Shane Long goal sends Saints into top six as Everton slump to loss against West Brom

Shane Long goal sends Saints into top six as Everton slump to loss against West Brom

Southampton have moved into the top six of the Barclays Premier League with a 1-0 win at Swansea.

The in-form Saints had won four and drawn one of their previous five games and Shane Long's 69th-minute header secured another three points for Ronald Koeman's side as Swansea lost for the first time under Francesco Guidolin.

Swansea were accommodating hosts as they created little of note, but they were left to rue referee Jonathan Moss' decision not to award a penalty in the final minute when Saints substitute Maya Yoshida tangled with Alberto Paloschi.

Southampton were full value for their victory and Fraser Forster, for the sixth successive game since returning from a serious knee injury, kept a clean sheet to go past the 500-minute mark without conceding.

The game's decisive moment arrived in the final quarter when Long, finding space in between defenders, was granted the freedom of the penalty area to convert James Ward-Prowse's cross for his ninth goal of the season.

Even then, Lukasz Fabianski might have kept the ball out of his net but he fumbled it over the line to end Swansea's unbeaten run at four games.

Dimitri Payet celebrated signing his new West Ham contract by rescuing a 2-2 draw at Norwich.

The Hammers looked down and out after falling two goals behind thanks to strikes by Robbie Brady and Wes Hoolahan, with City on the verge of a precious win in their battle to beat the drop.

Shane Long goal sends Saints into top six as Everton slump to loss against West Brom

But Payet, handed an improved deal this week to ward off big-money interest from China, pulled one back before setting up the equaliser for Mark Noble.

It was a bitter blow for Norwich, who remain in the bottom three despite ending their run of five straight defeats.

Crystal Palace's two-month wait for a Barclays Premier League victory goes on after two goals from Troy Deeney inspired Watford to a 2-1 win at Selhurst Park.

The Watford captain, recalled to Quique Sanchez Flores' starting XI, scored a first-half penalty and added an impressive second late on to take Watford's points total to 36, and his team to the brink of safety.

Shane Long goal sends Saints into top six as Everton slump to loss against West Brom

Emmanuel Adebayor headed his first goal for Palace before Deeney's winner, but again the Eagles, who finished with 10 men after Pape Souare's late dismissal, suffered because of a lack of goals.

Stoke put their three-game Premier League losing streak to an end with a confident 3-1 win over a weak Bournemouth side at the Vitality Stadium.

Shane Long goal sends Saints into top six as Everton slump to loss against West Brom

A first-half goal from Giannelli Imbula and second-half strikes from Ibrahim Afellay and Joselu were enough to secure the visitors all three points and move them up to ninth in the league table.

Bournemouth struggled to compete in the game but Matt Ritchie's consolation goal just before the hour mark led to an exciting finish to the game as the Cherries pushed on to try and achieve a much-needed draw.

West Brom's first league win since January 2 moved them eight points clear of the relegation zone as Everton's brief revival came to a shuddering halt.

Shane Long goal sends Saints into top six as Everton slump to loss against West Brom

Salomon Rondon scored the decider in the 1-0 victory, nicking the goal off Jonas Olsson with the final touch right on the line, for his third in the last seven matches as the Baggies clinched three points with their only shot on target.

By contrast the home side threw everything at their opponents but there was far too little precision in what they did as of their incredible 34 attempts, only six were on target.


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