Super Eagles defender Semi Ajayi had every cause to celebrate Monday despite seeing only five minutes action in West Brom clash against Southampton.
The Nigeria international stepped in, in the 85th minute as replacement for Kyle Bartley. West Brom at this time has already grabbed three goals with no response from the visitors. Teammate Matheus Pereira shot the Baggies into the lead after converting a 32 minute penalty. Matt Phillips increased the tally three minutes later while Callum Robinson sealed the winner in the 69th minute.
The second-bottom Baggies thus closed the gap to Premier League safety to eight points with seven games left.
They ultimately avoided controversy after Mbaye Diagne had an early header ruled out when VAR was unable to get the right angle to conclusively show the striker’s upper body was on or offside.
The Baggies have also scored eight goals in their last two Premier League games, two more than they had netted in their previous 11 combined.
The mid-table Saints came from 2-0 down to beat Burnley last week but, ahead of Sunday’s FA Cup semi final against Leicester, they offered little and James Ward-Prowse had a stoppage-time penalty saved by Sam Johnstone.
Albion secured back-to-back victories for the first time this season after boss Sam Allardyce labelled it another must-win game after last week’s shock 5-2 triumph at Chelsea.
Buoyed by that win at Stamford Bridge, confident Albion enjoyed one of their best performances of the season on Monday.
Southampton did have the chance for an injury-time consolation when Conor Townsend fouled Moussa Djenepo in the box but Johnstone saved Ward-Prowse’s spot kick.