Premier League
Southampton1West Brom2

Southampton 1-2 West Bromwich Albion

Hal Robson-Kanu had not started a Premier League game in over three years before the trip to Southampton
Hal Robson-Kanu had not started a Premier League game in over three years

Hal Robson-Kanu scored a stunning winner on his first Premier League start since May 2013 as West Brom came from behind to beat Southampton.

The Wales international spearheaded a well-drilled West Brom outfit, but they conceded possession all too easily in the first half and fell behind to Shane Long's powerful header.

They levelled within two minutes when Robson-Kanu turned Chris Brunt's first-time pass into the path of Matt Phillips, who finished neatly.

The Baggies were perhaps fortunate not to have Allan Nyom sent off before half-time, and they took full advantage when Robson-Kanu slammed left-footed into the top corner from 20 yards.

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Robson-Kanu was the only change to the side beaten at Arsenal, and boss Tony Pulis was rewarded with a show of determination and organisation as Saints had few clear-cut chances.

The hosts, who made six changes following a 4-1 loss to Spurs, were blunt and ultimately exposed by their efficient visitors, their day made worse when Virgil van Dijk was shown a second yellow for pulling back Salomon Rondon on 88 minutes.

Home fans headed for the exit in their droves as Van Dijk was dismissed. Their side are ninth, a place behind West Brom.

Pulis and Robson-Kanu get it right

West Brom celebrate
West Brom ran nearly 115km as a team, six more than Southampton

Robson-Kanu - introduced 13 times from the bench this season - last started a Premier League match while playing for Reading.

And his performance, having replaced top scorer Rondon in the starting XI, was symptomatic of how right Pulis got things at St Mary's.

The fact goalkeeper Ben Foster's 37 passes were more than any of his team-mates highlights just how bad the Baggies were in possession, but they outmanoeuvred their hosts, limiting them to harmless crosses.

Jonny Evans fielded aerial challenges admirably, while Phillips deserves praise for his calm leveller and a neat reverse pass which sent Robson-Kanu free for the game's standout moment of quality.

Hull City defender Alex Bruce summed up Robson-Kanu's goal on Final Score
Hull City defender Alex Bruce summed up Robson-Kanu's goal on Final Score

The match-winning strike was as powerful as it was accurate, beating Fraser Forster at his near post to give Robson-Kanu his first goal since a sublime effort against Belgium at Euro 2016.

Pulis admitted his side were "shocking" in the opening period, citing a cancelled flight on Friday and enforced bus travel as a potential reason for the slow start.

But he too deserves credit. He refused to make widespread changes in the wake of back-to-back defeats and, at the halfway stage of the season, his side are three points and five places better off than at this stage of 2015-16.

Blunt Saints stuttering

Virgil van Dijk wrestled Salomon Rondon to ground late on, picking up a second yellow card
Virgil van Dijk wrestled Salomon Rondon to ground late on, and was shown a second yellow card

Saints boss Claude Puel said changing more than half his side was a result of fixture congestion and not a knee-jerk move after the defeat by Tottenham.

The French boss has now made four or more changes in each of their last five league games. His latest selection saw Southampton unable to pick a final pass of meaning in 94 minutes.

There were glimmers of flair from Sofiane Boufal but, the goals aside, West Brom could claim the game's best chance when James Morrison's header was saved with the Baggies 2-1 up.

Southampton may feel Nyom should have been dismissed for clattering Long nine minutes after being booked.

But the fact they have only won two league games in a row once this season shows their inconsistency.

At the halfway stage of the season they are three places better off than at the same stage in 2015-16 but have scored seven goals fewer. It is not hard to see why.

Man of the match - Matt Phillips

Matt Phillips
All too often players picked poor final passes at St Mary's but Matt Phillips scored and delivered a telling through ball for the winner. He worked hard - running almost 11km - and had 52 touches, a tally only Craig Dawson bettered for the visitors.

Manager quotes - 'Who do I pick?'

Southampton manager Claude Puel: "We started well, with possession and quality, and then the first chance for the opponent they score. It's a difficult moment for the squad. We have to concentrate more in defence."

West Brom manager Tony Pulis: "In the first half we were shocking really, way off the pace of the game. But in the second half we got going and we played with a lot more purpose.

"Robson-Kanu has been very good. We felt it was the right time to give Salomon Rondon a rest, he was a little bit down in training this week. Now I have a problem Monday... who do I pick?"

The stats - Should Phillips make your fantasy team?

  • Southampton have lost successive Premier League home games for the first time since 8 December 2014.
  • West Brom scored more than once for only the second time in their past 15 Premier League away games.
  • Matt Phillips has been involved in 10 goals in his 18 Premier League games this season (four goals, six assists).
  • There was just one minute 47 seconds between Long's goal and Matt Phillips' equaliser.

Up next?

West Brom host second-bottom Hull City on Monday in a 15:00 GMT kick-off, while Southampton will face former manager Ronald Koeman when they travel to Everton at the same time.

Line-ups

Southampton

  • 1Forster
  • 15MartinaSubstituted forWard-Prowseat 75'minutes
  • 3Yoshida
  • 17van DijkBooked at 89mins
  • 38McQueen
  • 23HøjbjergSubstituted forRodriguezat 52'minutes
  • 14Romeu
  • 8Davis
  • 11TadicSubstituted forSimsat 74'minutes
  • 7Long
  • 19BoufalBooked at 77mins

Substitutes

  • 6José Fonte
  • 9Rodriguez
  • 16Ward-Prowse
  • 18Reed
  • 21Bertrand
  • 28Taylor
  • 39Sims

West Brom

  • 1Foster
  • 25DawsonBooked at 75mins
  • 23McAuley
  • 6Evans
  • 2NyomBooked at 36minsSubstituted forMcCleanat 45'minutes
  • 5Yacob
  • 24Fletcher
  • 10Phillips
  • 22ChadliSubstituted forMorrisonat 53'minutes
  • 11Brunt
  • 4Robson-KanuBooked at 52minsSubstituted forRondónat 72'minutes

Substitutes

  • 7Morrison
  • 8Gardner
  • 9Rondón
  • 13Myhill
  • 14McClean
  • 20Galloway
  • 45Leko
Referee:
Mike Jones
Attendance:
30,975

Match Stats

Home TeamSouthamptonAway TeamWest Brom
Possession
Home68%
Away32%
Shots
Home10
Away7
Shots on Target
Home1
Away3
Corners
Home8
Away3
Fouls
Home13
Away17

Live Text

Match ends, Southampton 1, West Bromwich Albion 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Southampton 1, West Bromwich Albion 2.

Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Craig Dawson.

Attempt blocked. Jay Rodriguez (Southampton) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Sofiane Boufal.

Attempt blocked. Darren Fletcher (West Bromwich Albion) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Dismissal

Second yellow card to Virgil van Dijk (Southampton) for a bad foul.

Foul by Virgil van Dijk (Southampton).

Salomón Rondón (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Corner, Southampton. Conceded by James McClean.

Virgil van Dijk (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Salomón Rondón (West Bromwich Albion).

Attempt missed. Shane Long (Southampton) header from the left side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by James Ward-Prowse with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Craig Dawson.

Booking

Sofiane Boufal (Southampton) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Sofiane Boufal (Southampton).

Claudio Yacob (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Matt Phillips.

Booking

Craig Dawson (West Bromwich Albion) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Shane Long (Southampton) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Craig Dawson (West Bromwich Albion).

Substitution

Substitution, Southampton. James Ward-Prowse replaces Cuco Martina.

Substitution

Substitution, Southampton. Josh Sims replaces Dusan Tadic.

Attempt missed. Matt Phillips (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Darren Fletcher.

Substitution

Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. Salomón Rondón replaces Hal Robson-Kanu.

Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Chris Brunt.

Attempt missed. Matt Phillips (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right.

Maya Yoshida (Southampton) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Hal Robson-Kanu (West Bromwich Albion).

Foul by Sofiane Boufal (Southampton).

Craig Dawson (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Dusan Tadic (Southampton) has gone down, but that's a dive.

Maya Yoshida (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Hal Robson-Kanu (West Bromwich Albion).

Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Fraser Forster.

Attempt saved. James Morrison (West Bromwich Albion) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Matt Phillips with a cross.

Foul by Oriol Romeu (Southampton).

Darren Fletcher (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Shane Long (Southampton).

Jonny Evans (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. James Morrison replaces Nacer Chadli.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Chelsea19161242132949
2Liverpool19134246212543
3Man City19123439211839
4Arsenal18114339192037
5Tottenham18106233132036
6Man Utd19106329191036
7Everton197662523227
8West Brom197572523226
9Southampton196671922-324
10Bournemouth197392631-524
11Burnley1972102129-823
12Watford186482230-822
13West Ham196492333-1022
14Stoke195682232-1021
15Leicester195592431-720
16Middlesbrough194691722-518
17Crystal Palace1844102933-416
18Sunderland1942131735-1814
19Hull1934121641-2513
20Swansea1933132144-2312
View full Premier League table

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