Premier League: Southampton 0 West Brom 3
West Brom sealed a convincing 3-0 win away to Southampton, although the result was marred by three red cards in the game.
Marc-Antoine Fortune, Romelu Lukaku and Shane Long scored the goals for the visitors, but controversy ensued as Gaston Ramirez, Fortune and Danny Fox were all sent off in the final 15 minutes.
Mauricio Pochettino named an unchanged Southampton side but Steve Clarke’s team included three changes as Goran Popov, Billy Jones and Chris Brunt were replaced by Liam Ridgewell, Steven Reid and Long, respectively.
The home team started with intent as Adam Lallana beat Ridgewell on the right before poking a low cross into the six-yard box, but Ben Foster caught the ball just before Rickie Lambert could make contact. Moments later West Brom had a sixth-minute lead. James Morrison’s corner fell to Lukaku who flicked the ball to Fortune with the back of his head and the Frenchman held off his marker before knocking a close-range shot past Artur Boruc.
Southampton’s response was not effective as they struggled to create chances and in the 19th minute, Lukaku should have scored West Brom’s second as the Belgian received a pass from Morrison on the edge of the area, opened his body up and shot straight into the arms of Boruc. Just before the 30th minute West Brom’s Gareth McAuley went close to scoring Southampton’s equaliser as he rose to clear a cross from deep, but his header went just past Foster’s post.
Southampton found controlling Lukaku difficult and the on-loan Chelsea man should have sent West Brom into half-time with a two-goal lead, but his half-volleyed shot struck the ground before being caught by Boruc in the final attack of the first half.
Just 10 minutes into the second half, Jay Rodriguez cut in from the right and slipped a pass between Claudio Yacob and Ridgewell into the area for Nathaniel Clyne, who from a tight angle hit a shot on to the crossbar
Southampton were soon to rue Clyne’s miss as Fortune played an excellent through-ball for Lukaku and the 19-year-old burst away from Jos Hooiveld and Maya Yoshida before calmly taking the ball round Boruc and sliding it into an empty net.
The match flared up with 20 minutes to go, as both teams had a player sent off. Gaston Ramirez caught Shane Long in the face with his elbow, and in the ensuing brawl Fortune pushed the Uruguayan attacker, resulting in a red card for each.
West Brom wrapped up the three points with 13 minutes remaining as Lukaku outmuscled Clyne before playing Long in behind Yoshida and the Republic of Ireland international fired his shot through Boruc’s legs, while minutes later Fox picked up the match’s third red card for a strong two-footed tackle on Reid.
The final minutes were subdued and West Brom held on the three points and a clean sheet as they stay in eighth place, while Southampton remain in the bottom half of the Premier League.