- Boufal’s solo goal wins it
- Saints outshoot WBA 20-7
- WBA winless since August
Sofiane Boufal‘s magnificent goal off the bench helped Southampton break down West Bromwich Albion for a 1-0 win at St. Mary’s on Saturday.
Saints go 10th with the win, on 12 points, while West Brom drops to 13th. The Baggies’ 10 points are two clear of the drop zone.
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Ryan Bertrand cranked a deflected free kick off the bar in the 18th minute, as Saints had plenty of possession.
Manolo Gabbiadini dribbled 50-plus yards before cuing up Shane Long for a shot pushed wide of the near post.
There were a pair of handball shouts in the box at either end, with Salomon Rondon and Dusan Tadic both lucky to escape the view of officials.
Ben Foster made a terrific slap save on Maya Yoshida‘s headed corner as the match neared halftime, and Yoshida missed the far post with an overhead kick off the ensuing effort.
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Both teams looked fairly content with a point in the early stages of the second half, Kieran Gibbs‘ header a rare bit of action for Saints backstop Fraser Forster.
The 72nd minute saw a probable but uncalled penalty to Tadic, who made a magnificent run into the box and saw himself into a tangle with Jonas Lossl.
Maybe that snapped the match to life, and Nacer Chadli cranked a shot off the top pipe.
Saints looked dangerous, and Tony Pulis packed his men in his own end in search of an away point and nothing more.
That backfired when Boufal scored his wonderful solo goal.
Some editorializing, if you’ll allow it: