Frenchman up there in comparison with Prem wide men
A VITALLY important three points were gained by the Baggies at Carrow Road at the weekend, and here the guys over at football stats website WhoScored.com
have reviewed the win.
Pepe Mel's Albion have proven a seriously difficult Barclays Premier League outfit to beat since the Spaniard came to the helm, and though wins have evaded him until recently, defeats have been few and far between.
Norwich's attack was blunted as they succumbed to a 1-0 loss.
The result meant Mel's men have lost only twice in their last seven top-flight outings, and while away form was more of a worry early on in his tenure, recent performances mean those concerns will have subsided.
Wins at Swansea and now Norwich have built up a five-point cushion between the Baggies and the drop zone, and with a game in hand on the majority of teams around them things are certainly looking better.
The same number of points now separate Albion and 11th-placed West Ham, so it could be time to look up rather than over their shoulders at what is going on below them.
A returning Jonas Olsson stood out at the back for the visitors, gaining a WhoScored.com rating of 8.1 in the encounter as he played a key role in another clean sheet for the club.
Little was allowed through the middle as the experienced centre-back controlled proceedings.
In fact, Norwich were made to attempt the majority of their shots from wide positions, with an incredible 58% of their efforts coming from the right side of the pitch, from where it is always going to be extremely difficult to beat a goalkeeper of Ben Foster's quality.
It was, though, at the other end of the pitch that Albion were most impressive.
Although a significant proportion of their attacking touches were made down the left (49% compared to 26% on the right), with Matej Vydra pulling out to the flank and Liam Ridgewell overlapping effectively, it was from the right the goal came.
Morgan Amalfitano again displayed his outstanding pedigree with a fine run and lethal finish from a difficult position, as he went on to slightly better Olsson's rating and in doing so picked up the WhoScored man of the match award.
He has now been the star performer twice as many times (four) as any other Baggies player and ranks only behind Eden Hazard (six) of all wide midfielders in the whole Premier League this season.
The Frenchman has acclimatised to life in England fantastically well, and his end of season form could prove vital, as it did here, as the Baggies look to secure survival at the earliest opportunity.
* WhoScored.comis a unique website and one of the fastest growing in the sports industry, specialising in the in-depth analysis of detailed football data. Provided with unique stats, they compile and create comprehensive analysis on the major European divisions, including live match stats and player ratings. Follow @WhoScoredand their editor-in-chief @alitweedaleon Twitter.