Premier League
SouthamptonSouthampton3West BromWest Bromwich Albion0
By Patrick JenningsBBC Sport
James Ward-Prowse celebrates
Ward-Prowse had only previously scored two senior goals - the midfielder doubled his career tally in 35 minutes

Southampton followed up their midweek victory over Watford with a convincing home win against West Brom.

James Ward-Prowse scored a brilliant 25-yard curled free-kick and a penalty for his first goals of the season as Saints cruised into a half-time lead.

West Brom boss Tony Pulis made two attacking changes at the break but the home side remained in charge.

Serbian forward Dusan Tadic sealed the three points from a tight angle after a clever pass from Matt Targett.

Ronald Koeman's Southampton move up to 10th in the Premier League table, while the Baggies stay 13th.

Re-live Southampton v West Brom

Reaction to all of Saturday's games

Southampton make it look easy

Shane Long and Sadio Mane sparkled up front for Southampton, Tadic made a brilliant contribution with his goal, while last season's top scorer Graziano Pelle was on the bench.

Before you even get to midfielder Ward-Prowse's two goals, the signing of Charlie Austin from QPR certainly leaves the Saints with plenty of scoring options.

Charlie Austin
Austin's contract with QPR was due to expire at the end of the season - the 26-year-old joined for a reported £4m

Austin was watching on from the stands, and will have been delighted with what he saw from his new team-mates, who played with real fluency and verve going forward.

The only minor concern for Austin could be over how regularly he will fit into a team that appears to have rediscovered the qualities that drove them into a seventh-place finish last season.

"We like to make the squad stronger, and that means Charlie in, nobody out," Koeman said.

"We're looking forward to having more competition. That will be good. Will someone be sold? No. Nobody is for sale in January."

The other side of West Brom

The Baggies' showing at St Mary's was a world away from the dogged away performance that earned a 2-2 draw against Chelsea on Wednesday.

There was little of the determined harrying that unsettled the home side at Stamford Bridge, with Southampton at times afforded far too much time on the ball.

Graphic showing Wanyama's passing success
Victor Wanyama (left) played 60 passes, completing 88%. By comparison, Darren Fletcher (right) only played 19. Fletcher and fellow West Brom midfielder Claudio Yacob (46) only managed 65 passes combined.

The highlight of the away side's opening 45 minutes was a back-heeled clearance off the goalline by James McClean to block Targett's low shot - denying the 20-year-old a deserved goal for his excellent overall performance.

In West Brom's defence there was an improvement after Pulis' attack-minded substitutions at the break, but Southampton were intelligent in the way they protected the lead, and ruthless in the way they extended it.

Man of the match - James Ward-Prowse (Southampton)

Ward-Prowse
Southampton midfielder Ward-Prowse grabbed two goals, and rarely sent a pass astray

What the managers said

Southampton manager Ronald Koeman: "Ward-Prowse's early free-kick opened the game. It gave us confidence, meant we could control the game.

Perfect day for Saints - Koeman

"It's important to score early against a side like West Brom, as it gives you the patience to try and score the second. At 1-0, we could be more patient.

"Now we are back playing our own way, how we like to play. Everyone looked very comfortable today - that's the most important thing. The players looked more confident than they have done recently. We totally deserved the win."

West Brom manager Tony Pulis: "You've got to give Southampton credit, they were the better team and deserved to win the game.

'Southampton deserved to win the game'

"It would be interesting to see how many teams played away midweek and then picked up points away from home this weekend, because our players did look leggy.

"It just wasn't our day. All season we've done well away from home. Today we didn't and got punished."

The stats you need to know

  • West Brom didn't manage a single shot on target for the third time this Premier League season - more than any other side
  • James Ward-Prowse was the first Southampton player to score a Premier League goal from a direct free-kick since Rickie Lambert in February 2014
  • Ward-Prowse scored more goals in this match than he had in his previous 92 Premier League appearances for Southampton
  • Dusan Tadic now has more goals this season than he managed in 2014-15, with four goals

What next?

West Brom play away at Bristol City in an FA Cup third-round replay on Tuesday before hosting Aston Villa in the Premier League on Saturday.

Southampton's next match is at Manchester United in the league, also on Saturday.

Line-ups

Southampton

  • 44Forster
  • 17van Dijk
  • 6José Fonte
  • 21Bertrand
  • 2Cédric SoaresSubstituted forMartinaat 84'minutes
  • 16Ward-Prowse
  • 12Wanyama
  • 33Targett
  • 10ManéSubstituted forTadicat 63'minutes
  • 8DavisSubstituted forRomeuat 73'minutes
  • 7Long

Substitutes

  • 1Davis
  • 3Yoshida
  • 11Tadic
  • 14Romeu
  • 15Martina
  • 19Pellè
  • 20Juanmi

West Brom

  • 13Myhill
  • 25Dawson
  • 23McAuley
  • 3OlssonSubstituted forRondónat 45'minutes
  • 6Evans
  • 5Yacob
  • 29SessegnonSubstituted forBerahinoat 63'minutes
  • 24FletcherSubstituted forBruntat 45'minutes
  • 8Gardner
  • 14McClean
  • 10Anichebe

Substitutes

  • 1Foster
  • 4Chester
  • 11Brunt
  • 17Lambert
  • 18Berahino
  • 19McManaman
  • 33Rondón
Referee:
Martin Atkinson
Attendance:
29,622

Match Stats

Home TeamSouthamptonAway TeamWest Brom
Possession
Home56%
Away44%
Shots
Home9
Away10
Shots on Target
Home5
Away0
Corners
Home1
Away3
Fouls
Home10
Away11

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Southampton 3, West Bromwich Albion 0.

  2. Post update

    Corner, Southampton. Conceded by James McClean.

  3. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Southampton 3, West Bromwich Albion 0.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Oriol Romeu (Southampton).

  5. Post update

    Saido Berahino (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Shane Long (Southampton).

  7. Post update

    Gareth McAuley (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Post update

    Matt Targett (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Craig Gardner (West Bromwich Albion).

  10. Post update

    Hand ball by Claudio Yacob (West Bromwich Albion).

  11. Post update

    Attempt missed. Chris Brunt (West Bromwich Albion) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right following a set piece situation.

  12. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Salomón Rondón (West Bromwich Albion) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  13. Post update

    Hand ball by Oriol Romeu (Southampton).

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Southampton. Cuco Martina replaces Cédric Soares.

  15. Post update

    Matt Targett (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Claudio Yacob (West Bromwich Albion).

  17. Post update

    Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Victor Wanyama.

  18. Post update

    Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Ryan Bertrand.

  19. Post update

    Delay over. They are ready to continue.

  20. Post update

    Delay in match Shane Long (Southampton) because of an injury.

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