Match Reports

It's a Trossard treble as Albion hit five

Leo leads the way as we finish pre-season with 5-1 win over Espanyol.

By Bruce Talbot • 30 July 2022

By Paul Hazlewood
Adam Webster is congratulated after heading Albion ahead.

Leandro Trossard starred with a second-half hat-trick as we concluded our pre-season preparations with an impressive 5-1 win over La Liga side Espanyol in the Amex sunshine on Saturday.

Sterner tests await and Espanyol are a week behind in their preparations and were without some of their key players.

But Graham Potter was very impressed with the performance of his team who were unfortunate to only be leading by Adam Webster’s glancing header at the break.

Another header, this time from Lewis Dunk, doubled the lead early in the second half then Trossard took centre stage with three goals in the space of 14 minutes, all of them sublime finishes, before Joselu got a consolation for the Spaniards.

By Paul Hazlewood
Leandro Trossard scored a second-half hat-trick against Espanyol.

Although Espanyol’s Vini Souza had the first shot of the game – a 20-yard effort straight at Rob Sanchez – Albion quickly began to get on top.

The only surprise was it took them 18 minutes to break the deadlock after they had created a stack of chances and moved the ball and their opponents around impressively.

Trossard, Solly March and Danny Welbeck all went close before Webster rose unmarked and guided a free header from Gross’s outswinging corner past Benjamin Lecomte.

By Paul Hazlewood
Pascal Gross at full stretch.

Welbeck went close again after Gross and March had combined down Albion’s right, an area of the pitch where they were to get a lot of joy.

Trossard hit the side netting when another Gross corner found its way to him on the left-hand side of the box before Welbeck’s goal-bound shot was inadvertently blocked by Enock Mwepu.

Albion took less than two minutes of the second half to double their lead. Trossard picked out Dunk ten yards out with a cross from the left and the skipper’s looping header dropped just inside the far post as Lecomte watched helplessly on.

Albion struck again in the 54th minute. Joel Veltman’s cross deflected off a defender to Trossard who showed great technique to guide a right-foot volley back across goal and inside the right-hand post.

By Paul Hazlewood
Moises Caicedo wins the ball back for Albion.

It was a wonderful piece of skill by the Belgian and he was at it again eight minutes later. Veltman was again the provider and after a stepover and dart inside left his marker bemused, Trossard stroked the ball with his right foot past Lecomte to make it 4-0.

It was now a case of how many Albion would score. Trossard had his hat-trick in the 68th minute after another great move. March’s cross was delightfully directed into his path by Adam Lallana and Trossard beat Lecomte with a powerful strike inside the left-hand post.

By Paul Hazlewood
Solly March sets up another Albion attack against Espanyol.

Potter made eight second-half changes but Sanchez stayed on and made an outstanding save to push away Joselu’s header in the 75th minute but the former Stoke striker made no mistake when he was put through moments later and beat the offside trap to slide the ball past Sanchez.

Next stop Old Trafford!

Albion: Sanchez, Veltman, Dunk, Webster (sub: van Hecke 72), March (Lamptey 72), Mac Allister (Alzate 69), Caicedo (Sarmiento 77), Gross (Mitoma 72), Trossard (Maupay 72), Mwepu (Lallana 55), Welbeck (Undav 72).

Subs not used: Scherpen, Enciso, Steele, Duffy, Clarke.

Referee: Stuart Attwell