- First win in 13 PL games for Saints
- West Brom slip to 20th place
- Stephens scores for third-straight game
Southampton edged past West Bromwich Albion 3-2 in a classic relegation battle at the Hawthorns on Saturday.
On an emotional day for West Bromas they paid their respects to the late Cyrille Regis before the game, the home side took the lead early on as Ahmed Hegazi headed home. Yet Saints came roaring back as they scored twice in quick succession just before half time with a stunner from Mario Lemina and then Jack Stephens headed home.
James Ward-Prowse‘s free kick proved to be the pivotal goal as Salomon Rondon pulled a goal back late on but West Brom couldn’t draw level.
With the win, their first since November 26, Saints moved on to 26 points and up to 14th place, while West Brom slip to 20th.
[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]
West Brom had the perfect start as a corner from the right found Hegazi and he towered about Jack Stephens to head home the opener.
Saints responded well to going behind as Sofiane Boufal flashed a shot just wide of the post. Guido Carrillo then scuffed an effort wide for the visitors. Carrillo then nodded wide from Lemina’s cross and Saints continued to press with a bad mistake letting in Dusan Tadic but his deflected shot looped onto the top of the net.
[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]
At the other end Daniel Sturridge smashed an effort across goal which just flew wide of the far post. Then, the game swung in Saints’ favor.
Ben Foster denied Guido Carrillo with a magnificent save but from the resulting corner the ball found Lemina over 25 yards out and the Gabonese midfielder drilled an unstoppable effort into the top corner to level things up.
Two minutes later James Ward-Prowse’s corner was flicked into the far corner by Stephens with the center back scoring for the third time this week after previously not netting in his first 37 games for Saints. What a turnaround at half time as Saints led 2-1.
[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]
Chris Brunt went close from a free kick for West Brom as he played the ball under the wall from the edge of the box but it clipped someone on the way through and went out from a corner.
Tadic went close to wrapping the game up for Saints as a long ball forward was misjudged but West Brom cleared.
Wesley Hoedt then strode forward and won a free kick on the edge of the box and after a slight disagreement between Boufal and his teammates, Ward-Prowse stepped up and put the free kick into the bottom corner and past Foster to make it 3-1 to Saints.
[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]
Jay Rodriguez and Oliver Burke came on for Sturridge and Claudio Yacob to try and get West Brom back in the game but Saints should have extended their lead with Tadic not getting enough on his cross for Carrillo.
Rondon headed home 18 minutes from time to make it 2-3 and set up a tight finish. Jay Rodriguez went down in the box under a challenge from Bertrand as West Brom thought they should have a penalty, while at the other end Shane Long should have made it 4-2 but headed wide.
Saints held on, just, for their first win since November to breath new life into their season.