and maybe we should have been more aggressive. That’s the only thing that maybe I will review and tell my team in terms of managing the game better.”

Leeds’ wait for a first league win since April 4 went on after they came from behind to secure a 1-1 draw with West Brom.

Baggies boss Carlos Corberan, who spent three years at Elland Road, thought he had earned bragging rights over his old club thanks to Brandon Thomas-Asante’s controversial opener, which came off his arm, early in the second half.

But Luke Ayling clinched the hosts a welcome point with his bullet header.

Both sides hit the post in an entertaining encounter under the lights in Yorkshire.

Leeds boss Daniel Farke made two changes to his injury-hit side as big-money French striker Georginio Rutter made his first start of the season.

For the Baggies, Thomas-Asante returned to the starting line-up to lead the line.

It was a slow start in front of a raucous home crowd, with Sam Byram flashing a shot across the face of goal the only real action in the opening 10 minutes.

But you could tell the hosts, roared on by their vocal support, were up for it as Dan James forced Alex Palmer into a good low save after a deflection.

Albion were indebted to the woodwork as Leeds went agonisingly close. Jamie Shackleton’s speculative effort took a wicked deflection off Cedric Kipre as it hit the base of the post.

When West Brom were finally presented with a decent chance Darnell Furlong fluffed his lines at the back post after being found by a deep Matty Phillips cross.

After the break, it was Albion’s turn to be denied by the furniture. Leeds stopper Illan Meslier produced a super save to palm Jed Wallace’s effort, after getting on the end of Thomas-Asante’s drilled cross, onto the post.

But it was not long before the deadlock was broken by Thomas-Asante in the 52nd minute. It was a scrappy goal, but the visiting fans did not care.

Leeds failed to clear a near-post corner as Jayson Molumby’s strike went through a sea of bodies before being diverted goalwards off the striker’s arm.

Leeds upped the ante with time running out, with Palmer pulling off a stunning fingertip save to keep out a James thunderbolt which was destined for the top corner.

And it was the former Manchester United winger who created the equaliser as Ayling made a superb run to get on the end of James’ cross and head home the 72nd-minute leveller.

The hosts almost led within the blink of an eye as Palmer made another smart stop, this time to keep out Joe Gelhardt.

West Brom head coach Carlos Corberan accepted his side had to suffer as they held on to beat Swansea 3-2 at The Hawthorns.

The Baggies appeared to be cruising towards a first three points of the new Sky Bet Championship season after Semi Ajayi, a Carl Rushworth own goal and a John Swift penalty put them 3-0 up just after the hour.

However, Swansea fought back with late goals from Harry Darling and Nathan Wood after Jerry Yates hit the bar gave the Baggies a mighty scare.

“We won a game by suffering without managing it the way we needed to do,” Corberan said.

“The best thing of course was the result and the worst thing was that we suffered more than we had to suffer during one part of the game.

“Two things happened – firstly they started to play 4-3-1-2 and had quality players in the middle of the pitch, then they switched to 5-3-2.

“Secondly, when they changed, they didn’t create chances from open play, but they started to create set-pieces and actions from those.

“We were not on it from those set-pieces and conceded two goals and a lot of chances that put the result at a lot of risk.”

Corberan believes he needs to persevere with playing three central defenders because he is convinced the team needs the extra protection.

“I need to make the team grow from the solidity in defence,” he said.

“But we have conceded in every game we have played so far – four goals – and for me it’s important to stop this.

“It’s important for us to have one defender more (three at the back) because it can help you recover the solidity.”

West Brom’s early dominance was rewarded with an 18th-minute lead.

A long throw-in by Darnell Furlong was flicked on and Conor Townsend nodded it back across the box for Ajayi to volley home from six yards.

Another set-piece gave Albion their second goal in the 50th minute.

Swift’s corner was met by a flick by Furlong and after it struck a defender, Rushworth made a hash of twice trying to catch the ball before it squirmed through his grasp and over the line.

West Brom’s third goal came after Darling fouled Townsend for a clear penalty and Swift calmly beat Rushworth from the spot.

Swansea started an unlikely recovery when Darling nodded in Charlie Patino’s corner with 15 minutes left and Wood’s towering header set up a tense finish for the hosts.

Swansea head coach Michael Duff admitted his side had just left it too late.

“It was frustrating because we waited until we were 3-0 down before we started playing with any purpose,” he said.

“We were too slow and too passive in the first half and never played with any intensity – balls coming into our box, they headed them, we didn’t.

“We went 3-0 down and it kicked us into life. We started heading those balls because we were angry and we started moving the ball quicker and with intensity and purpose, then we looked like a good team.”

West Brom held off a late fightback from Swansea to secure a first win of the season with a 3-2 victory at The Hawthorns.

The Baggies looked in control at 3-0 up following Semi Ajayi’s 18th-minute volley, an own goal by Swansea goalkeeper Carl Rushworth early in the second half and John Swift’s penalty.

However, Swansea mounted a late rally with a bullet header from defender Harry Darling and Nathan Wood then set up an tense final 10 minutes.

West Brom had suffered consecutive 2-1 away defeats at Blackburn in the Sky Bet Championship and then Stoke in the Carabao Cup as their new campaign got off to a stuttering start.

But Carlos Corberan’s side had looked dominant after building on a solid opening to Saturday’s match.

West Brom went in front when a long throw-in by Darnell Furlong was flicked on and Conor Townsend nodded it back across the box for Ajayi to volley home from six yards.

Wood nodded wide for Swansea from Matt Grimes’ deep free-kick in their only serious attack during the first half.

Another set-piece gave Albion their second goal in the 50th minute.

Swift’s corner was met by a flick by Furlong and after it struck a defender, Rushworth made a hash of twice trying to catch the ball before it squirmed through his grasp and over the line.

Swansea went close soon after when Jerry Yates volleyed against the bar from close range.

West Brom’s third goal came after Swansea defender Darling fouled Townsend to concede a penalty, which Swift calmly slotted away in the 64th minute.

That looked to be enough for a comfortable victory, but Darling made amends when he headed in Charlie Patino’s corner with 15 minutes left.

Baggies keeper Alex Palmer then made a superb reaction save from point-blank range to deny Wood’s low shot before the Swansea defender made it 3-2 with a towering header in the 80th minute.

Swansea battered West Brom with several corners and defender Ben Cabango flashed a header just wide, but the hosts somehow held out.

Stoke boss Alex Neil reserved special praise for 16-year-old debutant Sol Sidibe following their 2-1 win over West Brom in the Carabao Cup.

A first-half own goal from Josh Griffiths and calm finish from Andre Vidigal – either side of Brandon Thomas-Asante’s second-half leveller – saw the Potters progress to round two.

Sidibe, son of club icon Mamady, was deservedly named man of the match for his midfield performance.

Speaking after the match, Neil said: “I can’t speak highly enough of him, he completely justified his place in the team.

“It’s hard to say (how good he can be). The hard work is where it starts, but his talent and temperament are more than good enough.

“At 16, I certainly wasn’t doing the things he’s doing. He got a booking and I didn’t even worry about taking him off.

“I thought we were very good. All the players deserve a massive amount of credit.”

The Baggies started the game brightly and eventually found a route back into the game through substitute Thomas-Asante, who flicked the ball home with 64 minutes on the clock.

The result caps a difficult few days for the visitors, who suffered an opening-day league defeat against Blackburn at the weekend.

Albion manager Carlos Corberan said: “We didn’t achieve the result we wanted today. We didn’t manage the ball well enough in the first half.

“Unfortunately, losing the ball made the game more open and they found a way to make chances.

“In both games (so far this season) we have seen similar things, both positive and negative.

“In football, it’s important to learn from mistakes, and in the last two games it’s true we have lost goals from mistakes.

“It’s important that we talk about this and do our best to fix it.

“The transfer window is still open and we knew we would find the squad towards the end of the market. The team still needs to grow.”

Andre Vidigal’s winner saw Stoke progress to round two of the Carabao Cup with a 2-1 win over fellow Championship side West Brom.

The summer signing – who also bagged a brace at the weekend – stepped off the bench to net the decisive goal with 25 minutes remaining.

The hosts went ahead after 27 minutes as Wesley’s shot came back off the post before hitting goalkeeper Josh Griffiths and crossing the line.

Albion levelled just after the hour-mark through substitute Brandon Thomas-Asante’s clever near-post flick.

But their joy was short-lived, as Stoke restored their advantage almost immediately after the restart.

The visitors had started on the front foot, as both John Swift and Conor Townsend forced early saves from Mark Travers.

Stoke soon fashioned a chance of their own from the left, as Ki-Jana Hoever’s goal-bound volley deflected wide.

Chances were few and far between following the opener, as City took a narrow lead into the break.

Stoke started the second half brightly, with Chiquinho twisting and turning inside the area before seeing a close-range effort saved.

At the other end, Albion almost levelled twice in quick succession, first through Swift and then former Stoke man Erik Pieters.

Two goals in as many minutes sparked both sets of fans into life, and Stoke saw out the win, despite missing late chances to put the game to bed.

Jon Dahl Tomasson praised the ambition and attitude of his two young goalscorers after their first league goals for Blackburn secured a 2-1 win against West Brom.

Rovers delivered what turned out to be the knockout punches in a clinical three-minute spell as Dilan Markanday’s tidy finish from a narrow angle set the hosts on their way in the 20th minute before they suffocated their opponents straight from the kick-off and academy graduate Harry Leonard slammed in a second two minutes later on their first league starts for Blackburn.

The Baggies struck back in fine style just after the restart through Matt Phillips’ stunning 25-yard effort but Blackburn finished strongly and better finishing would have made the margin of victory more comfortable for the hosts.

West Brom’s frustration was summed up by boss Carlos Corberan being sent to the stands for dissent late in the second half.

Tomasson gave his goalscorers special mentions but was also pleased to see the attitude of his young side, which contained four academy graduates in the starting XI.

He said: “It’s great to see, and especially to see all those young lads. I think actually we were just below 24 in average age today but to see the development of those players and the joy and also getting a goal. I think Harry started at the academy when he was 10. After the game, I said ‘well done Harry, you played a good game, scored a great goal’ and he said ‘I should have had a hat-trick’. That’s the ambition of the boy.

“It’s also good to see Dilan. We all know Dilan had a difficult period. He came back in pre-season with the right attitude, he’s been working hard and doing the right things. I’m also pleased for him.

“I think it was an exceptional win and performance. We scored two great goals, really good goals and should probably have had a third, fourth or even fifth goal against one of the best teams in the league. The intensity of the team was very good. I think we played some good football as well.”

Corberan’s dismissal meant he was not allowed to speak to the media after the game, in accordance with new EFL rules. In his place was new Baggies captain Jed Wallace, who felt there were ‘positives’ in the performance.

He said: “I thought first 20 minutes we were in control of the game, definitely looked the better team. It’s the Championship, quickly, the ball goes in the channel, probably don’t do as well as we’d like with it and from our own kick-off, within the blink of an eye we’re 2-0 down and give ourselves a mountain to climb.

“The gaffer got behind us at half-time and then I think we responded really well second half. Had a couple of goalmouth scrambles to get that second goal after Matty scored a great goal. Just couldn’t quite manufacture that yard in the box to get that shot off. Then they’re naturally going to have their chances on the break.

“It was a typical wide open Championship game at the end and like I say, we just couldn’t get that goal but on the whole I think there were positives to take from the game.”

Dilan Markanday and Harry Leonard scored their first league goals for Blackburn to give them a hard-fought 2-1 win over West Brom in a pulsating season opener.

On their first league starts for the club, the duo did the damage in a devastating three-minute spell in the first half as Markanday slotted home from a narrow angle and within seconds of the kick-off, academy graduate Leonard hammered in his first senior goal.

The Baggies responded in the second half through Matt Phillips’ superb curling effort five minutes after the restart but they could not force an equaliser against a Rovers side that finished the game strongly.

Their frustration was summed up by Carlos Corberan being sent to the stands late in the second half.

Phillips stung the palms of Aynsley Pears in the 19th minute as the Baggies settled quickest, but were shell-shocked by a quickfire double as Blackburn went ahead a minute later when Markanday dispossessed Conor Townsend, and though Leonard could not get a shot away, Lewis Travis threaded a first-time pass to Markanday on the right and he slotted into the far corner.

Straight from kick-off, Sammie Szmodics cut out a pass and fed Leonard on the right and his rasping low drive flew in at Alex Palmer’s near post in the 22nd minute.

A neat one-touch move in the 34th minute almost gave Rovers a third but Tyrhys Dolan’s curling shot was parried away by Palmer.

Brandon Thomas-Asante almost found the far corner four minutes later when firing goalwards from the right but Pears got down well to push behind.

West Brom came out with real purpose and Thomas-Asante’s cut-back found Jayson Molumby in the area and his shot looked destined for the top corner but for a superb Joe Rankin-Costello block.

The visitors did get on the scoresheet in the 50th minute, though, as Phillips robbed Markanday and exchanged passes with Jed Wallace before curling beautifully into the right corner from 25 yards.

Thomas-Asante was wreaking havoc down the right and another teasing cross found Molumby in the 58th minute but he could not get the ball out of his feet and Rankin-Costello made a brilliant goal-saving tackle.

Rovers should have wrapped the points up 10 minutes later, though, when they cut the visitors open and Travis fed Leonard with Palmer to beat but he directed his shot past the far post.

A sensational Adam Wharton pass gave the teenager another chance minutes later but he once again fired his effort past the post.

The frustration of the afternoon got the better of Baggies boss Corberan who was dismissed for dissent, having already been booked earlier in the second half, and Darnell Furlong’s 89th-minute sensational block from Hayden Carter kept the margin of defeat to one.

West Brom have announced The Jeff Astle Foundation as their official charity partner for the 2023-24 season.

The Jeff Astle Foundation was launched to serve as a lasting legacy for former Baggies forward Astle, who died in 2002 aged 59 with early-onset dementia and had his verdict of death later recorded as being by industrial disease, owing to the repeated heading of a ball.

Set up by Astle’s family, The Jeff Astle Foundation continues to campaign for greater research into the impact of repetitive heading for footballers, raising awareness of brain injury in all forms of sport and offering much-needed support to those affected.

Astle scored 174 goals in 361 appearances for West Brom and netted the winner in their FA Cup triumph over Everton in 1968. A donation will be made to The Jeff Astle Foundation for every home shirt sold.

Albion managing director Mark Miles said: “We are delighted to be supporting The Jeff Astle Foundation for the coming season.

“The profile of the charity and its achievements to date are a direct consequence of one family’s dedicated quest to ensure the safety of everyone who plays the beautiful game.

“We wholeheartedly support the charity’s aim to raise awareness of brain injury in all forms of sport, including football, and hope the partnership helps further build the profile of their incredible work.”

Charity director Dawn Astle said: “We are honoured and overwhelmed to be named the club’s official charity partner for the 2023-24 season.

“Dad loved this club and its supporters and to have next season’s home kit dedicated to him and the charity instils our family with a pride that is difficult to comprehend.

“We are so, so thankful to the club for providing us with this opportunity to continue to celebrate dad’s legacy, raising awareness and funds for the charity in the process.

“As a family we have been fortunate enough to have been involved in the kit’s design and we are confident the club’s supporters will love it as much as we do.

“It’s a special kit for a really important cause, and every shirt sold will help us to continue our work with those affected by brain injuries in sport.”

Carlos Corberan expressed his pride at turning around West Brom’s season despite a 3-2 final-day loss at Swansea as they fell short of the Sky Bet Championship play-offs.

West Brom had started the final day of the regular season as play-off outsiders, needing to beat Swansea and hope for favourable results elsewhere.

The Baggies ultimately finished ninth, as Sunderland and Coventry claimed the final two play-off places, after Corberan took over in October with the club second bottom of the Championship.

“The target we had was difficult, to change the momentum of the season,” said Corberan, whose side won only three of their final 10 games.

“It was very uncomfortable. We moved fast, we focused on the possibilities and I feel very proud.

“It’s a pity we didn’t achieve the play-off positions, but the team has put in a lot of effort.

“We arrived to the last moment of the competition and the players did not stop to believe, to try and make their best.”

On summer squad strengthening, Corberan added: “I do not know the limitations or the situation (of the club), but from tomorrow I will guarantee to work as in football there is no time to waste.

“As fast as we know our possibilities and resources the better for us to play the team that West Bromwich needs to have.”

Corberan was unhappy with Swansea’s stoppage-time winner, Joel Piroe curling home a free-kick for his 20th goal of the season.

He said: “I am very disappointed that we didn’t get something from the game, at least a point.

“I don’t think we deserved a defeat with all the things we have done well, especially in the second half.

“We should avoid a foul where we concede the free-kick but there was a foul on (Jayson) Molumby. That increases the frustration.”

Swansea, for whom Luke Cundle and Olivier Ntcham cancelled out goals from Okay Yokuslu and Semi Ajayi, finished below West Brom on goal difference in 10th.

Fresh investment is arriving at the Welsh club this summer and new chairman Andy Coleman’s in-tray will include tying manager Russell Martin down to a new contract.

Martin, appointed Swansea manager in August 2021, has one year left on his current deal and has been linked with a potential summer vacancy at Leicester.

“He (Coleman) said he likes what we’re doing,” said Martin. “There’s maybe other priorities at the moment but we’ll see.

“He’s said the ownership group have expressed an interest in trying to extend the contract.

“We’ve got guys out of contract, so that’s got to be a real priority.

“Whatever comes first, I don’t know. We’ll just have to wait and see.”

Roses are red, violets are blue, have we got the perfect Valentine's Day content for you!

(Very) questionable rhymes aside, love is in the air as long-standing couples and newly formed relationships celebrate the day of romance on Tuesday.

The Premier League is certainly no stranger to the language of love, so while cracking open a bottle of red and exchanging cheap tat with your significant other, why not get some inspiration for love with our Valentine's Day facts with some help from Cupid!

Well, maybe not Cupid, but Opta – and the team at Opta are full of love!


Valentine's Day is of course a day for love (and overpaying for those last-minute flowers and cards you almost forgot to buy…).

Three players who've enjoyed a particularly joyous February 14 in the past are Southampton legend Matt Le Tissier, ex-Liverpool striker Michael Owen, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who have each scored three times in the Premier League on this date – no one has managed more.

All three of those were Valentine's Day hat-tricks as well.


Le Tissier registered three against the Reds back in 1994; Owen took home the match ball with a treble for Liverpool versus Sheffield Wednesday four years later; Aubameyang broke Leeds United hearts in 2021 with Arsenal.


Sharing's caring, as they say.

Mutual support is a key component of any healthy relationship, particularly the relationship between a striker and their fellow forwards…

If there's any Premier League pairing that sums up "couple goals", it has to be Harry Kane and Son Heung-min.

The Tottenham duo have directly linked up for 44 goals in the league, more than any other pairing in Premier League history.

No couple have ever combined for more than one goal on Valentine's Day, though Philippe Coutinho and the late Jose Antonio Reyes have shared the love on the most romantic day of the year – they have tallied two assists each on February 14, more than anyone else.


Whether from a partner or a secret admirer, it's always nice to receive a card or two on Valentine's Day.

Unless of course you're playing in the Premier League, in which case you want to see the referees keep their cards in their pockets.

In this regard, Leicester City have been the most prolific, their nine yellow cards on Valentine's Day being more than any other team have received. Arsenal follow with six.

The Foxes also fare badly when it comes to red cards, having earned two on February 14 – Danny Simpson (2016) and Hamza Choudhury (2020) account for those dismissals.

The only other player to receive a red card on Valentine's Day is Everton hero Duncan Ferguson ... no, we weren't shocked either.


Donald Love's name gets a good airing all over social media every February 14 given it's ripe for Valentine's Day punnery.

The defender, who now plays for Morecambe in League One, made his Manchester United debut the day before Valentine's Day in 2016, coming on as a substitute in a 2-1 defeat to Sunderland, who he would also go on to play for.

In that game, he slotted in on the right of a back four that also included another pun-magnet in Daley Blind. So, on Valentine's Day 2016, you could have legitimately said Love is Blind...'s team-mate.

Love never went on to play a Premier League game on Valentine's Day, which for obvious reasons is rather regrettable.


Valentine's Days come and go, but in football as in life, not every relationship stands the test of time.

In the Premier League, there have been three players to make their only appearance in the competition on February 14.

Neil Cutler's brief fling with Aston Villa resulted in a one-off appearance in 2000; Shay Logan appeared for Manchester City seven years later; and in 2021 the fittingly named Niall Huggins got his sole outing for Leeds United.

It's better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all… and our heart goes out to those in that singles club.

Reported Leeds United target Carlos Corberan has signed a contract extension as West Brom head coach after links to the Premier League club.

Spaniard Corberan was part of Leeds fan favourite Marcelo Bielsa's backroom staff amid the Argentine's spell at Elland Road.

Corberan subsequently took a head coach role at rivals Huddersfield Town, guiding them to the Championship play-off final in 2022 before resigning amid reported disagreements with the club's board.

Jesse Marsch's dismissal by Leeds on Monday created speculation the Whites would move to bring in Corberan, who has taken West Brom from second-bottom in the Championship to the play-off positions since his appointment in October.

Leeds majority owner Andrea Radrizzani told supporters on Tuesday a decision would soon arrive, posting on Twitter: "We are on it ….hopefully white smoke by tonight or [tomorrow] morning"

But West Brom swiftly dispelled talk of Corberan leaving, posting a teasing clip from British television series Happy Valley that said: "Why's everyone saying you are going to Leeds when you're not?"

"I have enjoyed my time at Albion, and I am pleased to have secured a contract extension," Corberan told the club's official website upon confirmation of his new deal until June 2027.

"I believe that success can only be achieved when everyone works together and the way I have been made to feel welcome at this great club has made me confident that this is the right place for me.

"It is important to me that we do not let this moment distract us from our target, which is to ensure we improve every day, making the team more and more competitive for the challenges ahead.

"My focus is always on earning a positive result in our next game and we are working hard to achieve that at Birmingham City on Friday night."

Feyenoord manager Arne Slot and Rayo Vallecano Andoni Iraola are among the reported favourites for the Leeds head coach vacancy.

Serge Gnabry emitted immense confidence ahead of the World Cup after completing what he believes was a transformation from "so-so player" to the brilliant attacker he is today.

Gnabry was not in Germany's squad for the last World Cup, despite breaking into the side two years earlier.

At the time of Russia 2018, the talented attacking midfielder had just completed a spell on loan at Hoffenheim from Bayern Munich, but he would soon become a key player for both Die Roten and the national team.

Germany became the third successive defending champions to be eliminated at the World Cup group stage four years ago, ushering in a period of transition that undoubtedly benefited Gnabry.

But Gnabry did not always look to be on a path to such stardom. He failed to live up to early expectations at Arsenal and endured an underwhelming loan spell at West Brom, where manager Tony Pulis surmised the youngster was not good enough to play regularly.

Gnabry is unsure how he turned his fortunes around so significantly, but there is no doubt about his confidence as Germany prepare to open their Qatar 2022 campaign against Japan on Wednesday.

"I don't know, at some point, I managed to flip the switch from being a so-so player to becoming the Serge Gnabry that I want to be," he told reporters at Germany's training base on Sunday.

"It's always difficult to really pinpoint what the reasons were. Even if there's a bit of a low, you keep working hard and maybe, as a player, you really give too much time and thought on why you haven't scored this, why you haven't done that.

"But really, when called upon [we need] to delete these negative thoughts, to delete any negativity from our heads and, of course, play well.

"Making good assists and scoring lots of goals in the Bundesliga for Bayern, that has certainly helped and that helps us to approach the coming challenges with a great deal of self-confidence.

"So, I'm absolutely looking forward to the coming games and I hope that I can give my all, just as I have recently in the league."

Gnabry's form backs up his confidence, as the 27-year-old has already had a hand in 19 goals (10 scored, nine assisted) in all competitions this season, a haul only six other players across Europe's top five leagues can better.

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