Match Reports

Match report: Maupay and Welbeck strike to send Albion third

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Strikers both on target as Potter’s men beat Leicester for the first time in the Premier League.

By Bruce Talbot • 19 September 2021

By Bennett Dean
Danny Welbeck's goal early on in the second half was his first of the new season.
  • Albion 2, Leicester City 1

Albion are up to third after claiming their first Premier League win over Leicester City on a thrilling afternoon at the Amex.

Neal Maupay’s first-half penalty – his third goal of the campaign – and a majestic header by Danny Welbeck which opened his account for the season shortly after half-time seemed to put the home side in control.

But Jamie Vardy pulled one back on the hour and Albion had their backs to the wall in the closing stages. Leicester hit the bar and had two goals disallowed but the hosts dug deep to claim their fourth win out of five, which leaves them a point behind leaders Liverpool and Manchester United.

Graham Potter made one change to the side which beat Brentford, with Solly March replacing the injured Adam Webster. Tariq Lamptey returned on the bench after nine months out and Dan Burn was also back in the squad.

Leicester had never lost any of the previous eight Premier League meetings between the clubs and they started in the mood to maintain that record, bossing possession in the early stages. They won a couple of corners and Youri Tielemans strode forward from midfield for a shot from 25 yards which wasn’t far away.

By Paul Hazlewood
Marc Cucurella won the match sponsors Man of the Match award.

Albion gradually got going with Marc Cucurella particularly prominent down the left on his Amex debut. His pass on 14 minutes picked out Maupay in space and the striker's shot on the turn took a deflection off Jannik Vestergaard and the ball looped onto the roof of the net.

Another spell of pressure ended with Joel Veltman teeing up Solly March for a shot that Kasper Schmeichel had to block with his legs before Adam Lallana missed a great chance. A clever touch by the midfielder created extra space on the edge of the box but he fired wastefully over.

Schmeichel blocked another shot this time from Trossard, before Albion's dominance was rewarded on 34 minutes. Shane Duffy attacked a corner with his head and his effort clearly struck Vestergaard's arm. Referee Stuart Attwell initially awarded a corner but changed his mind after consulting his assistant and pointed to the penalty spot. After a lengthy delay, Maupay drilled the ball down the middle to make it 1-0.

By Bennett Dean
Neal Maupay celebrates opening the scoring against Leicester, having fired in from the penalty spot.

Little had been seen of Jamie Vardy on his 250th Premier League appearance but the Leicester striker fired narrowly wide of the far post from a tight angle at the start of the second half.

But five minutes after the break Albion doubled their lead. Solly March was fouled wide on the right and Trossard’s free kick was met with a powerful header from Welbeck which flew past Schmeichel inside the left-hand post.

By Bennett Dean
Danny Welbeck expertly extended Albion's lead just after the break as he nodded in from Leandro Trossard's free-kick.

Albion nearly profited from another set-piece by the Belgian when a free kick from the left was flicked on by Lallana and only just eluded Lewis Dunk as he stretched at the far post.

On the hour Leicester got one back. Ricardo Pereira and substitute Ademola Lookman combined down their right and Tielemans clipped an inviting ball into the six-yard box Vardy slammed past Rob Sanchez from close range for his 150th Leicester goal and sixth against Albion.

Lookman thought he'd equalised in the 67th minute but Leicester celebrations were cut short by an offside flag against Harvey Barnes but having looked in control Albion were now having to man the barricades. Dan Burn replaced Welbeck but Leicester probed away as home fans steadied themselves for a tense finale. 

By Paul Hazlewood
Wilfried Ndidi thought he'd levelled for the visitors, but Harvey Barnes was ruled offside.

Caglar Soyunci headed over from a corner, Barnes went even closer with a shot which took a deflection and Sanchez had to tip onto the bar and there was a roar of relief from Albion fans as loud as that which greeted both goals when Wilfred Ndidi’s header from a corner was disallowed for offside against Barnes again with five minutes to go.

Duffy made a courageous block to keep out Lookman’s shot deep into stoppage time before the final whistle was greeted by a roar they would have heard in Hollingbury.

Albion: Sanchez, Veltman, Duffy, Dunk, Cucurella, March (Mwepu 60), Lallana, Bissouma (Moder 80), Trossard, Welbeck (Burn 68), Maupay.

Subs not used: Steele, Lamptey, Connolly, Mac Allister, Alzate, Richards.