Albion’s record-breaking win at Brentford had two classic ingredients of a 1-0 on the road.

Specifically, 90 minutes of endeavour and organisation protecting their own goal and a few moments of high quality at the other end.

Leandro Trossard’s touch of the ball away from two defenders and then carefully controlled shot into the bottom corner deserved to be a matchwinner.

Whether Albion deserved to win, or Brentford deserved to lose, is open to debate if you so wish.

Any devotees of xG will certainly be wondering what on earth has happened to Graham Potter’s side. For them, it’s now a case of expect the unexpected.

But the Seagulls happily took their third win of the season as they celebrated in front of an away end which included their club chairman.

Nine points in the bank and Tony Bloom is having a ball.

Having stayed on terms, Albion looked the stronger side in the final 15 or 20 minutes and got more from their substitutions than the home team.

Trossard’s touch where it counted was in contrast to some wayward finishing by Bryan Mbeumo in the first half. Quality over quantity.

As for a landmark win, well it was their first ever win at this venue, of course – and came on a day when they fielded ten internationals together for the first time ever.

But the most notable record was perhaps two wins out of two to open an away programme in the top flight.

The club had never achieved that in eight previous seasons at this level.

Two away wins matches their tally for the whole of the 2017-18 campaign.

Last time they won their first two away games was ten years ago, when they were new to the Championship.

They turned two – at Portsmouth and Cardiff – into three back then by adding a 1-0 success at Bristol City.

Given the next away game this season is at Selhurst Park, a repeat of 2011 would be most welcome.

For now there is every reason to be pleased at this latest away success against a side who had been unbeaten at their new stadium for seven months.

Albion kept their 11th clean sheet since mid-January despite losing Adam Webster to injury midway through the first half.

Webster departed feeling the back of his left thigh and Joel Veltman took his role on the right of the three with sub Jakub Moder at wing-back.

A half-time reshuffle then saw Veltman go to right-back in a four and Moder to the left of midfield, from where he helped in the winning goal.


Webster was added to an absentee list which also included the isolating Pascal Gross and Enock Mwepu.

All of which made the win and clean sheet more pleasing.

The shut out is a collective thing to which everyone contributes.

That, one imagines, is why some goal-getters linked speculatively (or wrongly) with Albion have, in reality, proved to be of no interest to them.

Midfielder Gross, for his part, does not block shots or head crosses away but he helps Albion keep the ball.

And, if you keep the ball, you don’t concede.

Potter said: “Any good team will say you need to be able to defend, you need to have that stability, you need clean sheets.

“It’s credit to the boys that Adam went off and they still managed it.

“I thought it was a collective effort even though, of course, Rob (Sanchez) and the defenders play a big role in that.

“I thought as a team we set a really good attitude to defend and fight for each other and, if you do that, you have got a chance.

“You need a bit of luck well. It’s not like we are saying we didn’t get that because I think that’s fair.

“But it’s another clean sheet for us. We have had quite a few.

“Especially this calendar year, we have been strong and another gives you chance to get points.”

The one moment when it seemed Albion might be breached was when Ivan Toney connected sweetly with an audacious 40-yarder which dipped just over.

Mbeumo missed a couple of chances and later fired across goal after the one real lapse by Marc Cucurella, who enjoyed a tidy debut.

Sanchez stood big as Vitaly Janelt fired at him right on half-time. But Albion increasingly had their hosts under control in the second half and, bit by bit, started to ask more questions.

There weren’t many goal attempts but Alexis Mac Allister was a positive influence off the bench and he curled wide before playing a part in the winner.

He swapped passes with Moder and helped the ball on to Trossard, who opened his account for the season.

An afternoon which started with Albion fans bemoaning a two-goal debut for Odsonne Edouard with their arch rivals ended with them celebrating one of their own team’s rather different attacking threats.


Potter counts Trossard as one of his striking options.

He said: “There’s a narrative about the No.9 but it is about the team attacking and scoring goals.

“You have got the likes of Alexis, the likes of Jakub, the likes of Leo, the likes of Enock to name a few who can score, who can help us.

“We are quite calm about it and we have belief in the guys we have.”

Brentford: Raya; Ajer, Jansson, Pinnock; Canos (Roerslev 61), Baptiste (Onyeka 75), Norgaard, Janelt (Jensen 68), Henry; Mbeumo, Toney. Subs Not Used: Jorgensen, Thompson, Forss, Wissa, Ghoddos, Fernandez.

Booked: Canos, Mbeumo, Ajer.

Albion: Sanchez, Webster (Moder 37), Duffy, Dunk; Veltman, Lallana, Bissouma, Cucurella (March 82), Trossard, Maupay, Welbeck (Mac Allister 64). Subs Not Used: Scherpen, Alzate, Steele, Roberts, Richards, Locadia.

Booked: Veltman, Duffy.

Goals: Trossard 90.

Att: 16,518 Ref: Graham Scott (Oxfordshire).