Match Reports

Frustration as Albion are held

Brought to you by...

Stalemate at the Amex as Albion fail to take their chances.

By Bruce Talbot • 27 January 2021

By James Boardman
Lewis Dunk pulled off a goal-line clearance in the final minute to deny Fulham a winner.

Albion endured more frustration at the Amex as they were held to a goalless draw by Fulham on Wednesday.

Despite the misty conditions at the Amex, Albion found plenty of clear routes to goal, but they failed to take some clear-cut chances.

Leandro Trossard was twice denied by Fulham keeper Alphonse Areola in the first half and Neal Maupay fired over when he was put through after the break. Areola made another great stop late on to deny Maupay on a night when there was so much to commend Albion's performance except in front of goal.

It could have been worse, but Lewis Dunk produced a superb block on the line to deny Ruben Loftus-Cheek. That would have been harsh on Albion, but they are still waiting for their first league win of the season at the Amex.

What happened...

There was just one change to the side that won at Leeds ten days ago, with Yves Bissouma coming into midfield and Dan Burn dropping to the bench. Aaron Connolly and Adam Lallana were back among the substitutes as well.

There was a good tempo to the game from the start. Tosin Adarabioyo advanced from midfield to drive a shot from distance just over but Albion settled and missed three good chances in the space of four minutes.

Maupay dispossessed Adarabioyo when Joel Veltman sent a raking pass down the line. Maupay surged into the box and then squared to the unmarked Trossard, but goalkeeper Alphonse Areola made a good save with his legs.

By James Boardman
Leandro Trossard saw two efforts in quick succession fail to find the back of the net.

Trossard had another great opportunity two minutes later when Fulham gave the ball away but the Belgian was again thwarted by Areola. Dunk then met Pascal Gross’s free kick with an unmarked header eight yards out but it was straight at the keeper.

Albion could and probably should have been two or three goals to the good midway through the first half. Trossard's cross only just eluded Maupay at full stretch and every time they crossed into the Fulham half they carried a threat.

But it was still goalless and suddenly Fulham threatened again. Bobby Decordova-Reid headed wide at far post in the 35th minute before Ivan Cavaleiro hammered a right-foot shot inches wide of the right-hand post after dispossessing Adam Webster on halfway.

By James Boardman
Pascal Gross sent his free-kick marginally wide of goal.

Back came Albion. When Maupay was fouled on the edge of the D, Gross drilled the free kick a yard wide and after the break the hosts continued to carry the greater threat.

Gross swept Veltman's cut-back goalwards and it took a deflection away from goal but Fulham looked a lot more organised defensively and got numbers back to protect Areola for the first 20 minutes of the second half.

But Albion had another golden chance in the 70th minute. Mac Allister's pass following a quickly-taken free kick found Maupay in space 16 yards out but frustratingly he failed to keep his shot on target before Adam Webster headed Albion’s ninth corner narrowly wide with 13 minutes to go.

By Paul Hazlewood
Neal Maupay went close for Albion, but sent his effort over midway through the second half.

Albion kept coming. Areola somehow denied Maupay with his feet when he seemed certain to convert Veltman's pass and when Solly March latched onto the loose ball his effort, which was heading for the top corner, was deflected over by Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa.

Incredibly, Fulham nearly won it in stoppage time but Dunk was on hand to clear Loftus-Cheek's effort from close range off the line. Had it gone in, it would have been very harsh on Albion, who are back at the Amex on Sunday against Spurs.

Albion: Sanchez, Veltman, Webster, Dunk, White, March, Bissouma, Gross, Mac Allister (Propper 83), Trossard, Maupay.

Subs: Walton, Connolly, Lallana, Moder, Alzate, Tau, Zeqiri, Burn.

Booked: Bissouma, Mac Allister

Referee: Craig Pawson