West Brom and Southampton bored the crowd and themselves with an almost chanceless 0-0 draw at St Mary's.
The first half was blisteringly dull, presumably resulting in a spike in paint sales across the country, as the public decided to see if watching it dry was more exciting than the match. After Southampton’s loss to Liverpool last weekend, they seemed content not to commit many players to attack in the hope of at least a point.
West Brom, perhaps lacking confidence after a wretched season under Pepe Mel and conceding a late goal to Sunderland in their last match, offered little. They too defended deep, scared of conceding yet again.
In the second half, both sides made early subs and failed to find their rhythm. James Ward-Prowse went closest with a brilliantly struck free kick that hit the post, and Brown Ideye brought a close-range stop from Fraser Forster. That was exciting as it got, with Alan Irvine and Ronald Koeman both struggling to inspire their respective sides.
36’ - TADIC CHANCE - Ryan Bertrand links up well with Tadic, and his cross is blocked. The ball then rebounds to Tadic in the box, who toes a shot towards the near post and Foster palms away from goal.
42’ - MOMENT OF MADNESS - Brunt reacts to Sebastien Pocognoli giving away a foul by booting the ball into the crowd, and is booked for his trouble.
54’ - LONG MISS - Tadic crosses from the left, but Shane Long heads well over from close range against his former club.
58’ - IDEYE MISS - Pocognoli gets to the byline, crosses to the back post, and Ideye heads down towards goal and into the side-netting. He should have scored.
70’ - WARD-PROWSE HITS THE POST - James Ward-Prowse whips a brilliant free kick towards goal that thumps off the post.
73’ - FORSTER SAVE - Ideye uses impressive skill to drag the ball through Jose Fonte's legs, faces down the keeper and sends a shot towards goal that Forster beats away.
There were four shots on target only, two for each side.
Southampton have only scored five goals against West Brom in nine meetings.
The two sides have managed just 13 goals between them in those nine games.
The Baggies have scored a total of only two goals in their last 10 Premier League away games in August.
West Brom have never won a Premier League game away from home in August.
Both sides need must stay active in the transfer market: With a little over a week to go, both sides showed that although relatively solid in defence, they lack excitement in attack, with all the strikers struggling to make an impact, and wide players offering little creativity.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Dusan Tadic (Southampton): After a summer when they lost the attacking threat of Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert and Luke Shaw, Tadic has offered hope for this season. With clever footwork, an excellent understanding with Ryan Bertrand, and the ability to cross and set up other chances, Tadic was the game’s most exciting and effective player.
Southampton: Forster 6, Clyne 6, Yoshida 6, Fonte 6, Bertrand 7, S. Davis 5, Tadic 7, Wanyama 5, Ward-Prowse 6, Schneiderlin 6, Pelle 6. Subs: Long 6, Cork 6.
West Brom: Foster 6, Wisdom 6, Dawson 6, Olsson 6, Pocognoli 6, Mulumbu 6, Gardner 5, Berahino 5, Dorrans 6, Brunt 6, Anichebe 5. Subs: Davidson 6, Ideye 6, Sessegnon 5.
THE MATCH IN A TWEET
- Sports & Recreation
- Ryan Bertrand
- Fraser Forster