Match Reports

50 up for Welbeck but Albion are held

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Striker reaches Premier League milestone but West Ham grab late leveller.

By Bruce Talbot • 15 May 2021

By Bennett Dean
Danny Welbeck made it six goals for the season with his fine finish against West Ham.
  • Albion 1, West Ham 1

Danny Welbeck scored his 50th Premier League goal but it wasn't enough to earn Albion victory against West Ham at the Amex.

Welbeck scored for the second successive home game and for the sixth time this season with a lovely dinked finish in the 84th minute, but substitute Said Benrahma levelled two minutes from time.

The result left Albion in 17th place on 38 points and they will need to win four points from their last two games against Manchester City, at the Amex on Tuesday, and Arsenal to beat their Premier League points record.

What happened...

Albion made two changes to the side beaten at Wolves with Jakub Moder and Steven Alzate, who was making his first Premier League start since February, replacing the suspended Neal Maupay and Lewis Dunk. Pascal Gross wore the captain's armband while the bench included a fit-again Adam Lallana, Florin Andone, Michael Karbownik and Moises Caicedo.

By Paul Hazlewood
Steven Alzate impressed for Albion, before his withdrawal on the hour mark.

Gross lined up as the right wing-back with Alireza Jahanbakhsh ahead of him and Moder on the left.

Both sides kept possession nicely in the opening 25 minutes without offering too much threat on goal and the first action of note came when Yves Bissouma was booked for a foul on former Albion loanee Jesse Lingard.

Both sides won a couple of corners, and Michail Antonio got on the end of a good left-wing cross by Aaron Cresswell but failed to keep it on target. At the other end, Albion worked a shooting chance for Alireza Jahanbakhsh in the D but his effort was blocked by Cresswell.

Pablo Fornals got through the middle in the 39th minute but Gross got across to make a great recovery tackle inside the box and three minutes later Bissouma got in the way of Fornals' shot. Tomas Soucek then let fly from 20 yards and Rob Sanchez had to be alert to parry an effort that swerved a lot through the air.

Adam Webster needed to make an important block from Jarrod Bowen's cross at the start of the second period, but Albion then had a good spell as the game finally opened up.

Two dangerous crosses by Jahanbakhsh had to be cut out by Craig Dawson and goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski before the Iranian had Albion's best moment so far on 55 minutes. Dan Burn's left-to-right diagonal picked him out in space and with Fabianski out of position his volley flew just inches past the far post.

By Paul Hazlewood
Percy Tau came off the bench to setup Danny Welbeck's goal.

Lallana, Percy Tau - for his first appearance since January – and Andi Zeqiri all came on for Albion but just when it looked like ending in a stalemate the deadlock was broken.

With virtually his first touch Tau threaded a great ball into the path of Welbeck and as Fabianski came out, the striker deftly lifted the ball over him with his left foot into an empty net. His sixth goal of the season is Welbeck's best Premier League tally since the 2013-14 campaign.

By Paul Hazlewood
Danny Welbeck's goal was his 50th in the Premier League, and his second consecutive strike at the Amex.

Albion looked to have done enough but two minutes from the end substitute Said Benrahma equalised, guiding the ball into the top right-hand corner from just outside the box. There appeared to be a foul on Ben White in the build-up but Albion’s appeals fell on deaf ears.

Albion: Sanchez, Gross, White, Webster, Burn, Moder, Bissouma, Alzate (Lallana 67), Jahanbakhsh (Tau 73), Welbeck, Trossard.

Subs: Steele, Karbownik, Connolly, Mac Allister, Andone, Caicedo, Zeqiri.

Referee: Andre Marriner