Win over West Brom puts Southampton back in second place in the Championship

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Southampton’s 2-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion on the road on Friday put their promotion bid from English football’s second-tier Championship back on track.

The Saints’ 25-game unbeaten streak came to an end on Tuesday when they lost 3-1 to Bristol City.

But the return to regular play at The Hawthorns was assured by goals from Ryan Fraser’s first-half volley and substitute David Brooks’ effort 17 minutes from time out.

As Southampton’s probable new American owner watched from the terraces, West Brom manager Carlos Coberan was sent off in spectacular manner in just the seventh minute.

Following Jack Stephens’ handball, West Brom were then deprived a penalty.

Southampton’s win moved them up to second position, but they were still 11 points behind leaders Leicester. Leeds lost against Southampton.

But Leeds may move back up to second place against Plymouth on Saturday.

The three Premier League teams that were demoted from the league the previous year are well-positioned to return to the top.

However, only the top two teams at the conclusion of the regular season receive automatic promotion; the remaining spot among the top four teams in English football is determined by a series of play-offs involving the remaining four clubs.

After Friday’s outcome, West Brom is now in fifth place.

Southampton midfielder Stuart Armstrong told Sky Sports, “We were really disappointed with how things went during the week, so today was all about putting that right.”

American national flags were flown when Baggies supporters greeted Florida-born businessman Shilen Patel at The Hawthorns.

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West Brom revealed earlier this week that Patel and his father have reached an agreement to buy Guochuan Lai’s 87.8% controlling share in the Midlands club for an estimated £60 million ($75.6 million).

Next week, the purchase—which has been approved by the English Football League—is expected to be finalized.

However, Southampton, who had not lost in any competition since September 23 until they were defeated by Bristol City, controlled the first part of the game.

Afterwards, Coberan—who was known for addressing his players from the touchline—was dismissed for going outside of his technical area to fetch the ball, even though it had not been out of play.

Fraser scored seven minutes later to give Southampton the lead after Armstrong’s pass found its way to the back post.

When Conor Townsend’s effort hit Stephens’ arm in the box during first-half stoppage time, Albion was incensed, but their pleas for a penalty were turned down.

After a January loan move from Bournemouth, Brooks scored his first goal for Southampton in the 73rd minute, expertly passing the ball into the bottom corner from eight yards out to extend the Saints’ lead.

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