Match Reports

Albion secure ninth spot with final day win over West Ham

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Record finish and points tally in the bag with 3-1 victory at the Amex.

By Charlie Hanson • 22 May 2022

By Paul Hazlewood
Albion finished the campaign in ninth spot.

Albion came from behind to secure a 3-1 win over West Ham on Sunday, ensuring we ended the campaign with our best ever top-flight finish as well as adding three points to an already record-breaking Premier League points tally.

Michail Antonio's strike just before the break saw Albion slip down to 13th spot, but a second half rally saw Joel Veltman, Pascal Gross and Danny Welbeck find the back of the net to see us finish ninth on 51 points.

Mark Noble was named on the bench for his final West Ham appearance, and his final game as a West Ham player was marked with a pre-match presentation for the central midfielder. Tony Bloom, Bobby Zamora and George Parris presented the 35-year-old with a bottle of bubbly and a silver plate.

Graham Potter made one change from the team that drew with Leeds last weekend as Leandro Trossard dropped out of the squad having suffered an injury at Elland Road, with Adam Webster promoted to the starting XI.

The task on the face of it was fairly straightforward for us – secure at least a point and definitely finish in the top half.

We started brightly. Moises Caicedo was kicking himself for not netting in consecutive Amex appearances when his first-time effort was comfortably saved by Lukasz Fabianski, after he pounced on a loose ball in the West Ham box.

By Paul Hazlewood
Pascal Gross celebrates after putting Albion 2-1 up

Veltman and Adam Webster had kept close tabs on Antonio for the opening 40 minutes, but the Irons striker found space to smash home emphatically from the edge of the box with half-time looming.

Potter’s men had work to do in the second half and the head coach introduced Neal Maupay in the place of Yves Bissouma to add a bit of firepower.

The Frenchman nearly made instant impact as his low drive was saved by Fabianski, but Albion’s equaliser came from an unlikely source.

The hosts worked it across the West Ham box from left to right, March rolled it for Veltman and the Dutchman’s drive slipped through Fabianski’s legs and into the back of the net.

A second nearly followed as both Maupay and Welbeck couldn’t get on the end of a low cross from Marc Cucurella.

By Bennett Dean
Veltman's strike got us back on level terms.

We were in the ascendancy, but West Ham were still a threat. Lewis Dunk cut out Vladimir Coufal’s well weighted ball into the six-yard box, before pinching possession off a relatively quiet Jarrod Bowen as he burst into the box.

Welbeck flashed an effort wide of the post from an angle before Webster nodded just over from Pascal Gross’s corner.

The German took matters into his own hands. Mwepu played a one-two with Welbeck and the former Manchester United man picked out Gross, who swivelled on the edge of the box and hammered into the top left corner to put us in front with ten to play.

And to round things off, Welbeck nodded in Gross's 89th-minute corner to secure the victory and end a brilliant campaign with a superb three points.

Albion line-up: Sanchez, Cucurella, Webster, Dunk, Webster, Bissouma (Maupay 46), Mac Allister, Gross, Welbeck, March (Lamptey 75), Caicedo (Mwepu 79), Veltman.

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