Thursday 8 December 2016

Dawson fouls allow Koeman to hail an unlikely hero

Southampton 3 West Brom 0

St Mary's Stadium

Published 17/01/2016 | 02:30

Southampton's James Ward-Prowse celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game. Photo: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
Southampton's James Ward-Prowse celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game. Photo: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
West Bromwich Albion's Craig Dawson fouls Southampton's Matt Targett in the box leading to a penalty. Photo: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
Southampton's James Ward-Prowse scores his side's second goal of the game from the penalty spot. Photo: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Ronald Koeman saluted an unlikely goal hero hours after snapping up proven hitman Charlie Austin - who was in the stands following his £4m move from QPR - after James Ward-Prowse stuck a free kick and penalty to secure victory for Southampton. "The free-kicks are one of his qualities," Koeman said. "We tell him to keep working on them because he can score out of that situation. It's important for the boy - it will lift his confidence."

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Just five minutes had passed when Craig Dawson fouled Sadio Mane and Ward-Prowse curled his free-kick inside Boaz Myhill's near post. Dawson was again the guilty party in the 33rd minute when his collision with Matt Targett in the area was judged a penalty, which Ward-Prowse coolly converted.

Substitute Dusan Tadic entered the fray just after the hour and took only eight minutes to hit the third goal.

Albion manager Tony Pulis blamed his side's lethargic performance on having to play back-to-back away games following the midweek draw at Chelsea.

"Southampton were the better team," he admitted.

"We looked flat, we had no spark. But I'd be interested to see how many teams have played their second game away from home this weekend and picked up any points.

"But take nothing away from Southampton. It was a bad day at the office for us, but we'll dust ourselves down and move on."

Albion skipper Darren Fletcher went off with a knee injury at half-time and will have a scan on Monday to assess the damage.

Sunday Indo Sport

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