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23 August 2014
• St. Mary's Stadium, Southampton, Hampshire
Referee: R. East
• Attendance: 27598
West Bromwich Albion
I am Alex Moretto, and I would like to thank you all for joining me here today. Good bye!
FULL-TIME: SOUTHAMPTON 0-0 WEST BROMWICH. It was a game of few chances, and a goalless draw is a bit of a flattering result for both teams who failed to impress this afternoon. The two sides remained conservative throughout the 90 minutes and as a result, the quality of football suffered.
90' + 3'
And we have reached full-time at St. Mary's. No breakthrough to be found as the match ends scoreless.
90' + 2'
West Brom win a corner with just over a minute left in stoppage time. Chris Brunt trots over to deliver with his left foot, but a poor delivery is cleared at the near post. The clearance falls to Brunt again, but this time he sends it over everyone's head and behind for a goal kick.
An additional three minutes to be added on at the end of the match, as fans begin making their way out of the stadium. Koeman's system will take time to implement, and with so many new players there will be some growing pains, but they have shown very little to draw from this afternoon.
One final change from West Brom as they try and see out this draw. Stephen Sessegnon comes on for Berahino, another midfielder coming on to clog things up even more.
The fans urging Southampton forward, as the ball comes to Tadic with a chance to break on a counter. The winger looks up, and sees all his teammates standing still, forcing him to slow the attack and eventually retreat. Absolutely nothing doing for either side here, neither of which really deserve three points at this rate.
A heavy first touch sees the ball run away from Mulumbu, who in turn tackles Cork as he looks to pounce on the loose ball. The foul is given against Cork, however, as the referee thought the Saints midfielder ran through Mulumbu to cause the poor first touch - more reason for the home fans to voice their displeasure.
Southampton fans begging to grow frustrated with Pelle, as another errant pass sees a potential attack fizzle out. The Italian put up fantastic numbers in the Eredivisie and has all the tools to succeed in the Premier League, it will just take a bit of time to adapt to his new surroundings.
Yellow Card Craig Gardner
Craig Gardner picks up a yellow card as he takes down Jack Cork. It is something of an important challenge, however, as the midfielder looked to start Saints out on a counter attack.
Second substitution for Southampton as Jack Cork comes on for Ward-Prowse. Aside from his recent chance, the midfielder never really managed to factor into the attack, although he's not the only one.
West Brom win a corner and Brunt delivers a perfect cross. It is headed back into the centre by Ideye, but not attacked well by the Baggies as it is cleared. It falls to Mulumbu, but his volley trickles well wide of the goal.
STAT ATTACK: West Brom have lost three consecutive away matches in league play. They have not lost four in a row since January-February of 2011 (three of which were against teams who now play in the League Championship).
WHAT A TOUCH BY BROWN IDEYE! The striker takes a pass and takes a lovely first touch, spinning between two defenders, bursting clean through on goal. Forster rushes off his line and sticks a foot out to make a very important save!
OFF THE UPRIGHT! James Ward-Prowse stands over a free kick from 25 yards out, and curls a wonderful effort over the wall and past Foster, but he can't beat the post! So close to a breakthrough!
TADIC! The first real scoring chance of the half as Long chests a ball down into the path of the Serbian, who hits first time, firing just inches wide at the near post. Closer, that, from the hosts.
Yellow Card Nathaniel Clyne
Clyne picks up a yellow card, and more importantly concedes a free kick about 35 yards out from goal. There are plenty of options in the centre, but Gardner ambitiously goes for goal. Forster makes a comfortable save and the chance is wasted.
We have reached yet another stand still in this match as the ball is passed around amongst the defenders, without any moves forward. Fans are beginning to get a bit restless and you cannot blame them.
Berahino commits a hard foul on Tadic and Southampton win a free kick near the sidelines, about 35 yards out. They play it short and immediately give it away as yet another opportunity fails to materialize into a chance.
Into the side netting! Brown Ideye's first touch of the ball is a good one, as he beats his defender at the far post to get onto the end of a cross, but his header goes into the side netting from a tight angle. Meanwhile, Pocognoli seems to have picked up a knock and his day looks to be done.
Tadic starting to come to life as well for Southampton. Every attack is being run through the Serbian. This time he cuts into the middle and onto his favored left foot. He has a go at goal, but it is a bit of a weak effort that Foster collects importantly, with a few players waiting to pounce on a rebound.
STAT ATTACK: Five of the last seven goals scored between the two teams in league play came after the 60th minute.
Shane Long gets on the end of a cross, but puts his effort over the bar. It was a difficult ball to direct onto goal. Long has just provided a bit of spark though early in this second half, and gives them another option going forward as they try and break down a Baggies team defending with nine men behind the ball.
HERE HE IS! West Brom's record signing, Brown Ideye, comes on to make his debut with Victor Anichebe struggling with an injury he appears to have just picked up. Can the Nigerian add some flair to the Baggies attack?
Southampton starting to take the match to West Brom, but continue to lack pace in their attack. They are working it into some good areas here, but they are a bit too patient at the moment, content on keeping the ball as opposed to attacking the goal.
A lengthy delay as the second half can hardly get underway before Mulumbu goes to ground and requires attention. He is forced to go off for the time being, and play can finally resume.
Southampton kick-off as we get this second half underway. One important change to tell you about as Shane Long comes on to make his home debut, replacing Steven Davis. The arrival of another striker should tell you a lot about Koeman's approach in this second half.
STAT ATTACK: Just four of Southampton’s players against Liverpool last weekend were in the line-up when they defeated West Brom on the opening day of last season.
On the bright side, the lack of attacking prowess from both sides means we may not have to wait long to see Shane Long and Brown Ideye brought into the match.
HALF-TIME: SOUTHAMPTON 0-0 WEST BROMWICH. A lackluster opening 45 minutes at St. Mary's, with chances were few and far between. The game is there for the taking, but neither side looks ready to take a risk at the moment. Who will provide the breakthrough, if anyone?
45' + 2'
Referee Roger East sounds his whistle, finally bringing this first half to an end.
Two minutes to be added on at the end of the half here, as the hosts finally get themselves into the attacking third on the ball. They pass it around well, and are very patient in their build up. Tadic eventually sends a good ball into the area, but there is no one attacking the ball. A lack of movement off the ball has really hampered Southampton when they get forward.
As we approach the break, both sides look content on going into the half with this same scoreline. Southampton keeping possession well, but they appear to have no interest on getting the ball forward.
Yellow Card Chris Brunt
Chris Brunt is shown a yellow card, the first of the match, for kicking the ball away after the whistle. Not sure where the frustration came from, but something seemed to agitate the midfielder. Ridiculous decision, regardless, as he picks up an unnecessary caution.
The game is beginning to open up a bit, but it has come a bit too close to half-time. West Brom break on a counter and Anichebe nearly picks out Berahino who could be through on goal, but Jose Fonte just beats the striker to the ball and manages to clear.
GOOD SAVE BY FOSTER! Ward-Prowse works a give-and-go with Tadic. His clever return pass gives Tadic a clear look at goal, but Foster gets down well to keep out the effort. Still no breakthrough as we inch closer to half-time.
Tadic is being given little to no space to operate in this first half. A promising move from Southampton develops thanks to some smart play from Nathaniel Clyne. He picks out Tadic atop the area, and he is immediately surrounded by three defenders and eventually dispossessed.
STAT ATTACK: West Brom have won just four league games since the start of 2014, fewer than any other Premier League side, including those relegated last season.
WHAT WAS FOSTER THINKING?! The goalkeeper rushes out of the area, but a failure to communicate with his defenders causes Wisdom to push the ball past his keeper, and subsequently give it away to Tadic who has Foster out of goal. He crosses in for Pelle, but it is just an inch too high for the striker as the chance goes begging.
Back the other way come the hosts. Tadic and Bertrand link up well on the left, the Serbian sending a perfectly weighted pass to the left-back who cuts it back for Pelle. The striker hits it first time, but Jonas Olsson is there to make an important block.
Dorrans causes a turnover and breaks with great pace on the counter. He runs at the defenders with real intent, with options to either side, but sends a horrendous pass towards Berahino as the attack fizzles out.
It is a real cagey affair at the moment. The midfield is very congested and neither team looks too eager to take charge. There is little flow to the match as the constant fouls are preventing things from really taking shape. The game needs a goal as much as any.
Pocognoli getting the short end of the stick early on as he is again fouled, this time by a late tackle from Vincent Wanyama. The ensuing free kick, from about 40 yards out, has a poor delivery and Southampton regain possession.
A give away in midfield allows the Baggies to break on the counter. Brunt delivers a great ball into the area, but Bertand does well to stay strong on Anichebe and prevent the striker from getting to the cross. The left-back appears to have gotten the worst of the collision as he becomes the latest player to go down injured.
Pocognoli is back on the pitch now, much to the chagrin of the St. Mary's faithful. Meanwhile, West Brom are keeping their shape very well, and Southampton cannot find a way through at the moment. Their build up play is far too straightforward. They need to change something or this cagey affair will continue.
Scary moments here as Pocognoli appears to be in considerable pain as he collides with Pelle on his follow-through. There was nothing in the challenge, but the left-back certainly appeared to get the worst of it as his leg gets ripped out from under him.
Successive corners for West Brom, but nothing comes of it. Brunt with two good deliveries. The second is whipped in towards the far post and headed back towards the centre where the towering Fraser Forster comes out to collect amongst the mess of bodies.
STAT ATTACK: After losing both matches to West Brom in their first season back up in the top flight in 2012/13, Southampton returned the favor last year doing the double over the Baggies, winning both their meetings with by a score of 1-0. However, neither player who scored for the Saints is still with the team.
Southampton with some nice build up play, as they move forward with pace. The ball is worked out to Tadic on the left, but the winger's first time cross is into the waiting arms of Ben Foster.
West Bromwich get forward for the first time and win a cheap corner as Jose Fonte rushes a clearance. Dorrans sends a high, looping cross into the box, but it takes far too long to reach the danger area and Southampton manage to clear with ease.
Ryan Bertrand gets himself into a good attacking position and wins a free kick to the left of the area. Ward-Prowse delivers, but fails to get enough elevation on his cross as it is cleared by the first defender.
The hosts enjoy the bulk of possession early on, but have yet to threaten West Brom in attack. The midfield is quite congested at the moment which has made it difficult for Southampton to advance the ball into the danger areas.
Dusan Tadic sees the ball for the first time as the crowd cheers in anticipation. The Serbian winger sends a cross in for Graziano Pelle, but it just eludes the striker as West Brom clear. But you can see early on just how excited these fans are about their new signing.
And we are off! West Bromwich get us started, moving left to right, sporting their white tops with blue stripes, while the hosts wear their new red and white striped tops. It is a beautiful day for football!
It is a lovely day at St. Mary's stadium. The sun it out and the skies are clear as we get set for an exciting afternoon of football. The players have taken to the pitch as we get set for kick-off in Southampton!
The club's record signing, Brown Ideye, will wait a bit to make his debut as he begins the match on the substitute's bench. New signing Georgios Samaras is ineligible to play, while Joleon Lescott remains injured. Manager Alan Irvine, much like his counterpart this afternoon, opts to name the same XI of players that drew 2-2 with Sunderland on opening weekend.
WEST BROMWICH SUBS: Baird, Yacob, Ideye, Myhill, Davidson, McAuley, Sessegnon.
WEST BROMWICH (4-4-2): Foster; Wisdom, Dawson, Olsson, Pocognoli; Dorrans, Gardner, Mulumbu, Brunt; Berahino, Anichebe.
Shane Long is once again held to a spot on the subtitutes bench as Ronald Koeman names the same starting XI that faced Liverpool last weekend. Centre-back Florin Gardos also starts on the bench and may have to wait another week before making his debut. Meanwhile, Gaston Ramirez and Jay Rodriguez remain injured.
SOUTHAMPTON SUBS: Davis, Gardos, Long, Taider, Cork, Hooiveld, Isgrove.
SOUTHAMPTON (4-3-3): Forster; Clyne, Yoshida, Fonte, Bertrand; Davis, Wanyama, Schneiderlin; Ward-Prowse, Pelle, Tadic.
The teams have been announced, so let us have ourselves a look at the starting line-ups:
West Bromwich put some significant work into improving their squad during the summer, and although some of those signings were not in the line-up last week, things did not look so encouraging for manager Alan Irvine. The Baggies were quite vulnerable at the back, but a healthy Joleon Lescott should help matters, while the goals should be flowing with the arrival of Brown Ideye to partner up with Saido Berahino.
Last weekend, Southampton hardly looked like the team everyone had left for dead after their summer transfer departures. Ronald Koeman had his side well prepared and they put up quite a fight at Anfield. The performance of newcomer Dusan Tadic was especially encouraging, which goes to show it may not be all doom and gloom for the Saints this season as many have predicted.
Good afternoon Premiership fans around the world, and welcome to matchday two, as West Bromwich travel to St. Mary's to take on Southampton. I am Alex Moretto and I will be your in-game host, guiding you through the match LIVE as it happens!
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