West Brom 0 Southampton 1: Clasie opens Premier League account with fine strike

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Jordy Clasie scored his first Premier League goal as Southampton got back to winning ways on the road with a 1-0 victory over West Brom at The Hawthorns.

Claude Puel's side helped haul themselves well clear of a potential relegation fight by winning two of their previous three away games - a 4-0 success at Sunderland and a 4-3 triumph at Watford coming before a 2-1 defeat at Tottenham - and opened the scoring midway through the first half on Saturday as Clasie fired home from the edge of the penalty box.

The Saints had opportunities to add to their lead before half-time, too, with Shane Long proving particularly wasteful in front of goal.

But West Brom were unable to make them pay, Jonny Evans denied by Fraser Forster's fine reaction save with virtually the last action of the game. 

The win moves ninth-placed Southampton to within four points of their opponents in the table, although they do still have two games in hand over Tony Pulis' side.

The visitors enjoyed the majority of possession in the early stages, but failed to create any clear-cut chances.

And West Brom came close to opening the scoring 20 minutes in as Nacer Chadli fired over from 18 yards after Forster had parried away James Morrison's long-range effort.

But Southampton did get the opening goal just moments later through Clasie, the midfielder drilling the ball into the top corner from 20 yards out after good hold-up play from Dusan Tadic.

The goal appeared to give Southampton a lift, and Tadic thumped a low free-kick into the wall before playing Long clean through on goal, only for the striker to lose his footing with just Ben Foster to beat.

And from that mistake, West Brom had their best chance of the half as Salomon Rondon forced Forster into a smart save with a looping back-post header after a swift counter-attack.

Southampton, though, should have extended their lead just a minute before the break as Long wasted another golden opportunity, this time heading wide from just six yards out.

Matt Phillips was perhaps fortunate to stay on the pitch following a lunge on Clasie moments, with referee Chris Kavanagh deeming a yellow card to be sufficient .

Pulis introduced James McClean as a second-half substitute and the winger got in behind the Southampton defence within a couple of minutes of coming on, but was beaten to the ball by a sprawling Forster.

With the game opening up as West Brom chased an equaliser both sides had chances, as Chadli struck straight at Forster from 18 yards out before Tadic curled narrowly over at the other end with Foster rooted to the spot.

Albion then came agonisingly close to an equaliser in stoppage time as Evans flicked an effort towards goal from five yards out, only for Forster to react quickly once again to punch the ball off the line and secure the win for his side.