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Southampton v WBA: 23rd August 2014

Southampton v WBA: 23rd August 2014

Southampton-v-WBA

 

Southampton claimed their first Premier League point under Ronald Koeman but were left frustrated as West Brom held them to a goalless draw at St Mary’s.

It was a dour game of few chances, with the West Brom defence proving too stubborn for a shot-shy home side.

James Ward-Prowse came closest for the Saints with a 25-yard free-kick that flicked the outside of a post.

Brown Ideye could have won the game on his Baggies debut but was denied by a save from home keeper Fraser Forster.

It was a tough afternoon for the Saints, who remain without a win under Koeman but have at least now got their season up and running.

Mauricio Pochettino’s replacement had suggested before kick-off that this game would prove more difficult than the opener at Liverpool, a match few expected them to win but in which they impressed in a 2-1 defeat.

And so it proved as a hard-working and disciplined Baggies display stifled the Saints.

It was inevitable that a team under new management, looking to integrate so many new players following the sale of key personnel, would struggle for fluency.

Last season, Adam Lallana provided the creative spark and Rickie Lambert the finishing touch to overcome stubborn teams such as West Brom.

But with those two now on Merseyside, the Saints lack the attacking prowess to break down disciplined opponents.

Dusan Tadic demonstrated his potential to fill Lallana’s boots with another lively display.

Ideye joined West Brom this summer for a club record £10m fee from Dynamo Kiev

The Serb was responsible for most of the home side’s positive contributions, producing a series of dangerous crosses as well forcing Ben Foster to save a low shot in the first half.

However, Graziano Pelle was less impressive as a replacement for Lambert.

The Italian spurned two good headed chances in the first half before fading into obscurity in the second, when he was paired with the equally ineffectual former Albion striker Shane Long.

That Ward-Prowse’s dipping free-kick – which clipped the outside of a post – was the closest the hosts came to scoring after the break is a testimony to the stranglehold the visitors had on the home attack.

West Brom may have claimed only three away victories last season but already appear to be developing into an efficient unit under new manager Alan Irvine.

They offered little in attack, but Foster was relatively untroubled in their goal as they held the home side at arm’s length.

Record signing Ideye had two good chances to give Albion only their fifth win of 2014 but put the first – a header at the back post – into the side-netting, before seeing the second saved superbly by Forster after he turned away from two defenders for a clear sight of goal.

Southampton manager Ronald Koeman: “We didn’t have the quality to create a lot. I was disappointed by the level we had today in an offensive way.

“The first 45 minutes we built up too slowly and didn’t surprise them in attack. I tried to change it but in the second half it still wasn’t good.”

West Brom manager Alan Irvine: “I think both teams had their spells when they controlled things. We perhaps didn’t create enough when we did have the ball.

“We are a work in progress. It is not where we want to be right now but we are hoping for better going forward.”

Check out the best photos from today’s Premier League games on the BBC Sport Facebook page. 

LINEUP, BOOKINGS (3) & SUBSTITUTIONS (5)

Southampton

  • 23 Forster
  • 02 Clyne Booked
  • 21 Bertrand
  • 12 Wanyama
  • 06 Fonte
  • 03 Yoshida
  • 08 Davis (Long – 45′ )
  • 04 Schneiderlin
  • 19 Pellè
  • 16 Ward-Prowse (Cork – 78′ )
  • 11 Tadic

Substitutes

  • 01 Davis
  • 05 Gardos
  • 07 Long
  • 17 Taïder
  • 18 Cork
  • 26 Hooiveld
  • 27 Isgrove

West Bromwich Albion

  • 01 Foster
  • 02 Wisdom
  • 15 Pocognoli (Davidson – 60′ )
  • 08 Gardner Booked
  • 25 Dawson
  • 03 Olsson
  • 18 Berahino (Sessegnon – 89′ )
  • 21 Mulumbu
  • 10 Anichebe (Ideye – 52′ )
  • 17 Dorrans
  • 11 Brunt Booked

Substitutes

  • 04 Baird
  • 05 Yacob
  • 09 Ideye
  • 13 Myhill
  • 14 Davidson
  • 23 McAuley
  • 29 Sessegnon
Ref: Roger East
Att: 27,598

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