West Brom 2-0 Saints: Report

By SFC Media Mon 05 Nov Club

Saints remained grounded to the foot of the Barclays Premier League table following a two goal defeat in the Midlands.

Saints remained grounded to the foot of the Barclays Premier League table following a two goal defeat in the Midlands.

A strike in either half from Albion’s Peter Odemwingie condemned Nigel Adkins’ men to a fifth successive away defeat in the top flight, as the visitors also failed to score for just the second time this season.

The Baggies, who had scored in all but one match prior to the game, took the lead inside the last ten minutes of the first half with a sweet strike from distance through Odemwingie which was too hot for Paulo Gazzaniga to handle. The visitors were well in the game until the second strike on the hour mark when Odemwingie stooped in to head home Shane Long’s cross which effectively ended the contest.

Saints pushed for a way back with Emmanuel Mayuka and Guly coming on as second half substitutes, whilst Rickie Lambert also saw a shot come back off the crossbar but, there was to be no way back for the visitors, whose large and vocal support were left to reflect on another winless trip to the Hawthorns, having not had a success there for 28 years.

WBA: Foster, Olsson, Yacob, Ridgewell, McAuley, Jones, Dorrans (Brunt 65), Mulumbu, Gera, Odemwingie (Fortune 83), Long (Lukaku 71). Subs (not used): Myhill, Popov, Rosenberg, Tamas.

Saints: Gazzaniga, Clyne, Fonte, Yoshida, Fox (Shaw 82), Lallana, S. Davis, Schneiderlin, Ramirez (Guly 75), Rodriguez (Mayuka 75), Lambert. Subs (not used): K. Davis, Hooiveld, Ward-Prowse, Puncheon.

Referee: Mark Halsey

Attendance: 25,635

Gaston Ramirez and Paulo Gazzaniga returned to the starting eleven in place of Artur Boruc and Jason Puncheon from the game against Spurs, with the latter dropping to the bench.

Steven Davis and Jay Rodriguez got the game underway with Saints defending the end housing the travelling support on a cool and clear evening inside the Hawthorns.

The game started at a frenetic pace with both sides showing attacking intent in the opening exchanges.

Saints created their first half chance inside the opening two minutes of action when some neat work down the left side resulted in Lallana finding Steven Davis on the edge of the area, but the Northern Irishman’s shot flew wide of the target.

West Brom’s Billy Jones picked up the game’s first booking when he caught Lallana late inside the Saints half on eight minutes as the competitive start to the contest continued.

The visitors were looking dangerous in the Baggies half. Ramirez saw a free-kick from 25 yards out blocked before the Uruguayan was instrumental in another strong break from Adkins’ men where he and Rodriguez linked up to create a fierce low shot from Lambert which Ben Foster just about managed to keep hold of.

Albion had a good chance of their own on 20 when Odemwingie’s drilled cross into the area was smashed over by a first time strike from Zoltan Gera, who will have been disappointed not to do better, likewise Shane Long moments later when he fired over from inside the box.

As the game approached the half hour mark both sides crested good chances within a minute of another, with Saints the first to go close when a Ramirez cross from the right hand side was headed at Foster by Lambert.

From the following break, West Brom went tantalisingly close to breaking the deadlock from range when Odemwingie’s piledriver from outside of the area whistled past the right post of Gazzaniga’s goal, as the contest remained goalless as well as fiercely competitive.

The breakthrough arrived on 36 minutes with a bolt from the blue when ODEMWINGIE cut in from the left side to smash a powerful strike into the far corner which Gazzaniga couldn’t keep out despite getting a faint touch on the ball.

It was a harsh goal on the visitors who had defended stoutly, whilst the Albion forward also appeared to handle the ball in the lead up to his strike, which added to the frustration. 

Saints searched for a response breaking swiftly through Lallana to force a corner towards the half’s end, but were made to dig deep again at the other end before the interval to deny the Baggies a second which gave the visitors hope for the next 45 minutes.

Half Time: West Brom 1-0 Saints

A bright start to the second period from the visitors saw them go perilously close to getting back on level terms. Jay Rodriguez’s cross ricocheted kindly off Ramirez into the path of Lambert who spun and crashed a shot onto the crossbar leaving Foster rooted to the spot, but unfortunately the ball was cleared easily by the hosts’ defence as it came back into play.

Moments later, Clyne almost played Ramirez through on goal, but Foster was quickly off his line to cut out another dangerous looking break from the visitors.

Some further cohesive passing down the left channel almost saw Fox pick out the red shirts lurking inside the area, but again Foster was there to deny a Saints break.

The hard work was undone on the hour mark when Shane Long’s pinpoint cross from the left was headed home by the stooping header of ODEMWINGIE who celebrated his second of the game with a simple nod into the bottom corner for 2-0.

In the aftermath of the second Baggies strike, Clyne put in a superb block to deny Long from creating another opportunity for the hosts, which preceded the first substitution for Albion with Chris Brunt replacing Graham Dorrans in the Baggies midfield.

Albion followed up with their second change when Chelsea loanee Romelu Lukaku came on in place of Long for the final 20 minutes or so.

Saints continued to soak up the pressure from Steve Clarke’s men before winning another corner which came to nothing.

Rodriguez and Ramirez were replaced by Emmanuel Mayuka and Guly respectively for the final quarter of an hour, with the Brazilian substitute heading Davis’s cross wide within moments of his introduction.

At the other end, the Baggies pair of substitutes almost combined perfectly when Lukaku’s cross back over the six yard area was slammed wide by Brunt.

Inside the final ten minutes Luke Shaw replaced Fox for the visitors, before Marc-Antoine Fortune completed the Baggies substitutions by coming on for goal scorer Odemwingie.

Late on, Fonte headed Guly’s corner wide, but Saints ended up failing to score on the road for the first time in the league this season, as there were no fireworks from the visitors on a Bonfire night to forget in the Midlands.

Full Time: West Brom 2-0 Saints

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