Match Reports

Report: Maupay stuns Palace with stoppage-time equaliser

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Striker's fourth of the season earns Albion deserved point.

By Bruce Talbot • 27 September 2021

By James Boardman
Neal Maupay's 90+5th minute goal made it three games unbeaten on the road for Albion.
  • Crystal Palace 1, Albion 1

Neal Maupay stunned Selhurst Park with a stoppage-time equaliser as Albion continued their outstanding start to the Premier League season.

Wilfried Zaha's penalty at the end of the first half looked to have won a tense affair for the home side but Albion improved in the second half after switching to 4-4-2.

Even so, the game was in the fifth and final minute of stoppage time when Joel Veltman played Maupay in and the Frenchman, who scored at the same end in the 2019 fixture, was coolness personified as he lifted the ball over Vicente Guaita before taking the acclaim of the 2,000 ecstatic Albion fans.

A game of few clear chances looked like it would be settled by a familiar foe.

By Paul Hazlewood
It looked like it was going to be one of those nights for Albion as they struggled to test Guiata in the Palace net.

Zaha has now scored eight goals against Albion – more than any other club – and his spot-kick was the fifth time he had netted in the last five games between the sides.

But Maupay had other ideas and Albion remain unbeaten on their travels this season with seven points from three games on the road.

Graham Potter made two changes to the side which beat Leicester. Dan Burn came in for Solly March to make his first Premier League start of the season while Pascal Gross replaced the injured Yves Bissouma in midfield. Burn was part of back three with Joel Veltman and Marc Cucurella in the wing-back roles.

Selhurst Park was rocking at kick-off for the first meeting of the old rivals in front of fans since December 2019. Graham Potter would have wanted his team to dampen the fervour of the home crowd in the early stages but Palace did the early pressing, winning three corners in the opening eight minutes. Albion dealt with them though and when Danny Welbeck led a break down the left and tried to find Neal Maupay, the Frenchman was wrestled to the ground by Joachim Anderson, but Maupay had already been penalised for handball.

It took until the 20th minute for either keeper to be tested but Odsonne Edouard's snapshot was easily held by Rob Sanchez before Adam Lallana picked up the first booking for tugging back James McArthur.

By James Boardman
Danny Welbeck looked as if he had been brought down for a penalty in the first half, but referee Andre Marriner waved away the protests.

Albion worked their best opening in the 29th minute when Gross produced one of his Cruyff turns to get past Tyrick Mitchell and pick out Leandro Trossard, whose first-time effort from an angle hit the side netting. Welbeck then won a foot race with Joel Ward to a long ball forward but couldn’t bring it under control to get a decent connection and protests that he had been fouled were ignored by the referee.

Sanchez saved when Zaha, on his 400th Palace appearance, tried to surprise him by aiming for the near post then from Albion’s first corner the ball dropped invitingly for Lallana on the edge of the box but his shot was always rising over the target.

The deadlock was broken in first-half stoppage time from the penalty spot. The impressive Conor Gallagher cut in from the right past Cucurella, Trossard leant into him and Gallagher went down. The referee pointed to the spot and Zaha rolled the penalty into the bottom corner. It was a soft penalty but Trossard could have no complaints.

Burn was replaced by Steven Alzate at the break, Albion reverted to a 4-4-2 and Vicente Guaita flipped Lewis Dunk’s header from Cucurella’s free kick over before Lallana’s volley was blocked as Albion started the second half on the front foot.

The visitors were offering more of an attacking threat with Trossard increasingly prominent but they were forced into a second change when Alzate hurt his ankle under a heavy challenge from Jordan Ayew and hobbled off to be replaced by Jakub Moder.

With 15 minutes to go it looked as if Palace had settled on a 'hold what we have' policy. Albion were busy and had lots of the ball but like Sanchez at the other end Guaita was not seriously tested.

Potter threw on Aaron Connolly for Welbeck, but it was Palace who ought to have made the game safe when Christian Benteke played in Ayew in space on the right but he found the side netting when Palace fans were expecting the net to bulge.

Albion pressed in the final stages and in the last minute Shane Duffy met Gross' in-swinging free kick but his firm header was straight at Guaita. It looked as if Albion’s chance had gone – until Maupay conjured up a magical finish.

Albion: Sanchez, Veltman, Dunk, Duffy, Burn (Alzate 45 (Moder 65)), Cucurella, Lallana, Gross, Trossard, Maupay, Welbeck (Connolly 76).

Subs not used: Steele, Lamptey, Mac Allister, March, Roberts, Richards.

Referee: Andre Marriner

Booked: Lallana, Cucurella, Trossard.