West Brom 0-0 Southampton: Championship playoff semi-final, first leg – live reaction | Championship

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If the playoff semi-final drama dullness hasn’t got the better of you this afternoon, you can catch the final phase of the Women’s FA Cup Final at Wembley. Manchester United are on their way to victory.

FT: West Bromwich Albion 0-0 Southampton

It’s over, as are both championship playoff, semi-final, first legs end goalless. A slick affair indeed, but both teams gave themselves a chance for the second leg on the south coast on Friday.

West Brom could feel more disappointed. They started the game with great intent and forced some superb stops from Alex McCarthy, but the draw is likely to favor the Saints as they will have home advantage.

Southampton’s Taylor Harwood-Bellis heads in against West Bromwich Albion. Photo: Jacob King/Pennsylvania

94 minutes: Bednarek rose highest to deflect the corner under serious pressure from several West Brom players. The Saints aren’t completely safe yet, they’re on the back foot as this game nears its conclusion.

Oooh, there are penalty appeals for West Brom as Diangana goes down after speeding past Fraser. No penalty is the decision – correct.

93 minutes: I’d go so far as to say that West Brom need a goal here. They have an angle.

92 minutes: Nothing has happened in the added time yet. Nothing.

90 minutes: Adam Rich will be West Brom’s latest substitute. Something something, can they make the playoffs, etc. etc. Townsend is the man who gets away.

Six minutes of added time.

88 minutes: West Brom’s reserves are definitely making a difference. Wallace and Swift’s energy in wide areas worries the Saints defenders, but the finishing ball is still lacking.

86 minutes: Are these sides happy with a 0-0 draw that makes penalties clean at St Mary’s? You’d think this scenario would be beneficial Southamptonso perhaps West Brom need to push harder in these latter stages.

84 minutes: They never change Southampton. This game is from almost 85 minutes ago and they still insist on playing at the back despite facing a fresh and ferocious West Brom forward press. The hosts got it back, amid a wave of noise from the stands.

82 minutes: I am confused as to why Corberan left it so late to make these changes. Surely an early look at the bench could have offered them more momentum? Reply to postcard please.

81 minutes: Four changes at once for West Bromwich Albion. Everyone looks broken.

Ajayi, Swift, M’Vila and Wallace are coming.

Jokuslu, Thomas-Assante, Johnston and Fellows are off for a well-deserved sit in the shade.

78 minutes: Cramp is establishing himself among the West Brom players, but they have yet to make a change.

Diangana then missed a golden opportunity to open the scoring for the hosts! He was released by Fellows but hit straight at McCarthy… at the other end Stewart picked it up and shot goalwards, a deflection almost taking it. Palmer repositioned himself to make a block. Wow, what a passage of play!

76 minutes: There is a clear lack of urgency and, indeed, a lack of quality in this match now. Someone has to light the fuse and light the playoff fireworks.

74 minutes: Mowatt rolls it up. ah

73 minutes: Stevens switches to left back for Southampton. Stewart will provide more of a physical presence up front.

The action is now at the other end, however, as Harwood-Bellis is booked for a cynical block on Diangana, conceding a free-kick in a truly dangerous spot. Mowatt might like this. It’s just outside the box, slightly to the right, a left foot dream.

72 minutes: Actually, it’s a triple change for Southampton.

Mara, Armstrong and Manning are replaced, with Brooks, Frazier and Stewart introduced. It could also be a change of formation from Martin, more of a 4-3-3.

71 minutes: Bartley stayed on despite this apparent injury, but was unable to head home a corner.

70 minutes: Saints look to make their reserves but West Brom kick away a corner. Martin isn’t happy that his replacements haven’t been cleared yet. This would be a terrible time to admit…

68 minutes: Furlong throws in a long throw from the right, into a cluster of bodies around Alex McCarthy. A few tackles won’t stop the Saints stopper from getting the ball.

Now how about these changes guys…

65 minutes: Meanwhile, Southampton’s David Brooks has been rested as both sets of players take on more fluids.

64 minutes: It will be a change in Albion’s defense – a forced one. Semi Ajayi has been stripped and looks set to replace Bartley, who has been straining his hamstring for the last few minutes.

63 minutes: One of these managers needs to make an attacking change. Fresh legs will be vital on a day like this, in a game with such high stakes.

61 minutes: Oh, so close for the Baggies and it’s Furlong who sneaks in from right-back to meet Johnston’s cross, who came closer than anyone else today. However, there wasn’t much confidence in the full-back finish.

60 minutes: The momentum is back with West Brom and it’s all coming from their wings. The Hawthorns sense something might be coming…

57 minutes: Excellent play on the wing from West Bromwich Albion. First Johnston starts to run, then offloads to Fellows who puts in a quality cross but there’s no-one to get it back. It eventually falls to Mowatt, who curls his volley away.

56 minutes: It’s a clever turn from Mara, outsmarting Johnston, who can’t hold back and shows a swinging leg. Clean trip and yellow card.

The Baggies are getting a little frustrated here, committing foul after foul. Corberand is not happy.

54 minutes: Southampton’s full-backs are on the up and up, with much of their attacking threat coming through them. The screw is turning here, you sense, as Aribo’s shot is blocked by Bartley.

52 minutes: Downes is allowed to walk 30 or 40 meters while driving Southampton forward and eventually lays it off to Manning whose cross is in the bodies on the left. Better than the visitors, at least some momentum.

Southampton’s Flynn Downs carries the ball forward. Photo: Matt Watson/Southampton FC/Getty Images

51 minutes: I’m afraid to report that no football match has yet broken out in this second half. Keigi doesn’t quite cover it.

50 min: It’s West Brom’s turn to enjoy measured possession. Mikey eventually gets it down the left but gets his cross all wrong.

48 minutes: The Saints started the half coolly, though still struggling to get Armstrong into the game. His first touch allows defenders to smother him. Aribo handles on the edge of the penalty area, just as a shot was threatening.

Second half = started. No changes are actually imminent, although it was thought that Ross Stewart could be in the works.

The start of this game has been postponed, and the half also seemed to take an interminable amount of time. It looks like there might be Southampton a change is coming as we prepare to continue in the heat at West Bromwich Albion.

For those of you watching.

Atty. 25,367 (1,996 Southampton fans) #wba

— Lewis Cox (@LewisCox_star) May 12, 2024

As I grab a chocolate bar at halftimeyou can follow our coverage of the Women’s FA Cup Final.

HT: West Bromwich Albion 0-0 Southampton

A pretty even 45 minutes you must say. West Bromwich began to overflow with fire and fervour, but Southampton gradually dulled their enthusiastic hosts as time went on, looking every inch the 87-point side they were during the league campaign. However, the visitors lacked a clinical touch, with Che Adams making a big miss.

It’s on a knife’s edge, it’s engrossing, but it still hasn’t had the high drama we’ve come to expect from playoff semifinals in recent years. The best is yet to come (I hope).

45 minutes: Bartley is now on his feet after colliding with his own keeper, Palmer, in an effort to clear the final corner.

We have three added minutes at the end of this first half.

44 minutes: It’s been a while. Cool performance from the midfielder.

However, the Saints now have a corner.

43 minutes: It doesn’t wind up, no. The Southampton the defender clutches his left ankle. Martin didn’t seem particularly concerned and Walker-Peters quickly stood up. Here comes the free kick that Smallbone will take from the right…

42 minutes: Booing from the home fans as Walker-Peters wins a free-kick and subsequently hits the ground in obvious pain, following a heavy challenge from Townsend. KWP may need a minute here. Windy maybe?

41 minutes: That’s right, West Bromwich and Southampton, any chance of breaking the deadlock before half time please? These playoff games need goals!

I seem to have started a debate about the name “Mothers”.

Joe Pearson emails, clearly not enamored with the “My Family” reference, with an alternate link.

For your older American readers, Mikey will always be the kid in the Life Cereal ad:

39 minutes: We really haven’t seen enough of Adam Armstrong in this half of football. He had just been marked offside when the West Brom full-back stepped up four at the right moment.

37 minutes: Bartley headed to the back stick from a free-kick and headed goalwards but was too close to McCarthy.

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