Match Reports

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Pascal Gross, Deniz Undav and Danny Welbeck all score twice as Albion hit six goals in the Premier League for the first time.

By Bruce Talbot • 29 April 2023

By Paul Hazlewood
Pascal's pride: Gross points to the Albion badge after scoring his second goal.

Albion ripped Wolves apart to get the push for European football emphatically back on track.

There have been some brilliant occasions at the Amex this season and this was right up there with the best of them.

For the first time in our Premier League history we scored six goals and could easily have had a few more

Roberto De Zerbi had made five changes at the end of a testing week and it had the desired effect as Albion surged into a 4-0 lead after 39 minutes.

Pascal Gross scored twice, including a brilliant volley, after fellow German Deniz Undav had given us an early lead.

By Paul Hazlewood
Deniz Undav celebrates after giving Albion an early lead.

Danny Welbeck produced two clinical finishes – one with his head and the other with his right foot - either side of half-time before Undav got his second with a brilliant lob over keeper Jose Sa.

It was the perfect way to round off a gruelling week. By the end of it only Lewis Dunk, Pervis Estupinan and Gross had played every minute of the three games. Who says this squad doesn’t have real quality in depth?

Gross got the player of the match award but there were any number of contenders, not least the other goalscorers and Billy Gilmour, who ticked over effectively in midfield.

The starting XI contained five changes. Gilmour was handed his first start since 31 December and Undav his first since 4 February while Adam Webster, Joel Veltman and Welbeck also returned to the team beaten by Nottingham Forest in midweek.

Any fears Albion fans may have had about some notable absentees were swept away inside 26 exhilarating minutes when we raced into a 3-0 lead.

By James Boardman
Deniz Undav congratulates Pascal Gross after his fellow German made it 3-0.

Undav opened the scoring on seven minutes with an instinctive close-range finish after Danny Welbeck had cleverly backheeled Veltman’s pass into the six yard box. A lengthy check by the VAR ruled that Undav had been played onside by Nelson Semedo.

Six minutes later it was 2-0 after a fine team move, started in the centre circle by Gilmour whose pass gave Enciso the opportunity to break down the left. He looked up and spotted Gross in space on the edge of the box and Gross hardly had to break his stride as he curled the ball into the roof of the net.

Welbeck should have scored in the 19th minute when Jose Sa carelessly passed the ball to him but Welbeck lashed his shot over from 15 yards.

Jason Steele made a fabulous save to push away Matheus Nunes’ shot before Albion swept forward again to get their third on 26 minutes. Enciso was again the creator with a pass across the face of goal and the ball sat up nicely for Gross to cut across it and find the top right-hand corner. 3-0.

By Paul Hazlewood
Danny Welbeck makes it 5-0 with his second goal of the afternoon.

Welbeck didn’t have long to get on the scoresheet though, making it 4-0 in the 39th minute. Enciso was again involved on the left, teeing up Estupinan whose cross to the far post was met by a firm downward header from Welbeck, which snuck past Sa inside the post. Before the break Solly March might have got his name on the scoresheet but volleyed over from the edge of the box.

There was a standing ovation around the stadium at the break, apart from the away end which had half-emptied after the fourth goal went in.

Wolves made a triple change at the break but it made little difference as Albion struck a fifth goal on 48 minutes. Enciso’s pass was intercepted by Nathan Collins but he gave the ball straight to Welbeck on the edge of the box and the striker lashed it right-footed past Sa.

Steele was determined to keep a clean sheet, flinging himself to his right to fingertip a curler from Pedro Neto which would have crept inside the far post before Webster’s block diverted Hwang Hee-Chan’s on-target strike wide of the target.

Midway through the second half De Zerbi had made five changes with Veltman among those coming off. The Dutchman looked in some distress as he disappeared down the tunnel with what looked like a recurrence of his hamstring injury.

By Paul Hazlewood
Danny Welbeck acknowledges the North Stand after scoring his second goal.

The changes had reinvigorated Albion and they had a sixth goal in the 68th minute. Max Kilman was robbed by Mitoma when he tried to control Sa’s pass and Undav nipped in. He still had work to do but finished with aplomb, chipping Sa from a tight angle and finding the far corner.

The only remaining question was whether Albion could embellish the scoreline. Gilmour nearly did so with a shot from the D that beat Sa but was half a yard wide before Steele made another fine save to deny Daniel Podence.

Mitoma and Gross had chances late on but Albion had to settle for six goals and a massive confidence boost ahead of Manchester United’s visit on Thursday.

Albion: Steele, Veltman (Caicedo 64), Webster, Dunk, Estupinan, Gross, Gilmour, March (Mitoma 56), Enciso Mac Allister 64), Undav (Ayari 80), Welbeck (Buonanotte 56).

Subs not used: Sanchez, Colwill, van Hecke, Offiah.

Referee: David Coote

Attendance: 31,584