West Bromwich Albion saw off a struggling Southampton side with a 2-0 win at home.
West Brom have been superb at home this season and last night was another example of their efficiency in front of home supporters. They have now won five games and lost only once which is a similar record to Manchester United and Chelsea. West Brom can take this forward and be confident whenever they play any side at home because they are turning the Hawthorns into a fortress.
The defence coped very well against a talented Southampton attack. Any football fan knows that Southampton will always fill their side with attacking players. The defensive organisation from West Brom looked good with two banks of four that rarely broke up when the side was under pressure. The defensive line stayed tight and secure with no examples of players consistently trying to play the offside trap or step out to join the midfield.
Considering West Brom did not have the majority of the ball, the fact they committed half the fouls that Southampton did is remarkable. They only had one player booked in the match, the only player booked in the match, in defender Billy Jones. This shows terrific discipline of aggression from every West Brom player because it can become easier to give away fouls and pick up yellow cards when you are faced with long spells out of possession.
West Brom had to concede the majority of possession against Southampton who had 53% of the ball over 90 minutes and 60% of the ball at times during the match. West Brom counter attacked well and too their chances which shows the attack is in good form and that ever forward player is concentrating throughout. West Brom created only one more shot on target than Southampton so the accuracy of the attack will please Steve Clarke.
“Our performance was perhaps not as good as it has been but we controlled the game and we got the win we wanted. It's been a good start and it is not for me to take the credit. The players have been fantastic they have got the reward for that. We said from the start that our primary objective was to make sure that Albion are playing in the Premier League next season,” Clarke said after the game.
Peter Odemwingie has not been a regular starter for West Brom this season so his brace in the win was encouraging. There were rumours that he was starting to get a little unsettled by Clarke’s reluctance to start him in every game but last night showed he is bang in form and he looked happy throughout the match. He seems fitter than he has ever been and the extra yard of pace he carries will be useful for West Brom moving forward to other games where they have to counter attack.
image: © hisgett