West Brom 2-3 Southampton: Saints end winless run in five-goal thriller
By Ben Grounds
Last Updated: 03/02/18 6:39pm
Southampton came from behind to beat West Brom 3-2 at The Hawthorns and earn their first Premier League win in 13 matches.
Ahmed Hegazi headed West Brom in front (4) but Saints scored two goals in three minutes before the break to take control.
Mario Lemina's stunning 25-yard strike brought them level (40) before Jack Stephens headed in his third goal in eight days (43).
West Brom: Foster (6), Nyom (6), McAuley (5), Dawson (5), Hegazi (6), Yacob (5), Barry (5), Phillips (5), Brunt (6), Sturridge (6), Rondon (6).
Subs: McClean (6), Burke (6), Rodriguez (6)
Southampton: McCarthy (6), Cedric (7), Bertrand (7), Stephens (8), Hoedt (7), Romeu (7), Lemina (8), Ward-Prowse (8), Boufal (7), Tadic (7), Carrillo (7).
Subs: Long (6), Redmond (n/a), Hojbjerg (n/a)
Man of the match: James Ward-Prowse
James Ward-Prowse extended Southampton's lead with a low free-kick (55) before Salomon Rondon reduced the arrears with 18 minutes remaining, but the visitors held on to secure a vital three points and ease the pressure on Mauricio Pellegrino.
Southampton's first league win since November moves them out of the relegation zone and up to 14th while West Brom remain rooted to the bottom, four points adrift of safety.
The Baggies wore special shirts to commemorate Cyrille Regis and the club honoured one their greatest players prior to kick-off with a 45-minute tribute inside the ground and the home side made the perfect start.
West Brom handed Daniel Sturridge his first start in one of four changes. Jay Rodriguez dropped out along with Grzegorz Krychowiak, Sam Field and James McClean. Gareth Barry, Chris Brunt and Matt Philipps started. Guido Carrillo made his full Southampton debut replacing Shane Long. Mauricio Pellegrino made three changes, as Mario Lemina and Sofiane Boufal came in for Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Steven Davis.
Stephens failed to clear Chris Brunt's inviting corner, and Hegazi rose highest to plant a firm header beyond Alex McCarthy for his second goal of the season. But Southampton recovered from the early set-back to come close to equalising through Dusan Tadic.
Tadic pounced on a mistake by Brunt to cut inside and shoot onto the roof of the net via a deflection, before Guido Carrillo met Ryan Bertrand's low cross to force Ben Foster into a smart save around the near post.
But West Brom were pegged back from the following corner as Sofiane Boufal picked out Lemina 25 yards out and the former Juventus midfielder fired a venomous shot into the top corner beyond the dive of Foster.
The hosts had barely gathered themselves before Saints completed the turnaround as, from the next corner, Ward-Prowse's cross was flicked into the net by Stephens at the near post.
Ward-Prowse heaped further misery on the hosts with a well-struck free-kick 10 minutes after the restart that flashed beyond Foster. Rondon then rose to meet Brunt's cross to halve the deficit and give West Brom hope.
Jay Rodriguez appeared to be barged in the back by Bertrand with 10 minutes remaining but referee Michael Oliver waved away the protests.
- West Brom have picked up just one win from their last 24 Premier League games (D11 L12).
- Southampton secured their first Premier League win in 13 attempts, having previously lost five and drawn seven before today's win.
- Since his Premier League debut in August 2008, Chris Brunt has provided 31 assists from set plays, more than any other player.
- Mario Lemina, who scored his first ever Premier League goal, is the third player from Gabon to score a goal in the competition after Daniel Cousin and Didier Ndong.
- Ahmed Hegazi scored his first Premier League goal since netting on his debut in the competition back on the opening weekend versus Bournemouth, ending a run 24 games without one.
- Jack Stephens has scored in consecutive league games for the first time in his career.
Alan Pardew: "It was a tough game for us. Their midfield were technically better than us. It was a good start but we couldn't build on it.
"We've conceded from two set pieces today which is not like us. We just couldn't find the energy. We were just a yard off the pace."
Mauricio Pellegrino: "It's massive for us the three points, especially for belief and confidence. Most of my players now are fit and physically ready.
"I think we showed a good level and we played with our natural strength to dominate them. But it's just one game, we still have to do a lot of things."
Paul Merson: "West Brom next play Chelsea and that's the Monday night game so they could be seven points adrift. When it went 3-2, they never had another opportunity. They never got a head of steam.
"Alan Pardew will come out and say they should've had two penalties, and one of them is stonewall - Bertrand on Rodriguez. But you've got to ask questions of the performance They just weren't good enough."
Man of the match: James Ward-Prowse
A recent win over Brighton remains West Brom's solitary Premier League victory in their last 24 games, and the chief conspirator behind their latest downfall was Ward-Prowse.
The midfielder has been Southampton's stand-out performer during a disappointing season, and he will hope to grab the attention of England manager Gareth Southgate in the coming months.
Ward-Prowse has been directly involved in four goals in his last two away Premier League appearances (three goals, one assist), as many as in his previous 28 combined. His second-half free-kick proved decisive.
West Brom are next in action on Monday Night Football when they take on Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on February 12, while Southampton host Liverpool on Super Sunday next weekend.