team 2012-13

West Brom 2 - 0 Saints (1-0 HT)

Barclays Premier League

The Hawthorns - Monday 5th November 2012

Odemwingie 36′, 60′
Ref: Halsey
Att: 25,635
Gastón Ramírez was a welcome return to the Saints starting lineup, but unfortunately the result was another loss.

It is very tough being a Saints fan this season, but the away support at The Hawthorns could not be accused of not supporting the team, including chants in support of the beleaguered Nigel Adkins.

Ever since his injury fans have been looking forward to the return of Ramírez, clinging to the hope that things would change for the better. The tantalising glimpse during the Villa match of how things might be, where Saints comprehensively outplayed a poor Premier League side. The other controversial issue was the goalkeeper. Paulo Gazzaniga shows every sign of becoming a huge crowd favourite and his theatrics while wasting time at the end of Saints one and only win so far this season, endeared him to the hearts of every Saints fan present.

Unfortunately for Gazzaniga, Saints then went and signed the high profile, very experienced, Artur Boruc and promptly placed him as the seemingly first choice keeper. Unfortunately for Saints, Boruc is clearly unfit, looking for all the world as though he had been on a three month tour of MacDonalds outlets across Europe. He compounded this by getting into a spat with the fans behind the Chapel end goal during the Surs game.

There have been allegations that he had thrown/kicked a water bottle at the fans and while these claims are being investigated he has been suspended by the club. So, while all this was going on, Gazzaniga was recalled to first team duty, with Kelvin Davis on the bench.

When you look at the Saints starting lineup, most fans would probably agree that this was probably the best possible eleven players that Saints could put on the pitch. Which makes what happened over the next 90 minutes so depressing, as they were comprehensively outplayed by West Brom.

For the first thirty minutes of the game Saints made a pretty good fist of putting West Brom under pressure, but without ever really testing Ben Foster in the West Brom goal. Indeed it turns out that Foster was playing with an injury to his kicking leg and was struggling with his clearances.

At the other end there were plenty of warnings for Saints, as they continued to make defensive mistakes and West Brom were clearly targeting the Saints left side, which Match of the Day had spent some time identifying as Saints main weakness the previous weekend.

Sure enough the impressive Mulumbu went on a foraging raid down Saints left and threaded a pass to Odemwingie, who then shot at goal. Unfortunately it took a deflection off Yoshida and went beyond the dive of Gazzaniga. There were strong reasons to suspect that Odemwingie had controlled the ball with his arm, but both referee and linesman were unsighted.

So 1-0 at halftime and still everything to play for, indeed almost immediately from the kick off for the second half, Lambert hit the woodwork and you wondered if a fightback could be on the cards.

It was not to be and on the hour Ridgewell played a great pass from defence to Shane Long on the left flank and he curled a perfect cross into the area as Odemwingie raced to power a header beyond Gazzaniga. 2-0 and game over. Saints looked very much a beaten team.

So, the best players Saints could muster and yet the same end result. How depressing was that? They just have to dust themselves down and get in the right frame of mind for the visit of Swansea on Saturday. All the talk about a change of manager is surely just that - talk. What Saints really need is the stability that was so sadly lacking the last time they were in the Premier League and had a lot to do with their ultimate demise.

Onwards and upwards please.

Channonite 06.11.2012

Teams

West Bromwich Albion

01 Foster
03 Olsson
06 Ridgewell
23 McAuley
28 Jones Booked
05 Yacob
17 Dorrans (Brunt - 65' )
21 Mulumbu
22 Gera
09 Long (Lukaku - 71' )
24 Odemwingie (Fortune - 83' )

Substitutes
13 Myhill
04 Popov
30 Tamas
11 Brunt
08 Rosenberg
20 Lukaku
32 Fortune

Saints

12 Gazzaniga
02 Clyne
03 Yoshida
06 Fonte
13 Fox (Shaw - 81' )
04 Schneiderlin
08 S Davis
10 Ramirez (Guly - 76' )
20 Lallana
07 Lambert
09 Rodriguez (Mayuka - 76' )

Substitutes
01 K Davis
05 Hooiveld
23 Shaw
16 Ward-Prowse
21 Guly
42 Puncheon
24 Mayuka

Match Stats


Possession
West Bromwich Albion 47%
Southampton 53%

Shots
West Bromwich Albion 16
Southampton 9

On target
West Bromwich Albion 6
Southampton 5

Corners
West Bromwich Albion 8
Southampton 6

Fouls
West Bromwich Albion 6
Southampton 12