Match Reports

Long wait is over as Trossard sinks Spurs

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Albion enjoy deserved first Amex Premier League win since June.

By Bruce Talbot • 31 January 2021

By Paul Hazlewood
Leandro Trossard celebrates what proved to be the winning goal against Spurs.
  • Albion 1, Spurs 0

Albion's long wait for an Amex win in the Premier League is over after Leandro Trossard's second goal of the season earned them a thoroughly deserved win over Spurs.

The Belgian finished off an outstanding move during a dominant first half when Pascal Gross hit the post and Lewis Dunk's header was cleared off the line.

Spurs came into things in the second half but while Robert Sanchez had to make a couple of saves Albion were denied a second by Toby Alderweireld's brilliant clearance to deny substitute Aaron Connolly.

What happened...

Albion named an unchanged side but there was a bonus on the bench as Jose Izquierdo returned to the squad for the first time in 21 months after recovering from a serious knee injury.

Albion were on the front foot from the start. Finding plenty of space between Spurs' midfield and defence which Alexis Mac Allister, in particular, exploited in a dominant first-half performance.

Albion were the width of a post from scoring in the third minute. Neal Maupay, with his back to goal, turned Ben White's pass into the path of Mac Allister. His deft touch created a yard of space for Pascal Gross who hit the left-hand post with the outside of his right boot with Hugo Lloris a spectator.

As well as marauding at Tottenham's defence at every opportunity, Mac Allister wasn't afraid to have a dig. Three shots in the first half from distance failed to trouble Lloris but they were indicative of Albion’s superiority.

By Paul Hazlewood
Leandro Trossard looks delighted with his goal against Spurs.

It was rewarded in the 16th minute when Trossard rounded off another great move. Unsurprisingly Mac Allister was involved with a perfect pass which allowed Gross, on the right, to pick out the Belgian who swept the ball past Lloris from seven yards.

If Mac Allister was enjoying himself so was Trossard. One great run saw him ghost past three defenders and took him into the box. He found Maupay but with his back to goal the Frenchman could not get his shot away.

Gareth Bale headed off the line when Lewis Dunk met Gross' corner with a thumping close-range header while Spurs offered only a sporadic threat before the break, their best chance coming when Steven Bergwijn dragged a shot wide.

It had been a compelling 45 minutes from Albion – probably their best of the season – and the only disappointment was they hadn't turned their superiority into more goals. Graham Potter would probably have not wanted the half to end. Could his side maintain these levels?

By Paul Hazlewood
Alexis Mac Allister had another influential performance.

The head coach would have anticipated Spurs abandoning their three-man central defence and switching to a 4-4-2 and the visitors began the half on the offensive. Adam Webster blocked Heung-Min Son's shot before Sanchez was called upon for the first time to block when substitute Carlos Vinicius met Bale’s corner at the far post with a downward header.

But Lloris kept his side in it in the 56th minute when he dived to his right to save when Ben White clipped Gross' low ball goalward from just outside the six-yard box. A foot either side would have been a goal.

The mercurial Mac Allister was clipped by Alderweireld, earning him a booking, and going into the last quarter Albion had reasserted themselves and they made a defensive change with Dan Burn coming into central defence and White moving to the right.

By Paul Hazlewood
Robert Sanchez dives to his right to emphatically deny Vinicius.

Maupay had his head in his hands when his glancing header from Solly March's left-wing cross agonisingly wide before Sanchez produced a crucial save, getting down to push away Vinicius’s shot on the turn that would have crept inside the post without the Spaniard’s acrobatic intervention.

Aaron Connolly and Adam Lallana came on for the last 11 minutes and Connolly must have thought he’d sealed the points when he side-footed Gross' unselfish pull-back goalwards only for Alderweireld to keep it out with an outstretched leg.

Sanchez got behind Erik Lamela's long-range free kick but that was Tottenham’s last threat as Albion secured their best result of the season so far.

Milestones

Lewis Dunk made his 300th League appearance, all of which apart from a handful while on loan to Bristol City, have been for Albion. Hugo Lloris, who suffered a serious shoulder injury on his last visit to the Amex, made his 350th Tottenham start while Spurs became the first non-Welsh club to field three Wales players since West Ham back in 2009. It is six years since a Welsh club did it when Swansea played Manchester City.

Jose is back

It has been a long road back to the Premier League for Jose Izquierdo who returned to the bench 21 months after his last Albion appearance. The cruciate knee problems which ruled him out first surfaced when he played for Colombia in the 2018 World Cup finals. Albion fans will remember his contribution of five goals and three assists in their first Premier League campaign and it was only in October 2019 that he began running again. His last Premier League involvement was a 1-1 draw against Newcastle in April 2019.

Albion: Sanchez, Veltman (Burn 71), Webster, Dunk, White, March, Bissouma, Gross, Mac Allister, Trossard (Connolly 79), Maupay (Lallana 79)

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

Referee: Peter Bankes.

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