Match Reports

Report: Albion undone by City's second-half surge

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Albion beaten 3-0 at the Etihad after Manchester City score three times after the break

By Charlie Hanson • 20 April 2022

By Paul Hazlewood
Tariq Lamptey is sent flying by Nathan Ake

A second-half goal surge from Manchester City brought an end to a fine run of form on the road by Albion and took the hosts back to the top of the Premier League.

Having kept City at bay for 55 minutes, Riyad Mahrez, Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva struck for Pep Guardiola's men.

Albion, who had defeated Arsenal and Tottenham in their last two outings, played well particularly in the first half before City showed their class. 

Graham Potter was forced into two changes for Wednesday night's match with Yves Bissouma suspended and Leo Trossard ill, so in came Danny Welbeck and Solly March.

Previous results were very much in the hosts’ favour going into the game, with City claiming eight wins from the nine Premier League meetings against Albion.

By Paul Hazlewood
Jeremy Sarmiento was introduced in the second half.

Chances don’t come much more clear-cut than the opportunity presented to Mahrez after 17 minutes. Robert Sanchez’s clearance from the right side of his box fell straight to the feet of the Algeria international 18 yards out, but with the goal at his mercy he took a touch which allowed Moises Caicedo to put in what was certainly a goal denying challenge.

Albion’s Ecuadorian midfielder followed that up with another important block on Kevin De Bruyne on the edge of the box to deny the City skipper the chance to let fly, but a moment later the midfielder struck a shot just wide from a similar distance.

Sanchez was forced into his first save of note after half an hour when Silva evaded the challenge of Marc Cucurella, looping an effort towards the top left corner, but the Albion keeper got a strong palm on it to push it away from danger.

By Paul Hazlewood
Moises Caicedo breaks forward at the Etihad.

Graham Potter’s men were dealing with the pressure well but were nearly their own worst enemy when they gave away possession deep inside their own half and Ilkay Gundogan picked out Silva to hammer at goal, but Lewis Dunk was there to block.

Albion’s resolute defending was finally undone after 54 minutes when De Bruyne picked out Mahrez and the former Leicester City man’s close-range strike needed a deflection off Joel Veltman to beat Sanchez.

The visitors looked to rally and Welbeck nodded straight at Ederson from Pascal Gross’s corner, but Phil Foden added a second for City when his drive from 25 yards took another fortuitous deflection, this time off Enock Mwepu, and into the bottom left corner. 

By Paul Hazlewood
Moises Caicedo breaks forward at the Etihad.

The game was put to bed with ten minutes to play when Silva showed his class, curling home from the edge of the box after Albion's press was beaten and De Bruyne's clever pass picked out his teammate. 

Albion maintained their spot in tenth and while ultimately any defeat is disappointing they can reflect that a run of three difficult away fixtures has yielded a solid six points.

Albion: Sanchez, Lamptey (Webster 61), Cucurella, Dunk, Mac Allister, Mwepu, Gross, Welbeck (Maupay 77), March, Caicedo (Sarmiento 73), Veltman.

Unused subs: Steele, McGill, Maupay, Lallana, Leonard, Offiah, Ferguson.