Match ends, West Bromwich Albion 1, Southampton 2.
West Bromwich Albion 1-2 Southampton
West Bromwich Albion's troubled week continued as Southampton scored in each half to reach the FA Cup quarter-finals for the first time since 2005.
Albion were looking to move on from an incident in which four senior players were interviewed by police after a taxi was stolen from outside a fast-food restaurant in Barcelona.
But the fifth-round tie started badly for the hosts when Saints centre-back Wesley Hoedt took advantage of slack defending to guide home James Ward-Prowse's corner.
Dusan Tadic's sublime chip seemed to put the game beyond the Baggies, only for Salomon Rondon's stunning volley to restore their hopes seconds later.
Alan Pardew's side, who are bottom of the Premier League, rallied as the home fans continued to provide their backing and Ahmed Hegazi's scuffed volley against the bar almost rewarded their support - despite the circumstances - with a late equaliser.
Southampton will discover their last-eight opponents when the draw is made at 20:00 GMT on Saturday.
- Follow all the reaction from The Hawthorns
- Pardew 'furious' with Evans & Barry over Barcelona incident
Mixed reception for Baggies duo
West Brom defender Jonny Evans and midfielder Gareth Barry started the tie - just 60 hours after being involved in the late-night incident in the Spanish city on Thursday.
The pair, along with reserve goalkeeper Boaz Myhill and midfielder Jake Livermore, were interviewed but not arrested by police after allegedly driving the taxi back to their hotel without the driver at about 05:30 GMT.
The quartet issued an apology for breaking the club curfew on Friday.
With Myhill on the bench and Livermore missing because of injury, the focus fell on Evans and Barry as Pardew decided to play them against Southampton - though the former was replaced as captain by fellow defender Gareth McAuley.
When their names were read out as being in the starting line-up, they were greeted with a mixture of cheers and boos.
Some frustrated Albion fans booed when Barry sloppily gave away possession at the start of the second half, while a few more jeers were audible when the former England international was replaced after 72 minutes.
But, overall, it would be harsh to criticise the commitment of each player as they tried to win back the faith of their suffering supporters.
Albion woe continues
The incident involving Evans, Barry, Myhill and Livermore could not have come at a worse time for Albion.
Results have failed to improve since Pardew replaced Tony Pulis in November, with just one win in 23 matches since leaving them seven points from safety in the Premier League.
While there is speculation Pardew's job might already be under threat, chairman John Williams and chief executive Martin Goodman paid the price this week when they were sacked by owner Guochuan Lai.
Former Saints manager Pardew wanted his players to respond by "producing a performance" at The Hawthorns. Instead they made a shocking start.
A lack of organisation allowed an unmarked Hoedt to slot in from six yards and more defensive uncertainty could have cost them further before half-time.
However, Albion responded with a contrasting performance after the break as they played with renewed purpose and confidence.
Jay Rodriguez, Craig Dawson, Grzegorz Krychowiak and Hegazi all went close before Saints punished their profligacy on the counter-attack, with Tadic coolly controlling Guido Carillo's lobbed cross and dinking over Ben Foster.
Rondon's spectacular volley - reminiscent of Robin van Persie's title-clinching goal for Manchester United against Aston Villa in 2013 - provided hope as the Baggies upped the tempo even further.
With Saints pinned back in their own half, their best chances saw Hegazi hook against the woodwork and Rondon's follow-up cleared off the line.
But, despite having 15 attempts at goal, almost 60% possession and 31% of the second half in Southampton's third, they still could not force a replay.
Victorious Saints march on to crucial month
Southampton's problems might not be on the scale of those currently being endured by Saturday's opponents, but that will be no consolation to the many Saints fans concerned by their side's season.
Mauricio Pellegrino's team are third from bottom of the Premier League, a point from safety and facing a run of five matches which appear crucial to their survival hopes.
Saints visit seventh-placed Burnley next weekend and then face Stoke, Newcastle, Swansea and West Ham - all teams in the bottom half - in March.
So it was perhaps a little surprising Pellegrino did not decide to make several changes against West Brom.
The Argentine made only one switch to his starting XI from last weekend's 2-0 defeat by Liverpool, with the more attack-minded Nathan Redmond coming in for Oriol Romeu - and ultimately it paid off.
Saints showed more fluency than their hosts in the first half and although Albion dominated after the break, the visitors' superior sharpness in front of goal was worthy of a second win at The Hawthorns in the space of a fortnight.
'We must believe in ourselves' - post-match reaction
Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino:
"It was important for us for many reasons. We go to the next round in one game and also because we wanted to give opportunities to players not playing too much. And we wanted to improve the spirit ahead of the next Premier League game.
"They were really strong in direct play and they are very good from set-plays. It was a really tight game, we were really focused. Now the most important thing is to believe in our job and our way."
'Can we play you every week?' - the stats
- Southampton won twice away from home in the same month against an opponent for the first time in their entire history.
- Hoedt scored his first goal since netting in a 7-3 win for Lazio against Sampdoria in May 2017.
- Ward-Prowse has had a hand in five goals in his past five appearances against West Brom in all competitions (three goals, two assists).
- Since his debut for West Brom in August 2015, Rondon has scored 25 goals - 15 more than any other Baggies player in that time.
- Since beating Liverpool in the last round of the FA Cup, West Brom have lost all four of their matches, conceding at least twice in each one.
Both teams return their focus to Premier League survival. Albion host fellow strugglers Huddersfield Town on Saturday, 24 February (15:00 GMT), while Saints play Burnley at Turf Moor at the same time.
- 10PhillipsSubstituted forBurkeat 89'minutes
- 20KrychowiakBooked at 30minsSubstituted forFieldat 82'minutes
- 18BarrySubstituted forBruntat 72'minutes
- 14McCleanBooked at 42mins
- 2Cédric Soares
- 23HøjbjergSubstituted forRomeuat 78'minutes
- 18LeminaBooked at 75mins
- 22RedmondSubstituted forGabbiadiniat 72'minutes
- 9CarrilloBooked at 45minsSubstituted forSimsat 85'minutes
- Chris Kavanagh
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, West Bromwich Albion 1, Southampton 2.
Attempt missed. Jonny Evans (West Bromwich Albion) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right following a corner.
Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Josh Sims.
Attempt saved. James Ward-Prowse (Southampton) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Josh Sims.
Attempt missed. Ahmed Hegazi (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from more than 35 yards is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Salomón Rondón following a set piece situation.
Hand ball by Oriol Romeu (Southampton).
Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. Oliver Burke replaces Matt Phillips.
Ryan Bertrand (Southampton) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Chris Brunt (West Bromwich Albion).
Foul by Manolo Gabbiadini (Southampton).
Jonny Evans (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by James Ward-Prowse (Southampton).
Jonny Evans (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Substitution, Southampton. Josh Sims replaces Guido Carrillo.
Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. Sam Field replaces Grzegorz Krychowiak.
Attempt missed. Salomón Rondón (West Bromwich Albion) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by James McClean with a cross following a corner.
Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Ryan Bertrand.
Attempt blocked. Salomón Rondón (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.
Ahmed Hegazi (West Bromwich Albion) hits the bar with a right footed shot from the centre of the box. Assisted by Jonny Evans with a headed pass following a corner.
Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Jack Stephens.
Hand ball by Craig Dawson (West Bromwich Albion).
Substitution, Southampton. Oriol Romeu replaces Pierre-Emile Højbjerg.
Mario Lemina (Southampton) is shown the yellow card.
Mario Lemina (Southampton) has gone down, but that's a dive.
Attempt missed. Matt Phillips (West Bromwich Albion) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Jay Rodriguez.
Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. Chris Brunt replaces Gareth Barry.
Substitution, Southampton. Manolo Gabbiadini replaces Nathan Redmond.
Foul by James Ward-Prowse (Southampton).
James McClean (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Attempt saved. James McClean (West Bromwich Albion) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Jonny Evans.
Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Gareth McAuley.
Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Alex McCarthy.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Delay in match James Ward-Prowse (Southampton) because of an injury.
Attempt saved. Ahmed Hegazi (West Bromwich Albion) header from very close range is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by James McClean with a cross.
Attempt missed. Craig Dawson (West Bromwich Albion) header from very close range misses to the left. Assisted by James McClean with a cross following a corner.
Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Ryan Bertrand.
Foul by Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (Southampton).
Jay Rodriguez (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the attacking half.