Romeu stunner helps fire Saints to victory

By SFC Media time Sun 04 Oct Saints v West Bromwich Albion
Photo by Matt Watson | Oriol Romeu
Sun 04 Oct 12PM
Premier League
Southampton
2
West Bromwich Albion
0
Djenepo [41'] Romeu [69']
goal
Djenepo (50') Walker-Peters (53')
yellow card
Livermore (26')
Referee: Chris Kavanagh | Venue: St Mary's Stadium | Attendance: 0

Oriol Romeu’s spectacular second-half volley helped Southampton achieve back-to-back Premier League wins with a 2-0 victory over newly-promoted West Bromwich Albion.

Moussa Djenepo’s first goal since September last year arrived shortly before half time to give Saints a deserved lead, with the hosts having dominated the first period.

West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone was in inspired form to keep the score down, but could only stand and watch Romeu’s super strike sail into the corner of the net midway through the second half.

It means six points from two games and successive clean sheets for Saints, who have responded in the perfect manner to the defeat to Tottenham Hotspur in their last home match.

Ralph Hasenhüttl named an unchanged starting line-up despite the return from injury of Nathan Redmond, who was only among the substitutes, as the boss rewarded those who helped Saints to their first win of the season last time out at Burnley.

Much like at Turf Moor, where Danny Ings was on target inside four minutes, Saints started brightly.

Stuart Armstrong dissected the right side of West Brom’s defence with an excellent pass to release Ryan Bertrand, who galloped into the box and stung the palms of Johnstone.

Armstrong was looking sharp and soon traded passes with Ings, but the angle was against him, tightening all the time, and the midfielder could not test Johnstone with his eventual shot.

Saints were on top and creating chances, and should have taken the lead in the 15th minute.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 04: Moussa Djenepo (center) of Southampton goal celebration during the Premier League match between Southampton and West Bromwich Albion at St Mary's Stadium on October 4, 2020 in Southampton, United Kingdom. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images)
Moussa Djenepo celebrates his 40th-minute deadlock-breaker

A trademark forward burst from Kyle Walker-Peters would have forced an own goal if not for a tremendous reaction save from Johnstone, who managed to adjust in just the nick of time after the right-back’s low cross was redirected towards the bottom corner by Semi Ajayi.

The move stayed alive after Johnstone turned the ball aside and was picked up by Ché Adams, who seemed certain to score only for the keeper to deny him at point-blank range, somehow turning the ball over the crossbar.

Johnstone was like a man possessed between the sticks, next plunging to his right to tip away Ings’s downward header from an expert James Ward-Prowse free-kick, before Adams failed to test Albion’s last line of defence with a low drive just wide from 20 yards.

Still Saints kept pushing, but Adams was flagged offside after dragging another shot wide, whilst Armstrong fired over before Ings showcased his sky-high confidence in trying to catch out the impenetrable stopper.

When Johnstone came rushing out to meet the striker’s threaded pass for Bertrand, the ball was cleared in front of the keeper, who was now out of his goal, but only as far as Ings.

Sharp as a tack, Saints’ chief goal threat had only one thing in his mind, and struck the ball cleanly first time on the volley from 25 yards near the left corner of the penalty area. It would have been a spectacular opener, but the ball sailed over the crossbar, much to Johnstone’s relief.

The keeper was finally beaten when Djenepo made the breakthrough five minutes before the interval, as Saints made the most of a swift counter-attack.

Adams fed Ings on the right, who tried to return the favour, only for his pass to deflect kindly for Djenepo, who brought the ball under control, turned on to his left foot to buy himself space to shoot, and dispatched a low drive into the bottom corner from 15 yards.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 04: Oriol Romeu goal celebration during the Premier League match between Southampton and West Bromwich Albion at St Mary's Stadium on October 4, 2020 in Southampton, United Kingdom. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images)
Romeu's sublime volley gave Saints breathing space in the second half

Saints had enjoyed full control of the game and deserved to be in front, but West Brom had to improve and soon began to pose a greater threat after the interval.

Alex McCarthy was finally called upon to make his first save when Grady Diangana’s low shot took a nasty deflection off Walker-Peters that diverted the ball on target, forcing Saints’ number one into emergency action as he repelled the danger with an outstretched foot. 

Hasenhüttl waited only 10 minutes after half time to introduce the fit-again Redmond, sacrificing goalscorer Djenepo, with his team struggling to rediscover their first-half dominance.

When Saints did piece together some eye-catching moves, Ings and Adams were usually combining, while Redmond’s impact was instant when he charged into the box and looked to cut the ball back for the onrushing Armstrong.

The hosts were still doing a good job of restricting their visitors, and gave themselves some breathing space when Romeu struck a brilliant second goal in the 69th minute.

Armstrong was having a bright game and it was his cross from the left that provided the assist, as Romeu had the presence of mind to see a gap in the penalty area and sprint towards it, connecting first time on the run with an explosive volley that flew past Johnstone, who could only stand and admire it.

It was only the midfielder’s sixth goal in 194 appearances for Saints and by far the most spectacular.

Romeu’s stunner seemed to deflate the Baggies and Saints soon set about finding the killer third. Walker-Peters side-footed one wide from a typical surge, before Johnstone punched over a wicked Ward-Prowse free-kick that may have been glanced on by Jan Bednarek just in front of the keeper. 

It was job done nonetheless for Hasenhüttl, whose team proved they can get goals from different sources as Ings, for once, did not trouble the scorers.

Southampton

Head to Head Stats

West Bromwich Albion
  • Possession (%)
    62
    comparison angle
    38
  • Shots
    13
    comparison angle
    5
  • Shots on target
    7
    comparison angle
    2
  • Corners
    5
    comparison angle
    1
  • Passes Complete
    400
    comparison angle
    226

Southampton

1
Alex McCarthy (GK)
35
Jan Bednarek
3
Ryan Bertrand
4
Jannik Vestergaard
2
Kyle Walker-Peters yellow card
17
Stuart Armstrong
8
James Ward-Prowse (C)
6
Oriol Romeu goal
12
Moussa Djenepo yellow card goal
replace Nathan Redmond (55′)
9
Danny Ings
10
Che Adams
replace Shane Long (84′)
18
Yan Valery
20
William Smallbone
14
Michael Obafemi
7
Shane Long
44
Fraser Forster
11
Nathan Redmond
5
Jack Stephens

West Bromwich Albion

1
Sam Johnstone (GK)
27
Dara O'Shea
6
Semi Ajayi
5
Kyle Bartley
14
Conor Townsend
21
Kyle Edwards
replace Sam Field (45′)
11
Grady Diangana
8
Jake Livermore (C) yellow card
19
Romaine Sawyers
replace Filip Krovinovic (64′)
12
Matheus Pereira
7
Callum Robinson
replace Hal Robson-Kanu (60′)
4
Hal Robson-Kanu
28
Sam Field
16
Rekeem Harper
25
David Button
2
Darnell Furlong
20
Branislav Ivanovic
17
Filip Krovinovic
Video: Hasenhüttl's West Brom delight video03:14
video
Saints v West Bromwich Albion

Video: Hasenhüttl's West Brom delight

Manager gives his assessment of another steely Saints display.

Highlights: Saints 2-0 West Brom 90 in 90: Saints 2-0 West Brom
Saints celebrate Black History Month
Equality and Diversity

Saints celebrate Black History Month

A commemorative plaque celebrating the club's first black player, Alf Charles, has been installed at St Mary's.

time12 hours ago
Black History Month: Listen to our podcasts Saints announce AI Sport as Official Partner