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Clarke delighted with easy win
Created on 28 Apr., 2013 3:23 AM GMT
West Brom manager Steve Clarke said his side's 3-0 win at Southampton was the 'perfect away performance'.
Goals from Marc-Antoine Fortune, Romelu Lukaku and Shane Long gave West Brom a victory that saw them reach a record points total in the Premier League. Lukaku was particularly brilliant for the winners, but three red cards in the final 15 minutes – which were dished out to Southampton pair Gaston Ramirez and Danny Fox, and West Brom's Marc-Antoine Fortune – threatened to overshadow the result.
Clarke was adamant that would not be the case though, insisting that the match was notable for the excellent football his side played.
"It won't be remembered for the red cards," Clarke said.
"It should be looked at for the fantastic football West Bromwich Albion played.
"How many teams have come here and played like that this season? It's a tough place to come. They're a good team [who have] got good players.
"We've come down here and put in the perfect away performance and I think we deserve credit for that."
Seconds separated the first two red cards as Ramirez elbowed Long, which sparked a reaction from Fortune who shoved the Uruguayan. Fox was then given his marching orders in the dying stages for a two-footed tackle. And Clarke said referee Robert Madley got each correct, although he did empathise with Fortune.
"The referee refereed the game well. He gave three red cards and they were all red cards. You'll get no complaints from me," he said.
"I feel a little sorry for him [Fortune]. He's pushed the lad [Ramirez] and caught him in the face.
"It's a red card [and] we have to live with that. Marco isn't a violent player, he is a nice guy and he has been patient all season waiting for a chance. He has had his chance in recent weeks and done really well for me, so I'm disappointed for Marco."