Southampton manager Ronald Koeman was left to rue the concession of an early goal as his side lost 1-0 away to in-form West Bromwich Albion on Saturday, reports the club’s official
Lining up in an unfamiliar 3-5-2 formation, the Saints fell behind at the Hawthorns within 75 seconds, as West Brom top scorer Saido Berahino expertly found the net with a unstoppable shot from the edge of the penalty area. As the visitors continued to struggle in the ensuing minutes, Koeman opted to reverse his tactical changes and return to 4-2-3-1.
As West Brom sought to protect their lead, Southampton increased the pressure in the second half and should have equalised when Graziano Pelle was unable to convert a low cross from three yards out, while Eljero Elia and Sadio Mane both missed the target with powerful strikes.
The result means the Saints remain outside the Premier League’s top four having played a game more than most of their rivals, and Koeman was disappointed with the way his team started the game. “It was more difficult after one minute,” he said.. “They score the goal and you know that they will defend and drop back.
“We had a lot of ball possession and I think we were a little bit better in the second half than we were in the first half but it wasn’t good enough to create chances. In the two or three chances that we had we were not sharp enough in the box. We were maybe unlucky with two chances but we didn’t create more and that was about their good defence. The goal made them comfortable and made it difficult for us.”
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