Southampton, United Kingdom – Southampton snapped a run of four Premier League home games without victory as a strike from Adam Lallana secured a 1-0 win over West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.
The Southampton captain struck in the 66th minute at St Mary's, converting a fine pass from substitute Gaston Ramirez to give Mauricio Pochettino's side only a second win in 10 league games.
The result galvanised Southampton's hold on ninth place, giving them a seven-point lead over Hull City and Aston Villa, while West Brom remained 14th.
West Brom's new manager Pepe Mel was in attendance, two days after his appointment as the successor to Steve Clarke, but caretaker head coach Keith Downing took charge of the team for the final time.
Downing made seven changes to the side beaten by Crystal Palace in the FA Cup last weekend, while Artur Boruc returned in goal for the home side after six weeks out with a fractured hand.
Southampton struggled to convert their first-half dominance into chances, with Lallana thwarted by visiting goalkeeper Ben Foster and Rickie Lambert shooting narrowly wide.
Jay Rodriguez slotted wide after catching out Youssouf Mulumbu early in the second period, but it took the introduction of Ramirez in the 62nd minute to tip the game in the hosts' favour.
After testing Foster with a free-kick, the Uruguayan playmaker freed Lallana with a clever first-time pass from wide on the right and the England international gathered the ball before drilling home a low shot.
Downing sent on Saido Berahino, Zoltan Gera and Matej Vydra as West Brom pushed forward, but Boruc produced a sensational reflex stop to deny Shane Long a stoppage-time equaliser from Liam Ridgewell's low cross. – Sapa-AFP