Match Reports

Albion fifth after another great day in the capital

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Mac Allister and Trossard on target in 2-0 victory over West Ham United.

By Bruce Talbot • 21 August 2022

By Paul Hazlewood
Alexis Mac Allister celebrates after scoring from the penalty spot against West Ham.

Albion maintained their great start to the season by claiming three points in the London Stadium sunshine.

A first-half penalty by Alexis Mac Allister gave us the lead and after soaking up a spell of pressure at the start of the second period, Albion struck clinically on the counter through Leandro Trossard’s composed finish in the 66th minute.

There were other chances too as we stretched our outstanding Premier League run to one defeat in 11, dating back to the end of last season.

We also maintained our outstanding record against the Hammers, who have now failed to beat us in 11 Premier League encounters.

By Paul Hazlewood
Danny Welbeck was brought down by Thilo Kehrer for Albion's penalty.

Unchanged Albion made one switch on the bench with Pervis Estupinan replacing Jan Paul van Hecke on the bench.

There was an early scare of Albion’s making when Adam Webster’s cross-field pass was cut out. Said Benrahma cut in from the left but his shot drifted wide of the far post.

But the visitors soon settled and began to cause problems, with Danny Welbeck and Trossard not far off target from inside the box.

The deadlock was broken in the 21st minute. Mac Allister won the ball back off Kurt Zouma deep inside our half and set Trossard running down the left. His pass picked out Welbeck’s run and Thilo Kehrer’s mistimed challenge on the edge of the box sent him tumbling. The only doubt was whether the foul was committed just outside the box, but VAR confirmed it was on the line and Mac Allister composed himself before sweeping the ball into the bottom right-hand corner, his seventh Premier League goal.

There were other openings before the break and if Albion had been a bit more precise with their final ball we might have scored again. Moises Caicedo, who was once again in eye-catching form, volleyed wide and Trossard lifted an inviting opportunity wide of the far post. At the other end the hosts huffed and puffed without seriously testing Rob Sanchez.

By Paul Hazlewood
Did you see it? Leandro Trossard celebrates his second-half goal.

As expected West Ham came out for the second half with more intent and got the home fans engaged too. Joel Veltman produced a brave block from Aaron Cresswell’s shot which was on target then Webster did enough to prevent Tomas Soucek’s header from testing Sanchez.

The Spaniard had to make a save, though, in the 58th minute. Michail Antonio’s pass released Pablo Fornals in space but his effort was straight at our No.1. There had been a shift in momentum with West Ham’s midfield pressing much higher up the pitch.

Pervis Estupinan came on for Adam Lallana as Albion switched to four at the back and having been under pressure for much of the second half we doubled our lead with a brilliant goal on 66 minutes. Mac Allister’s ball forward was flicked into Trossard’s path by Gross and the Belgian didn’t have to break stride as he picked his spot beyond Fabianski.

By Paul Hazlewood
Danny Welbeck and Kurt Zouma battle for possession.

Solly March should have added a third on 75 minutes when Estupinan’s cross found him out unmarked at the far post but he headed powerfully over the bar. Albion were firmly in charge again and West Ham had another problem when Soucek limped off.

Albion still had to take care at the back and Sanchez pulled off two spectacular saves in the space of a minute as he flipped headers from Vladimir Coufal and Jarrod Bowen over the bar.

But it wasn’t long before the players and GP were enjoying another celebration in front of our fans. Another away day to remember!

Albion: Sanchez, Veltman, Dunk, Webster, March (sub: Mwepu 85), Lallana (sub: Estupinan 62), Caciedo, Mac Allister, Trossard (Mitoma 90+2), Gross, Welbeck. Subs: Steele, Lamptey, Colwill, Maupay, Alzate, Undav.

Referee: Anthony Taylor