Clasie fires Saints to victory

By SFC Media Sat 08 Apr West Brom vs Saints
Photo by Matt Watson | Saints celebrate
Sat 08 Apr 3.00PM
Premier League
West Bromwich Albion
0
Southampton
1
Clasie [25']
Evans (36') Phillips (49')
Soares (76') Forster (90+3')
Referee: Chris Kavanagh | Venue: The Hawthorns | Attendance: 24,697

Southampton cut the gap on eighth-placed West Bromwich Albion to four points, as they triumphed 1-0 at the Hawthorns.

Jordy Clasie's sweetly-struck effort in the first half was enough to separate the sides, although Saints were more dominant during most of the afternoon than the scoreline suggested.

Having come into the game one place but seven points behind Albion, it was important that Claude Puel's side came away with a full complement of points.

A first Premier League goal from the Dutch midfielder, coupled with some crucial late saves from Fraser Forster, ensured they did just that, meaning that, with two games still in hand, the Baggies are very much within striking distance.

There were three changes for Saints from the side that beat Crystal Palace 3-1 in midweek, as the suspended Oriol Romeu and injured Steven Davis were replaced by Clasie and Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, while Ryan Bertrand returned in place of Sam McQueen, with Maya Yoshida taking possession of the captain’s armband.

The early stages saw plenty of endeavour from both sides, but neither was able to carve out a significant opportunity.

In fact, it took until the 20th minute for one of the keepers to be tested, as Fraser Forster had to dive low to his left to save James Morrison’s strike from just outside the area.

West Brom had another sight of goal from the follow-up, but Nacer Chadli sliced well off target under pressure.

Clasie’s sights were not so misaligned at the other end, though, as he fired Saints into a 26th-minute lead with a stunning strike.

Shane Long produced a sublime touch from Forster’s clearance to spin into space, before finding Dušan Tadić in the area. He then turned and laid the ball back to Clasie, who powered a right-footed shot into the top corner from just outside the box.

The effort was the midfielder’s first Premier League goal and was reminiscent of his only other Saints strike, which came in the EFL Cup win at Arsenal earlier in the season.

Jordy Clasie celebrates his goal

Having taken the lead, Puel’s men were further emboldened, and they continued to apply pressure to the Albion backline as the half progressed.

Shane Long, up against his former club, felt he was clipped from behind by Jonny Evans, who had been booked minutes before for a foul on Nathan Redmond, as he attempted to race in behind, but nothing was given.

After Forster made a fine stop, reaching back across goal to keep out Salomón Rondón’s header from a Chadli cross, Saints went within inches of doubling their lead right on half-time.

Redmond checked onto his right foot out wide and swung in a cross that was met by a diving Long, but his header flashed agonisingly past the post.

Still, Southampton took a well-deserved lead into the break, and they began the second half on the front foot too, with Tadić shooting wide from 25 yards, as he attempted to lift the ball over Ben Foster in the Albion goal.

Redmond then tested the West Brom stopper in the 64th-minute, with a crisply-struck shot from outside the box, but Foster was well-positioned to grab hold of the drive.

Nathan Redmond reacts after being denied by Foster

He forced an even better save shortly afterwards, as he fired in a brilliant volley from Cédric’s deep cross, with Foster diving low at his near post to deny the Saints forward.

At the other end, Forster was equally as solid, getting behind Chadli’s shot in the 70th minute, after a neat West Brom move had opened up space 18 yards out.

Saints then went straight back on the attack, and Tadić bent a glorious shot from the corner of the area just wide of the top corner.

The visitors’ first changes of the day followed, as James Ward-Prowse and Redmond were withdrawn for Sam McQueen and Josh Sims.

Cédric picked up Saints' first booking of the day, for a foul on Chadli, before Clasie was taken off for Harrison Reed with six minutes remaining.

Deep into added time, West Brom could have snatched a point, as a ball clipped over the top dropped into the path of Craig Dawson, but Forster reacted superbly to keep out his volley, before then tipping the ball over the bar from an Evans close-range effort, after a corner fell to him, ensuring Saints picked up a valuable three points.

West Bromwich Albion

Head to Head Stats

Southampton
  • Possession (%)
    42
    58
  • Shots
    17
    10
  • Shots on target
    6
    3
  • Corners
    7
    3
  • Passes Complete
    280
    448

West Bromwich Albion

1
Ben Foster (GK)
25
Craig Dawson
6
Jonny Evans
2
Nyom
23
Gareth McAuley
Chris Brunt (53′)
7
James Morrison
24
Darren Fletcher (C)
Hal Robson-Kanu (66′)
10
Matt Phillips
James McClean (62′)
22
Nacer Chadli
8
Jake Livermore
9
Salomón Rondón
12
Marc Wilson
4
Hal Robson-Kanu
13
Boaz Myhill
47
Sam Field
5
Claudio Yacob
11
Chris Brunt
14
James McClean

Southampton

1
Fraser Forster (GK)
21
Ryan Bertrand
2
Cédric Soares
3
Maya Yoshida (C)
24
Jack Stephens
11
Dusan Tadic
22
Nathan Redmond
Josh Sims (71′)
4
Jordy Clasie
Harrison Reed (85′)
16
James Ward-Prowse
Sam McQueen (71′)
23
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg
7
Shane Long
39
Josh Sims
26
Jérémy Pied
12
Martín Cáceres
9
Jay Rodriguez
40
Mouez Hassen
18
Harrison Reed
38
Sam McQueen
Video: Clasie's goal from all angles
West Brom vs Saints

Video: Clasie's goal from all angles

Watch Jordy Clasie's stunner against West Brom.

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