Southampton 0-3 West Brom

Romelu Lukaku

West Brom earned three points in an exciting clash against Southampton which saw three players sent off.

The Baggies took an early lead when Marc-Antoine Fortune bundled the ball over the line at the third attempt.

Romelu Lukaku rounded Saints keeper Artur Boruc to double West Brom's lead before Southampton sub Gaston Ramirez and Albion's Fortune were dismissed.

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Three up front paid off - Clarke

Shane Long completed the win with a low strike before Saints' Danny Fox saw red for a two-footed lunge on Steven Reid.

The outcome of this fixture may have little significance on the Premier League table, with West Brom comfortable in mid-table and Southampton all but safe from relegation, but that did not stop it from being an exciting affair at St Mary's.

Referee Roberto Madley, taking charge of his first game in the Premier League, will also certainly remember it.

Before the three red cards though, there was plenty of other action.

West Brom created their first real chance when on-loan Chelsea striker Lukaku found himself clean through only to be denied by Boruc's fine save.

The opener was not long in coming, however, as Graham Dorrans' sixth-minute corner eventually fell to the feet of Fortune after Lukaku nodded the ball down.

Boruc managed to block two attempts but the Baggies forward beat the Saints keeper with his third despite Fox's desperate efforts to clear the ball before it crossed the line.

Only a mathematician would argue that Southampton can still be relegated from the Premier League this season, but a win would have got them over the psychological 40-point mark.

Patient build-up led to their first chance as Rickie Lambert crossed for Jay Rodriguez but the stretching Saints striker could not get his header on target.

Lukaku, one of the contenders for PFA Young Player of the Year, was again involved in another West Brom attack but he was again thwarted by Boruc.

Southampton were hoping to extend the six-game unbeaten run that has steered them away from trouble but the visitors' goalkeeper Ben Foster denied them an equaliser when Nathaniel Clyne picked up Lambert's misplaced cross and fired at goal before Boruc again frustrated Lukaku as half-time approached.

Clyne found himself in unfamiliar territory again after the break when Steve Davis slotted the ball into the area but Foster tipped the angled shot onto the bar.

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Saints had blackout - Pochettino

West Brom doubled their lead when Lukaku finally beat Boruc following Fortune's through ball.

Seconds later, half-time substitute Ramirez appeared to elbow Long in the face as the pair chased after the ball.

The resulting fracas saw Fortune push his hand into Ramirez's face and Madley gave both players their marching orders.

The drama was not finished there, however, as first Lukaku put Long through to seal the win and then Madley brandished his third red card to Fox when the Saints defender recklessly launched into a challenge on Reid.

Victory for West Brom boosts their chances of finishing above last season's 10th and earning their highest top-flight finish since 1981.

Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino:

"This is the worst defeat we have had here at Southampton [in his time at the club]. The team did not have any positive impact.

"We need to review the red cards but more importantly we need to review our performance, we were not really good today.

"We were uncomfortable from the beginning. We showed a performance that is the opposite of what we really are."

West Brom manager Steve Clarke:

"There is no coincidence that the team works hard and we get a clean sheet. It has been a difficult second half of the season but we did a lot of work in the first half of the campaign. Hopefully now we can pick up a few more wins towards the end of the season.

"That performance today tells everyone why we have been in the top half all season.

"I think the red cards were clear. I have not seen the replay, but Marc [Antoine Fortune] said he caught him in the face and by the rules that is a red card."

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