Report: Maupay misses penalty as Albion are held

Frustration at the Amex after a goalless draw against Norwich City.

By Bruce Talbot • 02 April 2022

By Bennett Dean
Joel Veltman had a great opportunity for Albion in the second half.

Albion stopped the rot after six successive defeats but there was acute frustration at the Amex as they were held to a goalless draw by bottom of the table Norwich.

Neal Maupay’s first-half penalty miss ensured Albion’s Amex goal drought stretched to a fifth game but Graham Potter’s side should still have won.

They had 31 shots (four on target) and forced 11 corners but former Albion keeper Tim Krul was in fine form when called upon, the pick of his saves a brilliant parry at point-blank range to keep out Joel Veltman’s header in the second half. You also have to commend the Canaries for a solid defensive display.

Albion dominated possession from the start and nearly broke the deadlock in the 19th minute. Leandro Trossard’s cute backheel gave Solly March space to cross from the left. Maupay scuffed his shot and Danny Welbeck couldn’t stretch enough to convert the loose ball at the far post. It was to set the tone for Albion's afternoon in front of goal. 

By Bennett Dean
Tariq Lamptey shoots wide in the second half.

Alexis Mac Allister had Krul scrambling across goal with a drive from 20 yards which slipped just wide and in the 29th minute Albion squandered a great chance to score.

Norwich defender Sam Byram handled a cross under pressure from Lewis Dunk for an obvious penalty, but Maupay skied the spot-kick over the target.

It was a blow to Albion’s confidence but they kept probing and Mac Allister came even closer when March played a free kick on the right to the edge of the box. The Argentinian hit it first time with his right foot, but it curled just wide of the post.

Albion were on top but had yet to seriously test Krul. March’s ambitious half volley from outside the box was always rising and Mac Allister saw another effort – Albion’s 13th goal attempt of the first half – fizz wide.

By Bennett Dean
Danny Welbeck mistimed his acrobatic effort late on in the second half.

Krul was called upon nine minutes into the second half when he pulled off a stunning, reaction save to keep out Veltman’s close-range header after Lewis Dunk flicked on March’s corner. It signalled another intense spell of pressure as Albion looked for the breakthrough. Welbeck’s header was deflected wide then Maupay had space eight yards out but drilled his shot into the side netting.

Albion kept pushing. Trossard and Veltman had efforts blocked inside a crowded box as Albion’s shot count clocked up. Dunk glanced Gross’s corner a yard wide, Krul got behind March’s 20-yarder then Trossard teed up Maupay in space but the Frenchman could only guide the ball a yard wide.

By Paul Hazlewood
Neal Maupay sent his first half penalty over the crossbar.

Norwich had hardly threatened until then but they carved out a great chance with ten minutes to go but Milot Rashica lifted the ball over Rob Sanchez’s bar after Temmu Pukki picked him out in lots of space at the far post following a counter-attack.

Jakub Moder had to be replaced two minutes after coming on after sustaining what looked like a knee injury but his replacement Jeremy Sarmiento was soon involved. His pass picked out Trossard on the left for a cross which just eluded Mac Allister and Welbeck.

Krul rescued Norwich again when he punched out Mac Allister’s powerful effort in the final minute as Albion couldn’t find a way through.

Albion: Sanchez, Lamptey, Veltman, Dunk, Cucurella, March (Moder 83 (Sarmiento 86)), Gross, Mac Allister, Trossard, Welbeck, Maupay (Mwepu 79).

Subs: Steele, Bissouma, Lallana, Alzate, Duffy, Offiah.  

Attendance: 31425