Mario Lemina could not have wished for a better way to open his Southampton account, his thumping equaliser the crown jewel of a superb performance from the Saints midfielder.
The industry of the central pairing of Lemina and Oriol Romeu laid the platform for the visitors’ recovery against West Brom following Ahmed Hegazi’s early opener and the Gabon international was keen to emphasise that the same hard work will continue to serve his team well going forwards.
“I’m very happy for the team,” he said. “I know that you have to work hard to get the wins in moments like this and we got an important one today. Let’s hope we can build on this momentum.
“This needs to be the standard that we set going forwards. We perhaps ought to have scored again to kill off the game quicker because they had chances and we conceded to let them back in.
“We’re pleased with the win but at 3-2 the result wasn’t as certain as it could have been.”
As first goals in new colours go, his 40th-minute strike will be tough to beat at club level even if it wasn’t his best, pipped to the post by a stunning effort for Gabon against Ivory Coast...
“The best goal of my career? No, I scored an even better one against the Ivory Coast for Gabon. But still, this was a very important one to get us off the mark. I am proud to have scored my first goal for the club.”