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Brighton & Hove Albion
West Bromwich Albion
West Ham United
August 17, 2013
• The Hawthorns, West Bromwich
Referee: K. Friend
• Attendance: 25927
West Bromwich Albion
R. Lambert 90'
Nothing like a bit of late drama to start the season off with! Rickie Lambert writes his own headlines again as he sends the travelling fans home with a win. Many thanks for keeping me company this afternoon. I have been Hayden Gribble and you have a great weekend, whatever your team's result.
90' + 4'
Penalty Goal Rickie Lambert
GOAL! It was coming. Didn't I tell you it was coming. Lambert completes his dream week with a confident penalty low to Foster's right-hand side. The striker has never missed a penalty for the Saints and makes it 32 penalties from 32. 1-0 Saints.
FULL-TIME - With 94 minutes on the clock, the whistle blows and Rickie Lambert's life just gets better and better. Perhaps it was written in the stars that he would score the winner today? The Saints leave the Hawthorns with all three points for the first time in 29 years and deserve so.
STAT ATTACK - In scoring from the spot, Rickie Lambert has now scored 104 goals in 197 appearances for the Saints.
CLOSE! One minute into stoppage time and West Brom are so close to an equaliser. Jones gets so much power behind a free header in the box and Boruc gets down low to his right to claw the ball away. It's all going on now! Better late than never, eh?
PENALTY! West Brom players surround the referee as Luke Shaw is felled in the box. Mulumbu stuck his foot out. England's midweek hero puts the ball on the spot...
Keeper Foster makes a clearance under no pressure which sails out of play on the left flank to a cheer from the visitors support. Kind of sums the game up, that.
So the home side have made late changes up front as chances are still limited for both sides. Who will step up and be the opening day hero for either of these teams?
A chance for Southampton pressure as Ramirez wins a corner on the right with the clock ticking down...
Yellow Card Y. Mulumbu
The frustration has got to Mulumbu as he roars at the ref for a suspected handball. Surely he will get a yellow card for that. Meanwhile, West Brom are looking to ring the changes.
We are into the last ten minutes here and stalemate ensues. Who will take their chance in this game? The Baggies or the Saints?
Steven Davis is given some pointers from his Argentine boss Pochettino, who looks like he is talking english to the substitute, who prepares to enter the fray. Will he make the difference in this goal shy encounter?
Yellow Card Billy Jones
STAT ATTACK - Nicolas Anelka scored seven goals in seven games during pre-season for West Brom.
The Saints support reverburates around a subdued Hawthorns as the visitors sense a late winner. West Brom's fans really need to get behind their team to push them on here as they have been lacklustre today.
CLOSE! Oooh look out Foster. The Baggies keeper loses his foot/eye coordination from a back pass but the ball curls harmlessly away from his goal. The England International smirks as he clears knowing he just got away with football murder.
Gaston Ramirez readys himself on the touchline as the game enters the final quarter. Where are those goals I ordered?...
CLOSE! Morrison waits patiently for a chance in the box and he pounces on a ball from Jones on the right but sees his effort blocked about six yards-out whilst Shane Long lays on the pitch awaiting treatment for a minor clash in the air with Saints new signing Lovren.
STAT ATTACK - Where do we think this one is heading, folks? It would seem that history is in favour of the Hawthorns outfit as they are unbeaten against Southampton at home since May 1984.
Anelka latches onto a through ball from Morrison but Fonte comes across to put the striker under pressure. That's the closest he has come all day to a chance. Still the Frenchman waits.
Still the Saints go marching in as Lambert tries to slip Rodriguez in but Olsson is alert to the danger and sees the ball drift safely into keeper Ben Foster's hands.
We have just passed the hour mark and the Saints are still knocking on the door. Shane Long gives his team some respite as he wins a free-kick on the wide left. Dorrans takes, but his delivery is poor and Boruc gathers.
Yellow Card Liam Ridgewell
CLOSE! So, so close to a lovely effort from Shane Long. The Republic of Ireland International tries an elaborate flick roughly six-yards out but the ball is just a few inches behind him and trickles behind the touchline. Saints keeper Boruc puts his newspaper down as he gets ready to take a goal-kick. Okay, I'm joking about the newspaper bit but he has seen little action so far today.
West Brom win a free-kick central to goal about 35-yards out and play the ball out wide to Morrison who fails to keep the ball in play. Surely a goal must come soon...and it nearly does when Long hits a shot on target which is blocked by the Saints back four. This is more like it.
CLOSE! Jay Rodriguez latches onto a knock down from Lallana and hits a thunderbolt from just inside the box which strikes the crossbar but the referee blows his whistle for an infringement in the build-up. The visitors are getting closer...
Steve Clarke looks pensive on the home bench. This time last year they flew out of the block with a surprise 3-0 win against Liverpool but today, they have looked like they are still in pre-season mode.
Yellow Card Gareth McAuley
Corner to the Saints from the left and Jose Fonte is penalised yet agian for an unfair jump on Liam Ridgewell. The visitors continue their supremacy with the ball for the time being.
Will we see more of Le Sulk in the next 45? The former Arsenal, Manchester City, Bolton and Chelsea forward recieved a loving welcome from the home faithful but has yet to spark into life, much like his team.
We are back as West Brom get us back underway, kicking right to left. No substitiutes were made during the break.
Here come the two teams - the second half is about to start.
I've just looked at the menu for the second half...it says goals galore with a side order of majestic efforts and memorable goal celebrations. Okay, the menu is in my head but we can all dream can't we?
STAT ATTACK - Rickie Lambert scored 15 times for the Saints last season, this week he has scored with his first touch on his England debut against Scotland and became a father to a baby daughter.
The half-time whistle blows as both teams make their way back into the tunnel. Southampton can rightly feel hard done by for that chalked off Lallana effort but the rest of the action can only be described as tepid. I reckon an explosive second half awaits!
The fourth official indicates there will be one minute of added time.
CLOSE! Ben Foster earns his wages with a finger tipped save from a rasping 20-yarder from Luke Shaw. Corner to Southampton, which they go on to waste.
West Brom try to move up the gears but Morrison's searching ball for Long goes out of play. The Hawthorns groans echoe around the ground.
The football Southampton are putting on display is a feast for the eyes. The Baggies on the other hand have just not got out of first gear yet. The half-time whistle looms.
Looking at a replay of that disallowed goal, Lallana was most definitely onside when that ball came across the goalmouth. It looks like Jay Rodriguez's involvement could have fooled the linesman there. Early season controversy?
CLOSE! Graham Dorrans tries to place a 25-yard free-kick in the top left corner of Boruc's net but his effort sails over.
GOAL DISALLOWED! Unlucky, Saints. Captain Adam Lallana sees his close range effort chalked off for offside. To me he looked level with the last man there. Still we wait.
The half hour mark passes with little incident. Will we get a goal before half-time?
STAT ATTACK - To say the Saints struggled against their opponents last season is an understatement. They lost both the away fixture 2-0 in early November and then went down 3-0 at St Mary's in late April.
There is no doubt that the visitors have been the better of the two side so far, but that can all change. Both defences look nervy on set-pieces. Still, we await the first goal.
From the free-kick, Mulumbu puts his hands behind his head as his shot slides wide away from harm. West Brom are coming back into this now...
Southampton give away a free-kick roughly 35-yards away from goal after Anelka comes deep to win pocession. Can the Baggies capitalise?
STAT ATTACK - West Brom have only won two of their last 15 opening league games (D5 L8). (BBC Sport)
The West Brom backline face a barrage from their boss, Steve Clarke as they continue to look nervous during set pieces. They defended that scramble like the ball was a bar of soap.
The action is beginning to settle as the teams get their passing games together. Jay Rodriguez is awarded a free-kick about 30-yards out for a foul from Olsson and the ball is hooked into the box and after a frantic scramble, the home side get the ball clear.
West Brom waste another chance from a corner as McAuley fails to get his free header on target. The fans Player of the Year for last season looks disappointed by his effort as he jogs back into his half.
This high-tempo start is like a couple of boxers swapping jabs. Both sides are looking confident and Ben Foster is drawn into a good save from a 25-yard pinger from Ward-Price. Good stuff, this.
Anelka gets his first touch and uses his experience to win a corner for the Baggies. The resulting set-piece is wasted as James Morrison skews his shot wide.
Corner yet again for the away side as Luke Shaw attacks from the left. It's all white and red at the moment!
STAT ATTACK - 0.64 - Of teams to have played 10 PL seasons, Southampton have the worst opening day record (an average of 0.64 pts/game). Slow. (Optajoe)
The Saints are enjoying an early spell of pressure as they get a corner but Fonte is penalized for his use of an arm on McAuley. Free-kick to the Baggies.
Shane Long gets the home fans excited as he attempted a long-range effort but Boruc shuffles forward to collect the ball.
And we're off! - the Saints are kicking from right to left.
With just four minutes to go the teams are out to a roar from the crowd.
Southampton boss Mauricio Pochettino has gone with two big summer signings to start - midfielder Victor Wanyama, the 12.5m club record buy from Celtic, and defender Dejan Lovren from Lyon. There are also four teenagers in the first eleven - with Calum Chambers making his debut. What's the old saying? You cannae win anything with kids?
The pre-match butterflies are fluttering all over the country but here at the Hawthorns the home can't wait to see former French striker Nicolas Anelka make his first appearance for the Baggies. For the travelling support, they will be waiting with baited breath for their main man - Rickie Lambert - to continue his dream week with a goal or two on the opening day. Just under 15 minutes to go...
Southampton team: Boruc, Chambers, Fonte, Lovren, Shaw, Wanyama, Schneiderlin, Ward-Prowse, Lallana (c), Rodriguez, Lambert.Subs: K. Davis, Clyne, S. Davis, Ramirez, Cork, Mayuka, Hooiveld.
West Brom team: Foster, Jones, McAuley, Olsson (c), Ridgewell; Morrison, Mulumbu, Yacob, Dorrans; Anelka, Long.Subs: Myhill, Vydra, Rosenberg, Brunt, Dawson, Berahino, Popov.
Hello and welcome to our Live Text Commentary of West Brom versus Southampton. My name is Hayden Gribble and I'll be guiding you through all the action of an exciting clash on the opening day of the Premier League season. First things first, let's get the team news...
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