Saints book quarter-final spot

By SFC Media time Sat 17 Feb West Brom v Saints
Photo by Matt Watson | Dušan Tadić celebrates
Sat 17 Feb 3PM
English FA Cup
West Bromwich Albion
1
Southampton
2
Rondón [58']
goal
Hoedt [11'] Tadic [56']
Krychowiak (30') McClean (42')
yellow card
Carrillo (45+2') Lemina (75')
Referee: Chris Kavanagh | Venue: The Hawthorns | Attendance: 17,600

Southampton booked a place in the FA Cup quarter-finals, as they triumphed at The Hawthorns for the second time in two weeks.

Following the 3-2 win in the Premier League a fortnight earlier, Mauricio Pellegrino's side withstood some late pressure once again to secure victory in this fifth-round tie and keep the dream of a major trophy alive.

Saints' first appearance in the last eight of the competition since 2005 was earned thanks to a first goal from the club for Wesley Hoedt and a sublime Dušan Tadić finish, with the visitors then holding on despite a rally from the hosts sparked by Salomon Rondon's spectacular volley.

Pellegrino was dealt a blow ahead of the game, with Sofiane Boufal, Steven Davis and Maya Yoshida all picking up injuries late in the week that meant they could not make the trip, joining Shane Long on the sidelines.

There was just one change to the team, though, as Nathan Redmond was restored to the starting line-up for the first time since Boxing Day.

It was Saints who started as the more composed side and, unlike when they visited The Hawthorns two weeks previously in the Premier League, this time it was they who took the early lead.

After Cédric forced a corner, James Ward-Prowse stepped up to swing the ball in, picking out an unmarked Wesley Hoedt six yards out, with the defender slamming a low shot into the bottom corner for his first Southampton goal.

WEST BROMWICH, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 17: Wesley Hoedt(R) of Southampton opens the scoring during the Emirates FA Cup fifth round match between West Bromwich Albion and Southampton at The Hawthorns on February 17, 2018 in West Bromwich, England. (Photo by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images)
Wesley Hoedt fires Saints in front

That 11th-minute effort was almost followed up in the 18th minute with what would have been another first Saints strike, this time for Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, who latched onto a dangerous cross at the back post, only to see his low strike from a tight angle cleared off the line.

While Saints were looking in control, there was the occasional reminder of some threat from the home side, notably in the 21st minute, as James McClean drove forward and fizzed a shot just wide from 25 yards.

Mario Lemina also had to block well from a Matt Phillips effort, after the ball had dropped to the Albion player during a scramble in the area, but Alex McCarthy reached the interval without being seriously tested.

Saints themselves had created one or two additional chances to extend their lead before the break, the best of which was when Redmond raced down the left in the 39th minute and played the ball inside to Dušan Tadić, only for a last-ditch challenge from Jonny Evans to prevent him getting a clear shot on goal.

If McCarthy had little to do in the first half, his attentions were very much required in the opening minutes of the second.

After a Hoedt slip, the keeper did well to dive low to his left to tip Jay Rodriguez’s shot wide of the far post, before then pushing over Craig Dawson’s header from the resulting corner.

An even better save was required in the 54th minute, as Hoedt inadvertently deflected a Grzegorz Krychowiak shot, wrong-footing McCarthy, but he readjusted brilliantly, diving low to his left to tip the ball wide.

It proved a vital stop, as Saints scored their second of the afternoon moments later.

Tadić latched onto the ball through the middle and showed tremendous composure, shifting it back into space and onto his left foot, before lifting it calmly over Ben Foster and into the back of the net, putting Pellegrino's men within touching distance of the last eight.

20180217 West Bromwich Albion v Southampton FA Cup
Tadić celebrates his goal with Jack Stephens

Any sense of comfort quickly disappeared, though, as West Brom responded almost immediately.

Krychowiak's cross-field ball in the 58th minute picked out Salomon Rondon on the left side of the area and he rifled a volley past McCarthy to make it 2-1.

McCarthy had to make a fine stop moments later to prevent a West Brom equaliser, pushing the ball away from the top corner, after it was nodded goalwards during a scramble inside the six-yard area.

Saints' first change arrived with just under 20 minutes remaining, as Pellegrino sent on Manolo Gabbiadini in place of Redmond, before Oriol Romeu was introduced for Højbjerg in the 77th minute.

The visitors survived a huge scare with just nine minutes left in the game, as Ahmed Hegazi's bouncing volley from a corner hit the bar, with Ryan Bertrand then nodding off the line after Rondon had looped a header towards the far corner from the rebound.

Pellegrino made his final change six minutes from the end, sending on Josh Sims in place of Guido Carrillo, and he came close to setting up Ward-Prowse for a third as the game entered stoppage time, breaking away down the right and squaring the ball, only for the midfielder's shot to be beaten away.

It didn't matter, though, as Saints had done enough already to keep their hopes of a second Wembley appearance in two seasons alive.

West Bromwich Albion

Head to Head Stats

Southampton
  • Possession (%)
    47
    comparison angle
    53
  • Shots
    23
    comparison angle
    5
  • Shots on target
    7
    comparison angle
    3
  • Corners
    13
    comparison angle
    4
  • Passes Complete
    242
    comparison angle
    320

West Bromwich Albion

1
Ben Foster (GK)
23
Gareth McAuley (C)
6
Jonny Evans
25
Craig Dawson
26
Ahmed Hegazi
18
Gareth Barry
replace Chris Brunt (72′)
10
Matt Phillips
replace Oliver Burke (89′)
14
James McClean icon-yellow-card
20
Grzegorz Krychowiak icon-yellow-card
replace Sam Field (82′)
19
Jay Rodriguez
9
Salomón Rondón icon-goal
28
Sam Field
17
Oliver Burke
13
Boaz Myhill
11
Chris Brunt
5
Claudio Yacob
2
Allan Nyom
16
Ali Gabr

Southampton

13
Alex McCarthy (GK)
21
Ryan Bertrand (C)
6
Wesley Hoedt icon-goal
2
Cédric Soares
5
Jack Stephens
11
Dusan Tadic icon-goal
22
Nathan Redmond
replace Manolo Gabbiadini (72′)
16
James Ward-Prowse
23
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg
replace Oriol Romeu (78′)
18
Mario Lemina icon-yellow-card
9
Guido Carrillo icon-yellow-card
replace Josh Sims (85′)
44
Fraser Forster
35
Jan Bednarek
26
Jérémy Pied
20
Manolo Gabbiadini
14
Oriol Romeu
38
Sam McQueen
39
Josh Sims
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