#PressPass WBA 0 – 1 Southampton
On ‘Albion Cares’ day, which was celebrated the great work of The Albion Foundation, West Bromwich Albion hosted Southampton. Striker Shane Long started for the Saints against his former club.
Heading into the game the home side had only lost and conceded once at home to Southampton in six Premier League meetings with three wins and two draws.
After a quiet start for both sides James Morrison had a good shot saved well by Fraser Forster in the 20th minute, with Nacer Chadli firing the rebound over the bar.
And the Baggies paid the price just six minutes later as Southampton scored, Jordy Clasie’s shot from the edge of the box rocketed past a grounded Ben Foster to break the deadlock.
Once ahead Southampton took control of the game and the Albion found them tough to break down with a strong defensive performance from the away side.
In the 37th minute Jonny Evans gave the Saints a chance to double their lead following a challenge on Nathan Redmond. But the resulting free-kick was fired directly at the wall by Dusan Tadic.
Soon after this the home side had a good chance with Rondon’s header which was straight at the goalkeeper from a Chadli cross, Forster parried the header but Phillips failed to keep his shot down and Southampton regained their composure.
Just before half time Shane Long had a good chance to make it 2-0 with a header inside the six yard box but his attempt flew just wide.
Albion manager Tony Pulis made use of all three substitutes early in the second half to freshen the team up with Gareth McAuley being replaced by Chris Brunt in the 52nd minute, James McClean made way for Matt Phillips in the 62nd minute and Darren Fletcher came off for Hal Robson-Kanu in the 65th minute.
The home side seemed to find their feet in the second half and Nacer Chadli had a great chance to equalise in the 70th minute but Forster was on hand keep The Saints ahead.
Towards the end of the game West Bromwich Albion had a lot of possession to try and break down Southampton but couldn’t find a way through
With ten minutes to go Hal Robson-Kanu had a good chance inside the box but failed to trouble Forster.
Nyom also had a shot just off target in injury time and the final chance came from a Chadli corner but Fraser Forster once again saved the day and all three points for Southampton.
Despite the result leaving the Baggies ten points off Everton who are in 7th, Pulis praised his players for their effort but felt they needed to be cooler in front of goal.
Match report written by Iyrandeep Johal and Brandon Hickman: members of the Albion Foundation disability football team.