Moussa Djenepo and Oriol Romeu fired Southampton to back-to-back Premier League wins in spectacular fashion following a 2-0 triumph over West Brom at St Mary’s Stadium on Sunday.
Southampton pounced early, but was unable to take advantage of their fast start with goalkeeper Sam Johnstone standing firm to deny Stuart Armstrong and Danny Ings from clear cut chances.
Che Adams, meanwhile, continued to have no luck in front of goal as a last ditch challenge prevented the forward from scoring into an empty net with Saints in the ascendancy inside the opening 15 minutes.
But Djenepo popped up four minutes before the break, turning his defender inside out before driving a low shot into the bottom corner to give Southampton a deserved 1-0 lead.
Alex McCarthy had little to do at the other end, but did well to re-direct an opportunity for West Brom to draw level after Kyle Walker-Peters inadvertently turned the ball towards his own goal.
It was then a moment of brilliance for Romeu, who charged into the box to attack Stuart Armstrong’s cross with an incredible volley that put the game out of reach with 20 minutes to play.
After a slow start to the campaign that included two league defeats and an early exit from the Carabao Cup, Southampton has recovered to produce clean sheets in consecutive wins to climb into 11th in the standings.
Ralph Hasenhüttl reaction via Southampton FC:
“Happy for Moussa that he showed he can score again, it was a good goal. In the second half also, a good balance between taking risks when playing out and finding the space behind the last line.
“We took it very serious today. Now we have two wins, six points and two clean sheets to take into the international break. We are in a good rhythm now. Hopefully everyone comes back fit.
“It was a fantastic goal for him [Oriol Romeu] and a fantastic game in the midfield. He is very important for us in the moment and as long as he does his work against the ball I’m happy.
“We had a lot of chances again, it’s important we get in positions for other players to score goals because it can’t always be that Danny [Ings] makes a goal. This is a team.”
Oriol Romeu reacts to scoring for the first time in 50 games for Southampton:
“It’s the best goal, but it’s easy to be up there because there are not many others. Most of them are rebounds, not a clean shot from outside the box.
“Kyle [Walker-Peters] moved out of his position so I was filling his space. I saw myself in an awkward position and Jannik [Vestergaard] was calling me back, but I thought, ‘I’m going to stay up top for this one’.
“The ball came very well and very clean, and I just went for the duel and saw the ball in the back of the net. I wasn’t aiming anywhere, I just tried to hit the ball well and clean. It was great, I was very happy.”
Southampton (4-4-2): McCarthy; Bertrand, Vestergaard, Bednarek, Walker-Peters; Djenepo (Redmond 55), Romeu, Ward-Prowse, Armstrong; Ings, Adams (Long 84)
Unused subs: Forster (GK), Stephens, Valery, Smallbone, Obafemi
Goals: Djenepo (41), Romeu (69)
Bookings: Djenepo (50), Walker-Peters (54)
West Brom (4-2-3-1): Johnstone; Townsend, Bartley, Ajayi, O’Shea; Sawyers (Krovinovic 64), Livermore; Diangana, Pereria, Edwards (Field 46); Robinson (Robson-Kanu 60)
Unused subs: Button (GK), Ivanovic, Furlong, Harper
Bookings: Livermore (26)