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Barclays Premier League

St. Mary's Stadium (ATT 31,057) 6th November 2004 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: S Bennett

So'ton Southampton vs West Bromwich Albion W Brom

So'ton 2

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W Brom 2

Svensson is Saints' saviour

By Richard Jolly.   Last Updated: 06/11/04 4:46pm

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Ten games and counting. Steve Wigley remains winless in the Premiership but his Southampton side, denied by a late equaliser last week, were grateful for another this as Anders Svensson earned a 2-2 draw against West Bromwich Albion.

Rob Earnshaw had opened his Albion account with a first-half brace to put caretaker manager Frank Burrows on course for his first victory until Svensson's intervention.

Wigley will be able to empathise with his Albion counterpart after Robin van Persie's late leveller for Arsenal last week but the boos at the final whistle were for his side after a match that, even in November, met the definition of a six-pointer.

The result means that each side has a solitary win apiece in the first three months of the Premiership campaign. Southampton were spared a seventh defeat by Swede Svensson, their most inventive player throughout and scorer of both of their goals, even if the second owed much to Paul Robinson's deflection.

West Brom, thrashed 4-1 by Chelsea last week, were understandably cautious and Svensson's 27th-minute opener was reward for a positive start from Southampton. Darren Kenton, attack-minded even at right back, stung Russell Hoult's palms while the fit-again Kevin Phillips and the emerging Dexter Blackstock offered pace up front.

The initial impetus for the goal came on the right wing with a surging run from Mikael Nilsson. Robinson's well-timed tackle halted him but fell for Paul Telfer to cross to the unmarked Svensson, who directed his header past Russell Hoult.

West Brom, previously subdued, responded in kind. Hungary captain Zoltan Gera swung in a cross and Earnshaw got a touch to Jonathan Greening's header to beat Alan Blayney, though the inexperienced keeper's attempt to parry it was feeble.

The Ulsterman had no chance six minutes later as Earnshaw, guilty of several glaring misses since his £3 million move from Cardiff, finished clinically when Southampton failed to clear another Gera cross.

Though West Brom's last win against Southampton came courtesy of a goalkeeping error from Paul Jones, Blayney, a late replacement for the injured Antti Niemi, deserved more sympathy after a hat-trick of athletic blocks prevented his side from falling further behind.

He tipped the gifted Gera's free kick over, blocked a Neil Clement blockbuster and denied Greening a long-range goal; with impressive shooting power in midfield, Albion looked capable of scoring a third.

But Wigley is developing a nice line in substitutions. Replacement Blackstock scored a hat-trick against Colchester, Neil McCann came off the bench to set up two goals at Highbury and though his changes here did not have the same impact, they contributed to Saints' revival.

The quick Kenton was moved into the centre of defence to deal with Earnshaw, McCann was introduced on the left wing and Svensson adopted a central role.

Though both Phillips and Rory Delap headed wide, the Swede posed the main threat. Hoult had parried one shot, but was helpless when Svensson dribbled into the box, shot and watched the unfortunate Robinson turn it into his own net.

Delap almost added a late winner but, for Wigley, the wait goes on.

Click here for Southampton v West Brom player ratings

Team NameSouthamptonWest Bromwich Albion
Goals22
Shots on target ( Inc Goals )55
Shots off Target (inc woodwork)55
Blocked Shots10
Corners Won51
Total Fouls Conceded1415
Offsides26
Yellow Cards20
Red Cards00

Matches

Table

Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Chelsea 33 77
2 Manchester City 34 67
3 Arsenal 33 67
4 Manchester United 34 65
5 Liverpool 33 58
6 Tottenham Hotspur 34 58
7 Southampton 34 57
8 Swansea City 34 50
9 Stoke City 34 47
10 Everton 34 44
11 West Ham United 34 44
12 Crystal Palace 34 42
13 West Bromwich Albion 34 37
14 Newcastle United 34 35
15 Aston Villa 34 32
16 Hull City 33 31
17 Leicester City 33 31
18 Sunderland 33 30
19 Queens Park Rangers 34 27
20 Burnley 34 26

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