Southampton 1-2 West Brom: Hal Robson-Kanu stunner downs Saints
By Andrew Dickson
Last Updated: 01/01/17 10:28am
Hal Robson-Kanu's spectacular first goal for West Brom gave them victory at Southampton as they won 2-1 at St Mary's.
Shane Long ended a run of 23 games without a goal to put Claude Puel's side in front shortly before the break but Matt Phillips levelled less than two minutes later.
Robson-Kanu's stunning strike then gave the visitors their third Premier League victory of the season, with home defender Virgil van Dijk sent off for a second booking in the closing stages.
The result takes West Brom past their opponents in the table to eighth place and while they had to hang on at times, their gritty performance will have pleased their manager Tony Pulis.
Southampton had much of the play in the first half and although they didn't create many clear-cut openings, they were certainly the dominant side.
Sofiane Boufal put one effort over the bar but was a key component in the home team's early progress and much of their best play went through him.
Dusan Tadic was also heavily involved and after a Steven Davis corner was only partially cleared by Robson-Kanu, he sent a sweet volley just wide of the target.
Boufal was soon on the ball again, doing well to dispossess Phillips as he tried to run the ball out of play on the right flank.
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The Moroccan international burst back into the box and despite shooting from a tight angle, he almost sneaked one in past Ben Foster at the far post.
Sam McQueen was also unlucky to see his low attempt pull wide after Tadic's free kick wasn't dealt with and it wasn't long before Southampton deservedly went in front.
Long put them ahead with a smart header when he got away from Allan Nyom to nod in Tadic's corner from the right to get his first goal of the season.
But after eight matches between these teams in the Premier League without both sides scoring, West Brom were level just a minute and 46 seconds later.
Having been culpable only moments earlier, Nyom was involved in the build-up before Chris Brunt's pass was touched on by Robson-Kanu and he set up Phillips.
From there, the Scotland international cut inside past his man before placing a neat finish beyond Fraser Forster from 15 yards.
Even better was to follow after the break for West Brom as they went in front themselves five minutes after the restart in spectacular fashion.
After 13 substitute appearances, Robson-Kanu was making his first start for West Brom and he marked it with a wonderful effort.
Phillips released him, meaning he has now been involved in nine goals in his team's last nine games.
Robson-Kanu then took a touch to control before sending a rising shot soaring into the top corner from 20 yards, leaving Forster with little chance of keeping it out.
West Brom almost got a third soon after, Phillips again assisting as he crossed for substitute James Morrison to draw a good save from the keeper with a header.
In response, Tadic bent a lazy effort too high over the bar but his attempt did at least spark a late flurry in an effort to salvage a point.
Oriol Romeu almost made it 2-2, albeit thanks to keeper Foster, whose poor clearance cannoned off the forward before running wide.
Just when it seemed Southampton might level, they lost Van Dijk a minute from the end when he brought down Salomon Rondon as West Brom looked for a third on the break.
His second booking effectively ended any hope of a comeback and Southampton end the year on a sour note with a second consecutive defeat and just two wins in seven games.
Southampton: Forster (6); McQueen (7), Yoshida (6), Van Dijk (5), Martina (6); Hojbjerg (5), Davis (7), Romeu (6); Tadic (7), Boufal (7), Long (6)
Subs: Rodriguez (5), Sims (3), Ward-Prowse (3)
West Brom: Foster (6); Evans (6), Dawson (6), McAuley (6), Nyom (6); Brunt (6), Yacob (5); Phillips (8), Fletcher (6), Chadli (6); Robson-Kanu (7)
Subs: McClean (5), Morrison (4), Rondon (4)
Man of the match: Matt Phillips