Match Reports

Two for Tolaj as Albion get back to winning ways

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Striker's double helps under-23s to convincing victory over Liverpool.

By Charlie Hanson • 03 December 2021

By Paul Hazlewood
Lorent Tolaj's two goals took his tally up to five for the Premier League 2 campaign.

Two fine strikes from Lorent Tolaj and a late goal from Ben Wilson ensured Albion secured their first victory in six Premier League 2 outings with a comfortable 3-0 win over Liverpool.

A goal either side of half-time from the Swiss forward was enough to see off the Reds on Friday at the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre, with Wilson adding a third with virtually the last touch of the game.

Albion headed into the game having drawn four of their last five league games 1-1, but their play reflected that of a team playing with confidence.

Cam Peupion’s lively start saw him played through on goal by Gary Dicker, with the 19-year-old cutting it back smartly for Marc Leonard to hit, but his effort from ten yards blocked.

The Australian went close himself after 20 minutes when he acrobatically met Tolaj’s cross, but fired over.

By Paul Hazlewood
The striker's smart finish gave Albion in the lead in the first half.

Tolaj gave Albion the lead two minutes later. Ed Turns found the forward after an excellent run with the Switzerland youth international taking a touch before firing across goal and into the bottom right corner.

The first half was overshadowed by an injury sustained by Antef Tsoungui, who was replaced by Todd Miller.

With the hour mark approaching Tolaj had his second of the afternoon. Miller crossed low from the right and Tolaj showed his predatory instincts as he forced the ball home from close range under pressure from a defender.

By Paul Hazlewood
Gary Dicker put in an impressive performance in the middle of the park.

Leonard dragged an effort wide shortly after, before Peupion’s cross from the right looked set to drift into the top left corner, but Liverpool goalkeeper Marcelo Pitaluga tipped it onto the roof of the net.

Odeluga Offiah was on the wrong end of a really poor challenge from Liverpool substitute Dom Corness with three minutes to play, which saw the visiting midfielder shown a straight red card. 

Albion made their man advantage count deep in added time when substitute Ben Wilson pounced on a poor back pass, rounding Pitaluga and slotted home his first goal of the campaign.

Albion are next in PL2 action in a fortnight's time, when they head to Manchester City.

Albion line-up: Scherpen, Packham, Offiah (Wilson 90), Tsoungui (Miller 36), Turns, Furlong, Dicker, Spong, Peupion, Leonard, Tolaj (Ella 90).

Unused subs: Bull.