- Albion complete first ever Premier League double over Canaries
- Trossard puts Albion ahead after 25 minutes
- Seagulls defend well to see out first away win of 2020
- Graham Potter's side host Liverpool at the Amex on Wednesday night
Leandro Trossard scored against Norwich for the second time this season as Albion secured three valuable points in their battle for Premier League safety.
The Belgian pounced from close range midway through the first half for his fourth goal of the season as Albion completed their second double of the campaign.
In truth it wasn’t a game that will live long in the memory. Clear-cut chances were at a premium and there were some tired bodies on both teams by the end, but Albion were organised and resolute and got the job done. It was the first time since 1951/52 that they had beaten Norwich twice in the season and, for a few hours at least, gave them a nine-point cushion above the bottom three teams.
Graham Potter made four changes to the team beaten by Manchester United. In came fit-again Adam Webster, Aaron Mooy, Neal Maupay and Trossard. Shane Duffy, Alexis Mac Allister, Dale Stephens and Martin Montoya dropped to the bench.
Aaron Connolly had the first sight of goal when Mooy’s deep cross from the left found the Irishman in space on three minutes but he failed to keep a curling effort on target.
Albion had appeals for a penalty turned down when Trossard took a tumble in the box but it was a rare moment of goalmouth action at either end in the first quarter of the game. Norwich enjoyed some decent spells of possession but struggled to create any sort of attacking threat.
The deadlock was broken in the 25th minute when Trossard struck again against the Canaries. Mooy profited when Norwich gave the ball away in midfield, bursting down the right and delivering an excellent cross which Trossard swept confidently past Tim Krul from close range.
Onel Hernandez was Norwich’s main threat in the first half. He dragged one shot wide of the near post and then hit an effort in stoppage time which Webster half-blocked allowing Maty Ryan to make a comfortable save. But Albion, without reaching any great heights, looked in command at the break.
The Seagulls were the better side at the start of the second half and Dan Burn nearly doubled their lead in the 50th minute when he met Mooy’s free kick from the left but his glancing header dropped the wrong side of the post.
Timm Klosse blocked a goalbound effort by Connolly and Albion looked comfortable despite only holding a narrow lead as the game entered the final quarter, although Josip Drmic did shoot straight at Ryan from the edge of the box just before the second drinks break.
Krul made an unconventional but effective save when he punched away Yves Bissouma’s powerful drive as the game began to get stretched. Potter made a double change in the 71st minute when Pascal Gross and Bernardo came on for Connolly and Mooy before Alexis Mac Allister and Dale Stephens were brought on with 12 minutes to go.
Norwich had brought on four subs of their own by then and began to commit more men forward in search of an equaliser but Ryan was well protected by his defenders as Albion kept a good, solid shape. Their only scare came deep into six minutes of stoppage time when Adam Idah’s glancing header clipped the post and, not for the first time, it was an Albion player who reacted first to the loose ball.
Moments later Albion celebrations were echoing around Carrow Road and Potter’s men can now look forward to the challenge of facing champions Liverpool at the Amex on Wednesday.
Albion: Ryan, Lamptey (Duffy 90+3), Dunk, Webster, Burn, Bissouma (Stephens 78), Propper, Trossard (Mac Allister 78), Mooy (Bernardo 72), Connolly (Gross 72), Maupay.
Subs not used: Button, Murray, March, Montoya.
Referee: Stuart Attwell.