Match Reports

Albion take another step towards safety

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Everton hold firm in goalless draw at the Amex.

By Bruce Talbot • 12 April 2021

By James Boardman
Danny Welbeck looked to beat Robin Olsen but saw his effort cleared.
  • Albion 0, Everton 0

Albion moved up a place to 15th in the table but were disappointed not to have beaten Everton on a frustrating night at the Amex.

Graham Potter's side dominated for long spells, particularly in the second half, but failed to convert some very good chances.

Still, a point against a side chasing European football and with an excellent away record is not the worst result and means Albion have a seven-point cushion above the relegation places.

What happened...

Albion were on the front foot early on, winning a couple of corners before Adam Lallana drove a yard wide from the edge of the D.

In the absence of Dominic Calvert-Lewin, one of ten absentees in Everton's injury-hit squad, James Rodriguez operated just behind Richarlison and the Colombian squandered a good free-kick opportunity after Jakub Moder had brought down Seamus Coleman 20 yards out by lifting the ball well over.

By Paul Hazlewood
Jakub Moder goes for goal against Everton.

Moder tested Robin Olsen in the visitors' goal twice, the second time with an angled volley which the Swede punched clear but although Albion had plenty of possession in the first 20 minutes they were also guilty of giving it away cheaply at times.

It had been a cagey first 30 minutes or so but then there were good chances at both ends in the space of a minute. The unmarked Tom Davies made a real hash of a free header when Coleman picked him out.

Albion broke and Neal Maupay's effort from ten yards deflected off Yerry Mina which was enough to take it the wrong side of the right-hand post. Yves Bissouma then went for a spectacular overhead kick after exchanging passes with Danny Welbeck and his effort dropped onto the roof of the net.

By Bennett Dean
Yves Bissouma's attempted bicycle-kick was just over the Everton goal.

The fact that Albion hadn't scored in the first half was not a great surprise as it's happened in more than half their 31 fixtures so far but they went close to breaking the deadlock in the 50th minute when an attack instigated by Adam Lallana ended with Maupay's effort with the outside of his boot deflecting wide off Mason Holgate.

Albion saw a lot more of the ball as the second half wore on. Welbeck had the ball taken off his toes by Ben Godfrey when he was about to shoot after being found by Lallana, who was becoming increasingly influential.

The home side were asking more questions of Everton and nearly scored from a corner in the 66th minute when Pascal Gross picked out Moder on the edge of the box and the Pole's first-time half-volley only missed the target by inches.

Michael Keane's intervention prevented Lallana from converting Trossard's pull-back then Moder got into a good position but was wasteful with his volley. At the other end, in a rare Everton attack, Sanchez parried Rodriguez's effort at his near post.

By Paul Hazlewood
Neal Maupay fired over from a good opportunity in the second half.

Maupay missed a glorious chance with 14 minutes to go. Yves Bissouma burst into the box and squared to the Frenchman in space, but he failed to find the target with a toe-poke from ten yards. It came moments after Godfrey produced a brilliant block to frustrate Welbeck. Olsen then had to turn Lewis Dunk's header over at full stretch.

What Albion had to make sure was that they didn’t leave the door open at the back as they pushed for a winner. Dunk made an important intervention on the edge of the box to block Gylfi Sigurdsson’s thunderbolt before a deflection took Trossard's free kick from the edge of the D wide of goal with Olsen scrambling to his right.

Albion brought on Dan Burn and Alireza Jahanbakhsh late on but the breakthrough wouldn't come, although Lallana wasn't far away with a right-foot shot which only just cleared Olsen's cross bar before substitute Alex Iwobi almost won it in stoppage time but he too saw his thumping drive keep on rising. 

The line-up

Albion named an unchanged side but Dan Burn and Adam Webster returned on the bench.

Albion: Sanchez, Veltman, Dunk, White, Moder (Burn 87), Gross, Bissouma, Lallana, Trossard, Maupay (Jahanbakhsh 87), Welbeck.

Subs: Steele, Webster, Mac Allister, Alzate, Izquierdo, Propper, Zeqiri.

Booked: Dunk (foul)

Referee: Darren England