Alex McCarthy’s second consecutive clean sheet ensured Southampton got their second consecutive win to overturn poor early season form as they beat a poor West Bromwich Albion side 2-0 at St Mary’s.
Southampton – who lost their first two league games of the campaign – named an unchanged starting line-up from the result against Burnley a week earlier and started well, with the Baggies’ ‘keeper Sam Johnstone forced into early saves from close range shots from Bertrand and Armstrong in what was overall a relatively uneventful first half.
Johnstone kept the visitors in the game throughout the first half continuing to make saves as the half progressed, but was put under most pressure from a free kick from James Ward-Prowse, whose ball into the area was headed towards goal by Ings but was kept out by some brilliant goalkeeping from the Englishman.
The hosts’ pressure paid off just before the end of the first half, as Moussa Djenepo scored a fantastic solo goal into the bottom right corner, something Johnstone couldn’t have saved.
There was very little that suggested West Brom would get back into the game, and the introduction of Sam Field at half-time didn’t change the feel of the game at all.
Grady Diangana had the best chance of the second half but the former West Ham man couldn’t finish off at the edge of the area.
Oriol Romeu scored a rare goal to seal the points for the St Mary’s side, with a cool volley into the bottom corner after a perfect cross from Stuart Armstrong – the Spaniard scored his first goal in 20 months by tucking the volley past former Manchester United goalkeeper Johnstone.
Post-match, Hassenhuttl said:
“We need to work as a team together, whether you are a good team you have a good chance to win games.
“We have six points now, it makes everything not easier but a little bit more comfortable. We have a tough fixture after the international break, let’s go!”
Chelsea are up next for Southampton after the international break.
FT: SOUTHAMPTON 2-0 West Brom (Djenepo 41′, Romeu 69′)
Southampton: McCarthy, Walker-Peters (booked), Bednarek, Vestergaard, Bertrand, Romeu, Ward-Prowse, Armstrong, Djenepo (booked) (Redmond 55′), Adams (Long 84′), Ings. Unused Subs: Forster, Stephens, Obafemi, Valery, Smallbone.
West Brom: Johnstone, O’Shea, Ajayi, Bartley, Townsend, Livermore (booked), Sawyers (Krovinovic 64′), Edwards (Field 45′), Pereira, Diangana, Robinson (Robson-Kanu 60′). Unused Subs: Furlong, Harper, Ivanovic, Button.
Wessex Scene Man of the Match: Oriol Romeu (Southampton).
Referee: Chris Kavanagh