Match Reports

Albion thrash United on an Amex occasion to remember

Brought to you by...

Caicedo, Cucurella, Gross and Trossard on target as Albion enjoy their best ever Premier League win.

07 May 2022

By Bennett Dean
Moises Caicedo wheels away after firing Albion into an early lead.

Albion cruised to their finest Premier League win with a 4-0 humbling of Manchester United in front of a record Amex crowd on Saturday.

Graham Potter’s men were scintillating from the off as Moises Caicedo, Marc Cucurella, Pascal Gross and Leandro Trossard found the back of the net in what will surely go down as one of Albion’s greatest ever wins. Caicedo and Cucurella both scored their first goals for the club. 

Albion had only previously scored four goals in a Premier League game once back in 2018 when they beat Swansea City 4-1. 

With Enock Mwepu’s season all but over following the Zambia international’s groin injury at Wolves last week, Gross came back into the starting line-up as the only change.

With a record points tally in the bag and Premier League football secured for a sixth consecutive season Albion were determined to finish the season strongly. 

They were in control from the off  and when Danny Welbeck narrowly missed Solly March’s back-post cross in the opening exchanges it was a warning that the visitors didn’t heed.

Gross’ half-volley from just inside the United box was blocked, but Caicedo gathered the ball 25 yards out and with pin-point accuracy found the bottom left corner, the ball going through Victor Lindelof's legs. 

The Ecuador international has impressed since his Premier League debut in the 2-1 win at Arsenal, but his daisy cutter will no doubt be his standout moment from the early stages of his Albion career.

United then had their first spell of pressure, but it was over as quickly as it began as Potter’s men looked hungry to end a run of seven consecutive top-flight defeats to the visitors.

Albion pinned United in their own third as they went in search of what would have been a deserved second. Trossard’s deflected strike drifted wide of the bottom right corner and Gross’ low cross from the by-line into the heart of the six-yard box couldn’t find a man in an Albion shirt.

By Paul Hazlewood
Alexis Mac Allister celebrates with Leo Trossard after he made it 4-0.

For all of Albion’s liquid football it was a long-ball downfield that nearly cut open the United defence. Robert Sanchez’s ball over the top was misjudged by Raphael Varane and with David De Gea off his line former United striker Welbeck lobbed his ex-teammate, but his effort flew narrowly over the crossbar.

United changed tack with the introduction of Edinson Cavani and Fred at the beginning of the second half, but it altered nothing as Albion landed a knockout blow four minutes after the restart.

Trossard cut the ball back for Cucurella who without hesitation smacked the ball into the top left corner from 12-yards.

Tears filled the Spain international’s eyes as he celebrated what was his first goal in an Albion shirt.

If that made Marc emotional then Gross adding an Albion third nine minutes later had him and his team-mates in dreamland. 

By Paul Hazlewood
Marc Cucurella celebrates after making it 2-0.

Sanchez’s superb ball out to the left for Cucurella got the attack going, before Alexis Mac Allister played the German in, he shifted it past Varane and tucked it past De Gea and into the bottom right corner.

Sanchez was called into action with an outstanding save from Cavani’s near-post header, before the final nail was hammered into the coffin for the visitors.

Gross was at the heart of the attack again as he slipped the ball through for Welbeck who crossed in, Dalot tried to clear off the line but in doing so volleyed it into the midriff of Trossard and into the back of the net.

A VAR check was made to ensure the Belgian had handled it over the line, but with Leo wagging his finger and smiling, you could be confident that the goal would be given.

With United fans chanting 'you're not fit to wear the shirt' the visitors rallied. Bruno Fernandes stung the palms of Sanchez, but if another goal was coming, it was going to be a fifth for Albion.

By Paul Hazlewood
Sliding in: Pascal Gross celebrates the third goal.

Dalot diverted a cross onto his own post with Mac Allister ready to tap it in and Welbeck's curling strike from 20 yards brushed the outside of the post when it looked destined for the top left corner.

Gross forced De Gea into a low save to his left, tipping the ball round the post while Sanchez got behind a couple of Fernandes' efforts. Cavani had a goal disallowed for offside but this was emphatically Albion's night. 

Albion line-up: Sanchez, Cucurella, Dunk, Bissouma, Mac Allister (Webster 67), Trossard (Maupay 83), Gross, Welbeck, March (Lamptey 76), Caicedo, Veltman.

Unused subs: Steele, Lallana, Alzate, Duffy, Offiah, Ferguson.