West Brom Away Won 1 – 0
The return to midweek action took its toll for the following game, at West Bromwich: no surprise that Boufal couldn’t contribute more than half an hour over the two matches but injury also left us without Davis at The Hawthorns while two more yellow cards for Romeu left him unavailable as well. That meant a belated return to action for Høbjerg and Clasie, and also gave Saints rare access to the unexpected going forward, in the continued absence of Gabbiadini. Their failure to attempt any sort of block on Clasie‘s 26th minute strike when set up by Tadić suggested West Brom’s scouting reports had overlooked the Dutchman’s League Cup goal but had noticed he was had still been on a duck in the Premier League. Høbjerg was also playing his part in establishing Southampton’s general overall control, and they may have had further reward through Long in the first half (he stumbled when clear, either accidentally or self-inflicted when feeling Evans’ challenge) and Tadić in the second (a curling shot that eventually drifted just beyond the angle of post and bar). However, that doesn’t tell the full story of the match which was punctuated by a series of saves from Forster. The big man was called into early action, but it was the sort of stop you’d expect him to make; others were more special, including keeping out Rondon’s header, Dawson’s added time volley and finally Brunt’s very last gasp effort. M. Puel’s substitutions against Bournemouth nearly cost the game, but they were made with the best intentions of winning it… against Albion, the late introductions of Sims and Reed seemed to be merely to run the clock down, but left the side looking lightweight against a Tony Pulis XI and did nothing to help the prime cause which was to hang on to what we had.
LSSC Man of the Match: Fraser Forster. He can also claim a part-assist with the goal, which had just an element of route one about it.
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