Saints beaten by West Brom

By SFC Media Sat 31 Dec Saints vs West Brom
Photo by Matt Watson | Saints dejected 
Sat 31 Dec 3.00PM
Premier League
Southampton
1
West Bromwich Albion
2
Long [41']
Phillips [43'] Robson-Kanu [50']
van Dijk (32') Boufal (77')
Nyom (36') Robson-Kanu (52') Dawson (75')
van Dijk (89')
Referee: Mike Jones | Venue: St Mary's Stadium | Attendance: 30,975

Southampton ended 2016 with a disappointing defeat, as they lost 2-1 to West Bromwich Albion at St Mary's.

Shane Long's first goal of the season gave Saints the lead, but the visitors offered an instant response as Matt Phillips stroked home just two minutes later.

The Baggies then took the lead just three minutes after the restart, as Hal Robson-Kanu smashed home on the counter to leave Saints chasing the game.

They would find no way through, with their day compounded by Virgil van Dijk's sending off, as Saints ended the year with a defeat.

With Everton to come just 48 hours later, Claude Puel made six changes from the defeat to Tottenham Hotspur, with only Fraser Forster, van Dijk, Oriol Romeu, Steven Davis and Sofiane Boufal retaining their places.

That meant Sam McQueen, Maya Yoshida, Cuco Martina, Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, Long and Dušan Tadić came into the side.

Dušan Tadić was one of six changes made by Claude Puel

Tadić and Boufal were the two men looking most dangerous for Saints in the opening exchanges, but both men fired wide from distance as Puel’s side looked to get themselves ahead.

But the closest either side came in the opening 30 minutes was through McQueen, as the left-back saw a low strike from the edge of the box flash narrowly wide of the far post.

Saints continued to press, and the opener arrived just five minutes before half time. Tadić’s corner was met by Long at the near post, and the striker did brilliantly to power a header beyond Ben Foster.

Shane Long leaps to score his first of the season

The visitors had rarely threatened, but just two minutes later they were level. A smart turn from Phillips afforded him time in the penalty area, and he curled the ball low beyond Forster.

The second half got off to the worst possible start for Puel's men, as Robson-Kanu latched onto a throughball and smashed the ball into the roof of the net.

Boufal almost provided the perfect response, as he almost replicated his goal against Sunderland in the EFL Cup, but the Moroccan's effort was inches wide.

Hal Robson-Kanu's effort flies past Fraser Forster

Saints were finding it tough to find a way through a stubborn Baggies defence, with Puel deciding on a double substitution with 15 minutes remaining, as James Ward-Prowse and Josh Sims were introduced.

Sims provided a spark, with a dangerous cross just cleared by the visiting defence, but Tony Pulis's side were proving tough to break down.

A disappointing afternoon was made even worse late on, as van Dijk was sent off for a second bookable offence, meaning he will miss the trip to Everton.

There would be no late equaliser, as Saints' 2016 ended with a disappointing defeat in front of the home fans.

Southampton

Head to Head Stats

West Bromwich Albion
  • Possession (%)
    68
    32
  • Shots
    10
    7
  • Shots on target
    1
    3
  • Corners
    8
    3
  • Passes Complete
    475
    175

Southampton

1
Fraser Forster (GK)
38
Sam McQueen
15
Cuco Martina
James Ward-Prowse (75′)
3
Maya Yoshida
17
Virgil van Dijk (C)
23
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg
Jay Rodriguez (52′)
8
Steven Davis
14
Oriol Romeu
19
Sofiane Boufal
7
Shane Long
11
Dusan Tadic
Josh Sims (74′)
18
Harrison Reed
28
Stuart Taylor
39
Josh Sims
6
José Fonte
21
Ryan Bertrand
9
Jay Rodriguez
16
James Ward-Prowse

West Bromwich Albion

1
Ben Foster (GK)
23
Gareth McAuley
25
Craig Dawson
2
Nyom
James McClean (45′)
6
Jonny Evans
5
Claudio Yacob
24
Darren Fletcher (C)
22
Nacer Chadli
James Morrison (53′)
10
Matt Phillips
11
Chris Brunt
4
Hal Robson-Kanu
Salomón Rondón (72′)
7
James Morrison
13
Boaz Myhill
14
James McClean
9
Salomón Rondón
45
Jonathan Leko
20
Brendan Galloway
8
Craig Gardner
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