Stunning Sofiane Boufal goal edges Southampton past Baggies

Bournemouth smash and grab sends Stoke into relegation zone as Leicester enjoy boost

Southampton 1 West Brom 0

A stunning solo goal from Sofiane Boufal lit up St Mary’s as Southampton beat West Brom 1-0.

The substitute ran fully 70 yards from inside his own half and left three defenders on their backsides – two of whom had collided with each other – before sliding the ball home for a truly memorable strike.

It was going to take a moment of supreme quality, or abject stupidity, to settle this otherwise drab affair and thankfully it was the former as Southampton’s record signing secured their second home win of the season.


These two sides had previously only scored seven times each this season, so nobody travelled to the south coast expecting a goal glut.

But with the visitors exhibiting their customary lack of ambition on the road, Southampton soon took the initiative and were inches from opening the scoring after Shane Long was fouled on the edge of the area.

Ryan Bertrand’s free-kick flicked off the head of Jonny Evans in the wall and then came back off the top of a post.

Moments later Bertrand sped down the left wing before cutting the ball back to Dusan Tadic, who could only sidefoot straight into the arms of Ben Foster.

West Brom were not looking their usual defensively sound selves, especially after Evans departed with an injury Northern Ireland will be praying does not put his World Cup playoff hopes in jeopardy.

They had another escape when Virgil van Dijk appealed in vain for a penalty after a corner from Steven Davis appeared to hit the arm of Solomon Rondon.

The ball instead found its way to Oriel Romeu, who swivelled in front of goal but could only hook the chance wide.

Long had the opportunity to end his 25-match goal drought for club and country when Manolo Gabbiadini squared to him six yards out but the Republic of Ireland striker, making his 100th Saints appearance, seemed to get his feet in a tangle and stabbed his shot the wrong side of the post.

After the break West Brom almost landed a sucker punch when Grzegorz Krychowiak fed Jay Rodriguez, who burst through against his former club only to shank his effort wide.

But with five minutes remaining Boufal, who had only come on four minutes earlier, stole the show.

The Moroccan collected the ball deep inside his own half, skipped past Jake Livermore, slipped between Allan Nyom and Craig Dawson as the duo ran into each other, then curled the ball around Ahmed Hegazi and inside the far post to secure the three points in style.

Stoke City 1 Bournemouth 2

Stoke have been sucked into the Premier League relegation zone after two goals within 133 seconds earned Bournemouth a first top-flight victory on their travels this season.

Eddie Howe's side had lost each of their four away fixtures, but Andrew Surman's opener at the bet365 Stadium was swiftly followed by a Junior Stanislas penalty, awarded after Ryan Shawcross tripped Benik Afobe.

The Potters pulled one back in the second period through Mame Diouf but a 2-1 loss saw them drop into the bottom three following a run of one win from eight in all competitions.

Amid typically blustery Staffordshire weather, Stoke’s afternoon got bleaker shortly after kick-off.

The first of two goals in quick succession originated down the right, where Jordon Ibe spotted Adam Smith's run to the byline. His pull-back to Stanislas allowed the forward to tee up Surman to steer a well-controlled effort into the corner of Jack Butland's net.

It went from bad to worse from a home perspective as just 80 seconds later Stoke conceded a penalty.

Stanislas's terrific back-heeled nutmeg of Kurt Zouma released Afobe to run at the returning Shawcross, whose clumsy scissor-kicked challenge felled the Cherries forward.

Stanislas had to convince Afobe to let him take the penalty and he made no mistake by placing down the middle to trigger jeers from a disgruntled Stoke fanbase.

Swansea 1 Leicester 2

Leicester climbed out of the relegation zone as the post-Craig Shakespeare era began with a 2-1 win at Swansea.

Michael Appleton was in caretaker command after Shakespeare's midweek sacking and Leicester fully merited the three points handed to them by Federico Fernandez's first-half own goal and Shinji Okazaki's fifth of the season just after the interval.

Alfie Mawson reduced the deficit from a 56th-minute corner but Swansea were poor for most of the contest and were indebted to their goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski for keeping them in the contest.

Newcastle United 1 Crystal Palace 0

Mikel Merino came off the bench to head Newcastle to a 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace with his first goal in English football.

The Spaniard’s bullet header from Matt Ritchie’s 85th-minute corner handed the Magpies a win they barely deserved on an afternoon where they were poor for long periods before producing a late flurry.

Palace, who enjoyed the better of much of the game, ultimately paid for not making the most of their chances, the best of which fit-again winger Wilfried Zaha headed wide before the break.