Saints edge five-goal thriller

By SFC Media Sat 03 Feb West Brom v Saints
Photo by Matt Watson | James Ward-Prowse
Sat 03 Feb 3PM
Premier League
West Bromwich Albion
2
Southampton
3
Hegazi [4'] Rondón [72']
Lemina [40'] Stephens [43'] Ward-Prowse [55']
Barry (22') Phillips (90+2')
Bertrand (90+2')
Referee: Michael Oliver | Venue: The Hawthorns | Attendance: 25,911

Three quick-fire goals either side of half-time set up a hard-fought away victory as Saints delivered a radically improved performance to rise out of the Premier League relegation zone.

Mario Lemina’s stunning drive and Jack Stephens’ third goal in seven days turned the game on its head midway through the first half after Ahmed Hegazi’s header had given the Baggies the lead inside five minutes.

James Ward-Prowse added a third moments after the interval to put Saints in control only for Salomon Rondon’s flicked header to threaten a grandstand finish in the West Midlands.

The day however belonged to Saints who never looked like relinquishing their lead and deserve credit for their response to falling behind early on.

The memory of West Brom legend Cyrille Regis was honoured with a rousing ceremony before kick-off and the emotion of the home crowd was transferred onto the pitch as the Baggies took the lead inside four minutes.

A roar welcomed Daniel Sturridge’s endeavour down the left-hand side to win a corner and it was doubled as Hegazi rose highest in the box to power Chris Brunt’s delivery past Alex McCarthy.

Wesley Hoedt squared for Sofiane Boufal to drive inches wide of the target when well-placed before full debutant Guido Carrillo flashed past the post following a neat exchange with Dušan Tadić.

With the returning Lemina becoming ever more influential in the centre, the visitors were firmly on top as the tie approached the half-hour mark and their persistence was soon rewarded with two quick-fire strikes before the interval.

Carrillo’s near-post volley was expertly saved by Ben Foster after strong work from Ryan Bertrand down the left but there was nothing the keeper could do about the follow up.

The resulting corner was cleared as far as Lemina on the edge of the box who clinically drilled into the top corner to deservedly restore parity.

Lemina's stunning drive levels the scores at The Hawthorns. (Photo: Matt Watson)

Saints had a second within a matter of minutes. Stephens had never scored for the club before netting the winner against Watford in the FA Cup fourth round last weekend but glanced James Ward-Prowse’s corner past Foster on 42 minutes for his third in as many games.

McCarthy plunged to his right to beat away Brunt’s free-kick on the stroke of half-time but the first half firmly belonged to Mauricio Pellegrino’s men.

The second began in much the same fashion with Saints threatening to take the game beyond the Baggies.

Tadić lifted the ball over Foster only to see his route to goal blocked before Sofiane Boufal turned Craig Dawson inside out and shot wide via a deflection.

So when Hoedt surged forward and drew a foul on the edge of the penalty area there was air of inevitability as to what was coming next.

Ward-Prowse’s set-piece precision set up the second goal and emphatically added a third, the midfielder thumping around the wall and into the far corner in front of 2,000 joyous travelling supporters.

Ward-Prowse's perfectly placed free-kick ultimately decides the direction of the three points

A sliding McCauley prevented Carrillo from tapping in Tadić’s cross and Ward-Prowse whipped another free-kick over Foster’s goal as Saints threatened to conjure a fourth but instead were hit on the counter-attack.

Brunt delivered accurately from the left once more, this time finding the head of Rondon, the Venezuelan flicking beyond McCarthy to set up what looked to be a nervy final 15 minutes.

There were to be no further sights of goal however for Alan Pardew's side. Driven on by the excellent Lemina, the visitors kept their composure admirably in the closing stages to see out an invaluable three points on the road.

Next up, Liverpool.

West Bromwich Albion

Head to Head Stats

Southampton
  • Possession (%)
    39
    61
  • Shots
    9
    13
  • Shots on target
    3
    5
  • Corners
    5
    7
  • Passes Complete
    214
    404

West Bromwich Albion

1
Ben Foster (GK)
26
Ahmed Hegazi
25
Craig Dawson
2
Allan Nyom
James McClean (77′)
23
Gareth McAuley (C)
11
Chris Brunt
5
Claudio Yacob
Oliver Burke (62′)
10
Matt Phillips
18
Gareth Barry
15
Daniel Sturridge
Jay Rodriguez (62′)
9
Salomón Rondón
56
Kyle Jameson
17
Oliver Burke
14
James McClean
19
Jay Rodriguez
28
Sam Field
34
Rekeem Harper
13
Boaz Myhill

Southampton

13
Alex McCarthy (GK)
5
Jack Stephens
6
Wesley Hoedt
21
Ryan Bertrand (C)
2
Cédric Soares
16
James Ward-Prowse
19
Sofiane Boufal
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (85′)
18
Mario Lemina
11
Dusan Tadic
Nathan Redmond (88′)
14
Oriol Romeu
9
Guido Carrillo
Shane Long (75′)
22
Nathan Redmond
23
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg
8
Steven Davis
7
Shane Long
44
Fraser Forster
20
Manolo Gabbiadini
3
Maya Yoshida
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