Baggies narrowly beaten by Champions League outfit
• David Luiz own goal gifts Albion early lead
• Rabiot and Lucas on target for PSG
• Average age of 18 for second-half back four
• 20 players get game time for the Baggies
• James Morrison returns from injury
ALBION gained valuable match fitness in a hard-fought 2-1 defeat to French champions Paris Saint-Germain in Schladming.
The Baggies, who have undergone a gruelling training schedule during their seven-day stay in Austria, went to toe-to-toe with a PSG side littered with high profile players from across the globe.
The game began quietly as both teams found their feet on a saturated surface following 24 hours of persistent rain in the Alps.
Ben Foster was the first keeper to be called upon when he tipped over a dipping David Luiz free-kick from 25 yards.
Tony Pulis’ side almost went ahead on 14 minutes but Saido Berahino fired just wide of the right upright from Darren Fletcher’s exquisite ball over the top.
The Baggies were in front less than 60 seconds later as David Luiz turned into his own goal in an effort to stop Berahino’s right-wing cross finding Salomon Rondon at the back post.
Tyler Roberts replaced Jonathan Leko two minutes before an interval which saw Pulis make eight more changes.
Albion started the second half with a back four made up entirely of Academy graduates, as 16-year-old Kane Wilson and 20-year-old Kyle Howkins joined Jack Fitzwater and Sam Field, who are both 18.
Meanwhile, Lucas Moura, Adrien Rabiot and Serge Aurier joined fellow first-team stars Benjamin Stambouli, David Luiz and Hatem Ben Arfa for the Parisians.
Last season’s Champions League quarter-finalists were level on 62 with Rabiot providing the finish from 15 yards following a charging run through the Baggies half.
Lucas gave PSG the lead with 11 minutes remaining – slotting the ball beyond Myhill after Stambouli’s fierce strike hit the woodwork.
ALBION STARTING XI: Foster; Dawson, Fitzwater, Olsson, Pocognoli; Phillips, Fletcher ©, Field, Leko (Roberts 43); Berahino, Rondon.
ALBION SECOND-HALF XI: Myhill; Wilson, Fitzwater, Howkins, Field; Roberts, Morrison, Yacob, McManaman; Gardner; Lambert.
PSG STARTING XI: Trapp; Kimpembe, Stambouli, Kurzawa, Ben Arfa, Edouard, Sabaly, Luiz, Ikone, Pereira, Callegari.
PSG SECOND-HALF XI: Areola; Kimpembe, Stambouli (Bernede 84), Lucas, Maxwell, Ben Arfa, Rabiot, Luiz, Ikone, Callegari.