By 90Min
October 21, 2017

The drab weather of Storm Brian matched the dull football on offer at St Marys on Saturday evening between Southampton and West Brom, but one moment of magic from substitute Sofiane Boufal managed to rescue all three points for the Saints as they narrowly won 1-0.

Both teams made one change each from their previous score draws, with Saints captain Steven Davis replacing Nathan Redmond and West Brom number 1 Ben Foster recovering from a knee injury to return in place of Boaz Myhill.

The home side maintained the bulk of the possession in the middle third for the opening exchanges - and in the 17th minute a fantastic free-kick from their left back Ryan Bertrand flicked off the head of Jonny Evans and off the side of the post.

Tony Pulis' Baggies are renowned for defending set pieces but they looked shaky from corners and a scramble in the six yard box was almost turned in by Oriol Romeu in the 23rd minute.

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A sweeping Saints counter-attack on the half hour mark almost resulted in the opening goal as Manolo Gabbiadini traveled half the length of the pitch before feeding Shane Long but the Irishman - on his 100th Premier League appearance for Southampton - just couldn't sort his feet out.

Jonny Evans was then forced off injured after a heavy fall early in the game, resulting in a defensive reshuffle for the Baggies as Allan Nyom came in at right-back and Craig Dawson shifted over to centre-back.

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West Brom's marking at corners was again brought into question just before half-time as Maya Yoshida was left free at consecutive set pieces - with his first header parried away by Foster and his acrobatic effort at the second delivery going wide. 

The sides went into half-time goalless and came back out looking even less likely to change that.

On the hour mark, Jay Rodriguez had the opportunity he would have been dreaming of against the club he left for £12m in the summer, but could only scuff his volley horribly wide as he raced through on goal.

Saints boss Mauricio Pellegrino had a roll of the dice by replacing defensive midfielder Romeu with winger Redmond for the last 20 minutes to inject some much needed pace - and it was the Englishman's deep cross that found Tadic free, but Foster spread himself well to smother the ball from under his feet.

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Nacer Chadli tried his luck minutes later with a whipped shot from outside the box stinging the palms of Fraser Forster but this was all the Baggies could really muster in the second half.

Pellegrino brought on attackers Sofiane Boufal and Charlie Austin in an attempt to nick a winner in the final ten minutes, and it was the Morrocan wizard who made the difference in the 86th minute with a magnificent mazy run from his own half expertly finished past Foster for an early goal of the season contender.

Boufal then found his fellow substitute Austin with a delightful through ball in the last minute but the striker could only find the side of the post after taking the ball round the goalkeeper.

West Brom appeared content with sharing the points but ended up with nothing, whilst Southampton earn their first win in four games, lifting them up to tenth. 

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