- Albion take a share of the spoils against West Ham
- VAR rules out a Leandro Trossard goal in the first half
- Javier Hernandez opens the scoring for the visitors
- Trossard nets an equaliser on his Premier League debut
Trossard equalised four minutes after Javier Hernandez put the visitors ahead against the run of play just after the hour mark.
The Belgian shot past Lukasz Fabianski after the West Ham keeper had made several fine saves to frustrate the Seagulls. Graham Potter’s side were on the front foot for much of an entertaining contest and Trossard saw a first-half volley ruled out after a VAR check for offside against man of the match Dan Burn.
Burn epitomised Albion’s high-octane display. As well as doing a solid defensive job, he made some great surges deep into West Ham territory and on another day Albion could have had two or three goals. It would have been no more than they deserved but four points from their first two Premier League games nonetheless represents a decent return for the Seagulls.
It was no surprise that Potter kept faith with largely the same side that beat Watford 3-0 last week, with Trossard replacing Jurgen Locadia being the only change, and Albion nearly made the perfect start.
With less than a minute on the clock Pascal Gross swung in a free kick from the left and Burn rose above the West Ham defence but from six yards he sent a free header over the bar.
The game took a bit of time to warm up but gradually the Seagulls began to impose themselves.
Gross and Dale Stephens both saw shots blocked in the 21st minute and three minutes later Fabianski stretched himself to turn Stephens’ curling effort over the bar. The keeper was called upon from the corner to claim the loose ball after Shane Duffy had headed into the danger area.
Fabianski was at full tilt again in the 26th minute to deny Solly March and two minutes later came the game’s major talking point. Burn did superbly to turn a free kick back into the danger zone and Trossard’s technique was perfect as he volleyed past Fabianski. But as Albion and their fans celebrated, a VAR check revealed that Burn had been marginally offside before he crossed and the goal was ruled out.
Burn had clearly got a taste for making things happen in the West Ham box. On 33 minutes, he turned Pablo Fornals inside out before finding Glenn Murray who headed over, as the assistant raised his flag for offside against Albion’s talisman.
Little had been seen of the Hammers as an attacking force. Their best chance of the half fell to Declan Rice just before the break but he skied his effort from a decent position just outside the box.
Trossard missed a great chance to put Albion ahead on 56 minutes and reward a high-tempo start to the second half. Skipper Lewis Dunk and Gross combined down the right to leave the Belgian in space ten yards out but he dragged his effort wide of the target.
It was to prove a costly miss. Five minutes later Hernandez timed his run to perfection to beat the offside trap and squeeze his shot past Ryan to give West Ham an unexpected lead.
It was harsh on Albion but they were soon level and this time there was no VAR involved as Trossard opened his account for the Seagulls.
Murray did superbly to hold the ball up and spot the Belgian in space. Trossard took a touch to evade Issa Diop’s challenge and then drilled a right-footed shot past Fabianski into the bottom left-hand corner. It was the least Albion deserved on the balance of play.
Potter made his first change moments later as Neal Maupay replaced Gross and the forward nearly made an immediate impact when Murray’s pull-back found the Frenchman eight yards out, but his effort flew over Fabianski’s bar. It was Murray’s last action as Florin Andone replaced him with 17 minutes to go.
Fabianski continued to defy the Seagulls as the game entered its final ten minutes. Martin Montoya picked out Davy Propper with a terrific cross from the left and the Dutchman’s header was superbly parried by the keeper. At the other end Dunk produced a great block when substitute Michail Antonio let fly.
Trossard came off to a standing ovation with Aaron Mooy replacing him for his Seagulls’ debut with six minutes to go.
Both sides went for the winner in the closing stages. Maty Ryan had been relatively untested until he blocked Robert Snodgrass’s volley after good work by Manual Lanzini. At the other end, Maupay nearly managed to round Fabianski but the keeper stood tall to gather the ball before Ryan blocked a stoppage-time effort from Antonio. Breathless stuff at times and a very good Albion display.
ALBION: Ryan; Duffy, Dunk, Burn; March, Stephens, Gross (Maupay 67), Propper, Montoya; Trossard (Mooy 84); Murray (Andone 73).
Subs not used: Button, Locadia, Webster, Bernardo.