Report: Albion suffer the blues at the Bridge

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Albion succumbed to their third loss of the season with a 2-0 defeat to Chelsea on a frustrating afternoon at Stamford Bridge.

By James Hilsum • 28 September 2019

By Paul Hazlewood
Dale Stephens tries to intercept Willian.
  • Albion are beaten 2-0 by Chelsea
  • Jorginho (penalty) and Willian on target for Chelsea
  • Dan Burn goes closest for Albion with a second-half header
  • Tottenham Hotspur visit the Amex next Saturday

Graham Potter’s side withstood a considerable amount of pressure from Frank Lampard’s men, but ultimately left the Bridge empty-handed after Jorginho’s penalty and Willian’s strike after the break.

Potter made one change to the side that drew 0-0 with Newcastle United a week ago, as Yves Bissouma replaced Davy Propper.

The Blues made the faster start, as Potter’s men were forced into four defensive blocks from inside the box, with Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham both looking lively early on.

By Bennett Dean
Lewis Dunk on the ball.

Albion survived another early scare when Jorginho played a set-piece towards Abraham, who had the faintest of touches with a glancing header that hit the post.

It wasn’t all one-way traffic though, as Bissouma brilliantly picked out Pascal Gross in the area, but the German couldn’t divert his attempt on target.

Adam Webster showed his capabilities in the attacking third of the pitch, after making two brilliant defensive blocks early on, with a marauding run down the length of the pitch.

By Bennett Dean
Aaron Mooy shields the ball away from Mason Mount.

Tempers started to flare when Neal Maupay entered the book following an altercation with Kepa, while Marcos Alonso was arguably fortunate to stay on the pitch after appearing to strike Martin Montoya with his elbow.

Alonso’s next action almost resulted in a goal after he teed up Ross Barkley in space, but the latter’s first-time strike was superbly pushed away by Maty Ryan.

The Spaniard missed a glorious chance to break the deadlock himself after he latched onto Mount’s long-range pass with a sliding effort that sailed past the far post.

The half-time whistle would’ve been greeted with more than a few sighs of relief from Albion's travelling support, as Pedro forced Ryan into another save in the last action of the half. 

By Paul Hazlewood
Neal Maupay chases down the ball.

But despite holding firm for the opening 45 minutes, the hosts took the lead from the penalty spot five minutes after the re-start through Jorginho. Webster was penalised for bringing down Mount in the area, and the Italian made no mistake in dispatching the spot-kick past a motionless Ryan.

The momentum was with the hosts, and Albion had Ryan to thank for keeping out Pedro’s effort after the Spaniard was teed up by Barkley.

Albion still looked to play through the thirds, but lacked a cutting edge in front of goal, as Gross couldn’t make a proper connection with Gaetan Bong’s cross and saw the ball go behind off his shoulder. 

By Paul Hazlewood
Martin Montoya shields the ball from Marcos Alonso.

Dan Burn was mightily unfortunate not to restore parity to the scoreline when he met Gross’s corner with a downward header which hit the ground before clipping the crossbar.

But Potter’s men were dealt a sucker punch in the 76th minute through Willian. The Brazilian was picked out by Callum Hudson-Odoi, and the former’s effort took a sizeable deflection off Burn before beating Ryan at his near post.

The hosts were keen to put the result beyond any doubt, but Ryan was on hand to prevent Abraham adding a third by smothering his shot.

The Blues saw out the game relatively comfortably, and Albion will look ahead to facing London opposition again next Saturday when Tottenham Hotspur visit the Amex.

ALBION: Ryan; Dunk, Burn, Webster; Montoya, Stephens, Bissouma (Bong 46) Mooy (Connolly 65); Alzate; Maupay (Murray 79), Gross.

SUBS NOT USED: Button (GK), Schelotto, Baluta, Jahanbakhsh.

Attendance: 40,683