Southampton battled back from behind for the second game in succession as they beat fellow strugglers West Brom 3-2 at the Hawthorns on Saturday.
West Brom 2 Southampton 3
Hegazi puts Baggies ahead
Lemina scorcher levels matters
Stephens gives Saints the lead
Ward-Prowse scores with free-kick
Rondon header reduces deficit
The rock-bottom Baggies got off to the best possible start when Ahmed Hegazi headed them in front after just four minutes, but Mauricio Pellegrini’s side rallied to score twice before half-time and James Ward-Prowse sealed the comeback win early in the second half to halt a 12-match winless streak. Salomon Rondon cut the deficit to one with 19 minutes remaining to make for an exciting finish.
Albion were looking to bounce back from the 3-0 defeat to Manchester City last time out and they made a flying start as Hegazi was left totally unmarked at a corner to head home from inside the six-yard box.
The Saints almost found a quick response in the seventh minute when Jack Stephens set up Sofiane Boufal to flash a shot wide of the left post from 25 yards out, while Guido Carrillo combined with Dusan Tadic to drag an effort wide of the far post from the edge of the box on 12 minutes.
Carrillo threatened again eight minutes later as he steered Mario Lemina’s cross just wide of the near post, before Matt Phillips drew a routine save out of Alex McCarthy with an ambitious long-range strike on 26 minutes.
Rondon failed to test McCarthy with a header from Allan Nyom’s cross on the left seven minutes later and Daniel Sturridge fizzed a strike just over the crossbar after being played in by Chris Brunt on 36 minutes.
However, the visitors finished the half strongly and got themselves back into the contest five minutes before the break. After Ben Foster did well to keep Carrillo at his near post, the Albion gloveman was beaten by a screamer from Lemina, who let rip from 25 yards out moments later to score.
The Saints hit the front just three minutes later as Stephens glanced an unstoppable header into the top-right corner of the neat from a corner, before McCarthy pulled off a sharp save to deny Brunt the equaliser from a free-kick in stoppage time.
Brunt tried to catch out the wall with a low free-kick in the 51st minute that was deflected wide off the studs of one of the defending players, but Ward-Prowse gave the visitors some breathing space four minutes later as he beat Foster with a low free-kick to his right.
Ward-Prowse wasn’t far off from scoring with another set-piece that curled narrowly wide of the goal on 69 minutes, and Rondon struck just three minutes later to keep the Baggies’ hopes alive. Brunt picked out the striker with a brilliant cross that he directed into the right corner of the net.
Shane Long missed a gilt-edged chance to restore his side’s two-goal cushion eight minutes from time when he headed over Cedric’s superb cross, while Nathan Redmond forced Foster into a smart save with his curling effort from inside the area on the left in added time.