West Brom completed back-to-back Premier League wins for the first time this season as they brushed aside Southampton to collect three more precious points in their battle to avoid relegation.
Two goals in three first-half minutes through Matheus Pereira and Matt Phillips put Sam Allardyce’s men in control before Callum Robinson’s fine finish completed the Baggies’ biggest home win in the Premier League since November 2016.
The victory was made more admirable by the fact West Brom needed to rally after having what would have been an opening goal for Mbaye Diagne controversially ruled out for offside after VAR Kevin Friend decided there was insufficient evidence to overturn the on-pitch decision, even though TV replays suggested otherwise.
Sam Johnstone completed an excellent evening for West Brom when he turned away James Ward-Prowse’s injury-time penalty.
West Brom are still in deep trouble, eight points adrift of fourth-bottom Newcastle with seven games remaining.
However, if they meet many more sides as accommodating as Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Southampton were in a dismal opening period, another of Allardyce’s great escapes cannot be discounted.
When they trailed 1-0 at Chelsea on 3 April, West Brom looked certain to complete a swift return to the Championship.
But after their incredible five goals at Stamford Bridge, Allardyce’s side continued their offensive bombardment at the Hawthorns.
West Brom had 13 of the first half’s 18 shots and with Pereira scheming and Diagne a major threat, they attacked with a conviction absent for most of the season.
Pereira earned the right to take the spot-kick after he had been brought down by Fraser Forster as he tried to step round the former England keeper.
Diagne may be having little fortune when it comes to scoring himself – but his cross for Phillips’ second, curling low to the far post after Danny Ings had gifted possession deep in the Southampton half – invited the first-time finish.
Although West Brom were more cautious after the interval, they still created chances and Robinson made it three goals in two games when he strode onto Okay Yokuslu’s pass midway through the second half.
Amazingly, of the 17 league goals West Brom have scored in 2021, eight of them have come in their last two games.
In his programme notes, Allardyce mentioned that he said before the Chelsea game that his team needed six wins from their last nine games to have a chance of staying up. They have reduced that to four from seven.
If anyone knows how to attain survival from this position, it is Allardyce.
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