Southampton 0-0 West Bromwich Albion: Stalemate at St. Mary’s (video)
Southampton and West Brom played out a dour 0-0 at a sunny St. Mary’s on Saturday.
The closest either team came to a goal was a bending free kick from James Ward-Prowse as the Saints midfielder clipped the post in the second half. West Brom’s new signing Brown Ideye headed into the side-netting and was thwarted by Fraser Forster following a lovely bit of skill, as both teams struggled to carve out clear cut opportunities.
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With the draw Saints picked up their first point of the Ronald Koeman era, while the Baggies drew their second-straight match as both teams flattered to deceive on the South Coast in a closely fought encounter.
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Saints were lively early on as Tadic ran at the Baggies defense and clipped a perfect cross that Graziano Pelle headed tamely wide. West Brom sat back and tried to soak up the pressure, then hit the home side on the break.
The Baggies went in the 14th minute as Graham Dorrans shot was well blocked by Saints defense but the away side began to rack up the chances. Pelle then put in a late challenge on Sebastien Pocognoli but referee Roger East waved away the incident despite a lengthy spell of treatment for the West Brom left back.
A nifty move down the left flank saw Tadic and Ryan Bertrand link up nicely and the latter found Pelle in the box but the big Italian striker saw his effort blocked by Jonas Olsson. Moments later Baggies ‘keeper Ben Foster was let off the hook as he came rushing off his line and Tadic beat him to the ball. The Serbian then whipped in a cross which just evaded Pelle as an empty net beckoned. Saints continued to build the pressure and a blocked clearance fell to Steven Davis who headed the ball towards Tadic but his left-footed shot was saved well by Foster.
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At half time Shane Long replaced Steven Davis as the Irish international came on to face his former club. Less than 10 minutes into the second half the Baggies brought on club record signing Ideye for his debut as the Nigerian striker replaced Victor Anichebe. The forward was soon picked out at the back post after a looping cross from Pocognoli but he headed the ball into the side-netting with Saints under pressure. That turned out to be Pocognoli’s last action of the match as he was injured in the act and was replaced by Australian international Jason Davidson.
Southampton continued to push as the game closed out and in the 70th minute James Ward-Prowse rattled a superb free kick off the post as he curled the ball beautifully open and over the wall but saw his effort hit the woodwork. West Brom then almost went ahead as Ideye tricked his way past Saints’ defender but Fraser Forster came up with a superb save with his leg to keep the game scoreless.
Late on Saints tried to push for the winner but West Brom held firm to thwart the home side as the game ended goalless.
Southampton: Forster, Clyne, Fonte, Yoshida, Bertrand, Wanyama, Schneiderlin, Ward-Prowse (Cork, 78'), S. Davis (Long, 45'), Tadić, Pellè.
West Bromwich Albion: Foster, Wisdom, Dawson, Olsson, Pocognoli (Davidson, 60'), Mulumbu, Gardner, Berahino (Sessegnon, 89'), Dorrans, Brunt, Anichebe (Ideye, 52')