Southampton beat West Bromwich Albion 1-0 at St. Mary’s on Saturday, as England international Adam Lallana scored the only goal goal of the game in a tight-affair on the South Coast.
The Saints dominated for vast swathes of the match but were guilty of wasting several opportunities, especially in the first half. However Lallana came to Saints’ rescue as the captain latched onto a marvelous reverse pass from Gaston Ramirez in the 66th minute, then smashed home the game-winner.
With the victory Saints move onto 30 points and stay in ninth, while West Brom’s new manager Pepe Mel watched on from the stands as the defeat means his side are just three points above the relegation zone.
The game started off brightly, as Southampton’s high-pressure approach paid dividends with chances falling to Lallana and Jay Rodriguez.
Saints came in the 10th minute as Lambert worked some space in the box but dragged his left-footed effort just wide of Ben Foster’s post.
As the first half continued West Brom became more of a force, as Steven Reid’s free kick whizzed just over the bar. Southampton looked to get back on top but several sloppy passes curbed their progress, as the Baggies limited the homoe side to long-range efforts.
Lambert went close for Southampton before the break, as Steven Davis’ delicate chip towards the back post found the England internaional but he riffled his volley high and wide.
After the break Saints again started brightly as Rodriguez raced clear but smashed his effort past West Brom ‘keeper Foster but also past the the post as the St. Mary’s faithful let out gasps of despair. But in the 66th minute the long-awaited breakthrough finally arrived, as substitute Gaston Ramirez flicked a delicious reverse pass into Lallana and saints’ skipper finished with aplomb to put the home side 1-0 up.
Saints had several chances to extend their lead but West Brom almost snatched a late equalizer as Shane Long was denied at point-blank range by Southampton ‘keeper Artur Boruc. The Polish shot-stopper had just returned from injury and showed lightning quick reflexes to deny Long and hand Southampton just their second win in their last 10 games.
Southampton: Boruc, Clyne, Fonte, Lovren, Shaw, Cork (Ramirez, 62), Schneiderlin, S. Davis, Lallana (Ward-Prowse, 84), Rodriguez (Do Prado, 90), Lambert
Goal: Lallana (66)
West Brom: Foster, Reid, McAuley (Gera, 81), Olsson, Ridgewell, Amalfitano (Vydra, 86), Morrison, Mulumbu, Brunt, Anelka (Berahino, 77), Long