West Brom 0 Southampton 1 match report: Life is sweet for Rickie Lambert after striking second winner in a week

Striker caps his England debut winner with late goal to stun The Hawthorns

the hawthoirns

A special week in the life of Rickie Lambert got even better yesterday afternoon. Three days after heading the winning goal against Scotland on his England debut, he was at it again at the Hawthorns, snatching victory for Southampton from a match that had appeared destined to end in stalemate.

Where he had needed just two minutes and 45 seconds to score after taking the Wembley pitch on Wednesday, he had to wait until the very last to make the difference yesterday, showing confidence and ice-cool composure to drill a penalty into the bottom right-hand corner of the Albion net, giving Ben Foster no chance even though the goalkeeper had dived the right way.
Lambert had had only one-half chance during the preceding 89 minutes but his manager, Mauricio Pocchettini, said he had no doubt that the Liverpudlian, who hit 15 goals in his first top-flight campaign last term, would add another. “It’s a perfect moment for him,” he added. “He’s enjoyed a brilliant few days, but he deserves everything he’s getting because he’s a great person and a great footballer.”
Whether it should have been a penalty was open to question. Youssuf Mulumbu had just been announced as the sponsors’ man of the match when he stuck out a leg to challenge Luke Shaw as the full-back burst into the Albion box. The contact appeared minimal but Shaw went down and referee Kevin Friend pointed to the spot. “I thought it was very soft. I have seen it again on a number of occasions and am still looking for the contact,” said an unhappy Steve Clarke, the Albion manager.
For Southampton, it was their first victory at the Hawthorns since 1984 and it suggested they are well equipped to avoid last season’s struggles. Then they won just one of their first 11 league matches but the fixture computer has given them a kinder start and there were promising signs from their two new signings, the £12.5m Victor Wanyama, who helped them establish early control in the midfield, and Dejan Lovren, the Croatian international centre-back signed for £8.5m from Lyon. On this showing – and one penalty-box challenge on Nicolas Anelka was outstanding – he will provide solidity to a defence that leaked goals last season. “We are a much more competitive team now,” said Pocchettino.
Perhaps their best piece of business this summer, though, might have been persuading left-back Luke Shaw to sign a new five-year contract. In the first half he ghosted past James Morrison before firing in a shot that Gareth McAuley deflected behind, and later drew a full-length stop from Foster with a 20-yard strike.
Shaw was one of three English 18-year-olds in the visitors’ lineup alongside James Ward-Prowse and debutant Calum Chambers and it was the latter’s cross that led to Adam Lallana scoring a disallowed goal just after the half-hour. Lambert nodded the ball back across goal for Lallana to score but with Jay Rodriguez in an offside position, the goal did not stand.
Rodriguez then lashed a shot against the crossbar – albeit after Lallana’s foul on Gareth McAuley – but Albion improved in the second half. Prior to that their only goal threat had been a Graham Dorrans free-kick that brushed the top of the net but now Shane Long and Morrison might both have scored from low balls into the box. 
Albion’s previous Premier League fixture had been the incredible 5-5 goal-fest with Manchester United in Sir Alex Ferguson’s farewell match, when Romelu Lukaku scored a hat-trick. The Belgian will be missed this season. His replacement, the 34-year-old Nicolas Anelka, may have scored seven goals in as many pre-season games but he cut a peripheral figure on his sixth club debut in English football.
Albion have now won just one of their last 10 league fixtures and not until injury time did Artur Boruc have a serious save to make when clawing away Billy Jones’ header. By then, though, a certain England centre-forward had already had his say.

Ian Thorpe had Rio 2016 in his sights
world cup 2014LIVE BLOG: Hosts Brazil take on the Netherlands in third-place play-off
Tommy Ramone performing at The Old Waldorf Nightclub in 1978 in San Francisco, California.
peopleDrummer Tommy was last surviving member of seminal band
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Several male celebrities have confessed to being on a diet, including, from left to right, Hugh Grant, Benedict Cumberbatch and Ryan Reynolds
life...and the weight loss industry is rubbing its hands in glee
Spectators photograph the Tour de France riders as they make their way through the Yorkshire countryside
voicesHoward Jacobson: Line the streets for a cycling race? You might just as well watch a swarm of wasps
Life and Style
lifeHere's one answer to an inquisitive Reddit user's question
Arts and Entertainment
'Eminem's recovery from substance abuse has made him a more potent performer, with physical charisma and energy he never had before'
arts + entsReview: Wembley Stadium ***
Joe Root and James Anderson celebrate their record-beaking partnership
cricketEngland's last-wicket stand against India rewrites the history books
peopleDave Legeno, the actor who played werewolf Fenrir Greyback in the Harry Potter films, has died
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice