It's time to celebrate some of Southampton's finest team goals in today's countdown! Check out some of the passing and movement in these five classics...
Saints were in trouble on this winter Wednesday night at St Mary’s, trailing to Wilfried Zaha’s first-half opener in a clash between two teams hovering precariously above the relegation zone. Zaha would later see red after confronting James Ward-Prowse, by which time the Saints midfielder had drawn the hosts level. By now operating as a makeshift right-back following a second-half tactical switch, Ward-Prowse did not just stand and watch as Saints patiently built an attack down the opposite flank. Started by an important last-ditch tackle by Jan Bednarek, this move saw Matt Targett find Nathan Redmond and continue his run into the box. Eventually receiving the ball from Stuart Armstrong, Targett’s cutback was met by the onrushing Ward-Prowse, who calmly slotted home a 77th-minute leveller.
It’s a little bit easier to keep the ball when you’re 2-0 up, and the Saints fans were rejoicing with every touch as the Championship leaders turned on the style against fourth-placed Middlesbrough at St Mary’s. Guly do Prado’s first-half brace had already all-but-secured victory for Nigel Adkins’s side, but the best was still to come. After skipper Dean Hammond slid in to win possession inside his own half, 25 passes later Rickie Lambert had found space wide on the left. The key change in tempo arrived when David Connolly and Richard Chaplow combined to release Saints’ top scorer. Shimmying away from Boro captain Matthew Bates, Lambert took his time in waiting for the right moment to pick out Connolly, who drove the ball home first time for a gorgeous clinching goal.
This was a Boxing Day to remember for Saints, who thoroughly deserved their three points at Stamford Bridge midway through this season. Michael Obafemi’s expertly-taken opener gave Ralph Hasenhüttl’s team a half-time lead, and the move that paved the way for Nathan Redmond to double the advantage just underlined the confidence with which Saints were playing, even at the home of a top-four contender. The goalscorer was the first point of contact, receiving the ball from Ryan Bertrand’s throw-in, before Saints were forced back into their own half. It was Stuart Armstrong who injected some pace into the attack, playing a sweet one-two, before his final pass fell perfectly for Redmond to prod the ball past goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga for an exquisite second.
Today marks the eighth anniversary of this early statement of intent from Saints under Ronald Koeman, as Alan Pardew endured an unhappy return to St Mary’s with struggling Newcastle. Already 3-0 to the good after two goals from Graziano Pellè and one from Jack Cork, it was party time as Saints played out the closing minutes with some effortless possession football. Steven Davis, who started this 90-second passing sequence by winning the ball back in midfield, played a riskier ball into the feet of Pellè, whose airborne backheel was perfect for James Ward-Prowse. When Ward-Prowse rolled the ball to his left for the 40th and final pass, Morgan Schneiderlin looked up and rounded off a day to remember with a delightful curling shot into the top corner.
One of the finest goals ever scored at The Dell, this work of art had everything. Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of this scarcely believable team move is the number of times it looked destined to break down, only for a Saints player to improvise and keep the ball moving with a piece of individual skill. Nick Holmes’s long pass down the left was headed inside by Kevin Keegan, before Keith Cassells swapped passes with Alan Ball. Keegan then followed suit with a one-two of his own, making his way from the left touchline to the edge of the Liverpool penalty area. Chipping the ball over the head of a defender to find David Armstrong, Armstrong hooked an overhead kick back to Keegan, whose header across goal was dispatched in two clinical touches by Mick Channon, who joined in the fun at just the right time.