Report: Gross is spot on as Albion draw with Chelsea

Substitute scores late equaliser as Saturday's pre-season friendly finishes in a 1-1 draw.

By Charlie Hanson • 29 August 2020

By Bennett Dean
Pascal Gross beats WIlly Caballero from the penalty spot.

Albion snatched a late equaliser against Chelsea as supporters returned to the Amex for the first time since February.

The Seagulls were impressive throughout the affair in front of 2,500 noisy fans, and after Timo Werner fired in an early opener the hosts got a deserved goal back late on from the penalty spot through substitute Pascal Gross.

Ben White got his first start at the Amex since returning from Leeds United on loan, playing on the right of a back three alongside Lewis Dunk and Adam Webster, while Steven Alzate got 45 minutes under his belt having been out with a groin injury since the Crystal Palace game six months ago – the last time fans were in the Amex.

By Paul Hazlewood
Ben White in action on Saturday.

Chelsea’s new boys Hakim Ziyech and Werner made an immediate impact though, combining to give their side the lead after just four minutes.

The Morocco international lifted the ball to Callum Hudson-Odoi, who nodded it down into the path of Werner and the former RB Leipzig man slotted it through Maty Ryan’s legs to put Frank Lampard’s team ahead.

Hudson-Odoi’s fierce effort, after cutting in from the left and letting fly from the edge of the box, was tipped over by Ryan with 30 minutes on the clock, and for all Albion’s intent going forward they were unable to force Kepa Arrizabalaga into a meaningful save in the opening 45.

By Bennett Dean
Maupay was denied from the penalty spot by Willy Caballero.

The hosts continued in the same vein in the second half and were awarded a penalty when Lewis Dunk was dragged down by Antonio Rudiger in the 49th minute.

But Arrizabalaga’s half-time replacement Willy Caballero guessed correctly, diving low down to his left to keep Neal Maupay’s effort out.

With the hour mark approaching, Caballero was caught in no man’s land when Alexis Mac Allister’s cross from a free-kick found the head of Adam Webster, but the defender headed onto the crossbar, the ball bouncing behind for a goal-kick.

By Paul Hazlewood
Joel Veltman in action on his Amex debut.

Gross sent a free-kick narrowly wide before Christian Walton had to be stretchered off with a serious looking ankle injury when he took a tumble claiming a corner.

As the clock ticked over into the 90th minute, Connolly was upended by Ethan Ampadu in the box, with referee James Linington pointing to the spot for a second time.

Gross made no mistake from 12 yards, finding the bottom left corner, even though Caballero again dived the right way.

Albion: Ryan (sub Walton 62 (sub: Sanchez 80)), Veltman (Lamptey 46), White (Duffy 62), Webster (Burn 62), Dunk (Bernardo 62), March (Connolly 62), Bissouma (Stephens 62, (sub: Sanders 73)), Alzate (Molumby 46), Lallana (Mac Allister 46), Maupay (Gross 62), Trossard (Jahanbakhsh 62).