Another disappointing result as the Baggies fell at the feet of Southampton in tough conditions. The 2-0 loss leaves Albion with just one point ahead of the international break with pressure mounting.
Southampton started the game quickly. Dominant in possession, they created two good chances down the left side. Fortunately, Johnstone was equal to Bertrand’s effort whilst Armstrong fired wide of the target.Embed from Getty Images
Livermore picked up the first booking of the game for a foul on Adams. The resulting free-kick saw an excellent header by Ings that was goal-bound but for Johnstone’s outstanding save, again.
The relentless pressure from the Saints paid off just before halftime. Djenepo with a good piece of skill wrong-footed the defence and fired low into the bottom corner. A deserved lead for the hosts who weren’t yet troubled by West Brom.
HT: Southampton 1-0 West Brom
Johnstone with the best performance on the pitch kept the scoreline salvageable in what was a very poor showing all round. Robinson had done plenty of running — chasing scraps to little avail, whilst Southampton dominated in all areas of the park.
Bilic responded during halftime with the introduction of Field for Edwards in what also saw a switch to 4-3-3.
The change in setup appeared to work well at first, with the Baggies looking to be up for a fight in the second half and certainly having had the better chances in the opening stages.
Diangana was causing their defence problems and drew two separate fouls that saw bookings for Djenepo and Walker-Peters.
Albion continued to be the better side in the second half but failed to make it click in the final third. Two more changes saw Robson-Kanu replace Robinson whilst Krovinovic came on for Sawyers.
Despite the improvement from Albion, Southampton remained a threat on the attack. A searching cross from Armstrong was met wonderfully by Romeu who volleyed home as Johnstone was left planted.Embed from Getty Images
FT: Southampton 2-0 West Brom
Another disappointing result from Albion, who are still without a win, and based off todays performance, last week’s result was non other than a fluke.
Despite Johnstone putting in a good performance the defence still looked shaky.
The starting formation left the midfield overrun which surely means a midfield three is what Bilic will turn to in the upcoming weeks. With Krovinovic and Gallagher now in the picture, this has to be the way forward.
Albion, who are already struggling for goals, look to be in even more trouble now as Robson-Kanu picked up an injury to his arm in the second half. Although he soldiered on it looks like he might be sidelined for a while.Embed from Getty Images
Today’s result further emphasises Bilic’s cry for a striker. Diangana was the liveliest of the forward line and any other chances created came from set pieces which will not be enough to stay in the division.
With the international transfer deadline tomorrow it is time to act and it might prove to be very naive to leave all their eggs in the basket of Karlan Grant. This next week is make or break.
Match Ratings: Johnstone (7); Townsend (6), Bartley (6), Ajayi (6), O’Shea (7); Sawyers (5), Livermore (5); Diangana (7), Pereira (6), Edwards (6); Robinson (5). Subs: Robson-Kanu (6), Field (7), Krovinovic (5).
WBA: Johnstone ; O’Shea, Bartley, Ajayi, Townsend; Livermore, Sawyers (Krovinovic 64′); Edwards (Field 45′), Pereira, Diangana; Robinson (Robson-Kanu 60′).
Southampton: McCarthy; Walker-Peters, Vestergaard, Bednarek, Bertrand; Romeu, Ward-Prowse, Armstrong, Djenepo; Adams, Ings.