Sofiane Boufal’s majestic solo goal five minutes from time spared Southampton from more home frustration as they saw off West Brom 1-0 at St Mary’s.
The Morocco international came off the bench to slalom past several defenders and slide home in the 85th minute, one of few moments of quality in a tight Premier League tussle on Saturday.
Saints boss Mauricio Pellegrino admitted ahead of the match that his players are susceptible to anxiety at home and their nerves threatened to spill over after an encouraging first half failed to generate a goal.
Former Southampton striker Jay Rodriguez spurned a gilt-edged chance to punish his former side and Dusan Tadic was also culpable of wasting a good opening for the hosts after half-time.
But Boufal, who had only been on the pitch for four minutes, finally discovered the required quality to earn his side a first win in four Premier League matches.
West Brom, who lost Jonny Evans to an early shoulder injury, are now winless in seven league fixtures, with little respite to come at home next weekend as Tony Pulis’ men host leaders Manchester City.