Three Saints end season in double figures

By SFC Media time Sun 22 May Club

Southampton had three players reach goalscoring double figures for the first time in the top flight for 31 years.

Not since the 1984/85 campaign have three Saints players ended the season in double figures.

The pressure to score the goals for Ronald Koeman’s men was spread this season, as Graziano Pellè, Shane Long and Sadio Mané all achieved the feat in the Premier League.

Pellè and Long were both among the goals from the very first game of the season, as they each scored headers in a 2-2 draw with Newcastle United.

It was the Italian striker who provided the goals during the early stages of the campaign, netting in wins against Norwich City and Chelsea, while grabbing his first double of the season in the 3-2 home defeat to Manchester United.

A goal in the win against AFC Bournemouth moved Pellè on to six for the season, while Mané’s influence in front of goal was proved with strikes in wins against Swansea City and Chelsea, as well as a draw away at Liverpool.

Long’s second arrived in late November, as he headed home in a defeat away to Manchester City. While Saints may have been beaten on that day, it was the start of an excellent run in the side for the Irishman.

Almost a month later he netted a double as Saints thrashed Arsenal 4-0 at St Mary’s, before heading home again in a 2-0 win against Watford in mid-January.

Back-to-back goals in a win against Swansea City and a defeat to Chelsea moved Long onto seven for the campaign, before both Pellè and Mané returned to goalscoring form in stunning fashion.

Pellè’s first goals since the win against the Cherries arrived as Saints won 2-1 at Stoke City, before Mané also netted a double in the brilliant comeback against Liverpool.

The 24 year-old had gone 19 league matches without scoring, but netted two excellent goals shortly after a missing a penalty in the win against the Reds.

Pellè would also find the net in that game, while it was both he and Long who grabbed goals in a 3-1 win against Newcastle United in early April as Saints continued their march.

After Mané’s equaliser against Everton, both he and Long scored in a 4-2 win at Aston Villa, before the Senegal international netted a stunning hat-trick as Saints saw off Manchester City at St Mary’s.

Long’s final goal of the campaign arrived in that win against City to take his tally to ten alongside Pellè and Mané heading into the final game of the season.

Both the Italian and Senegalese would score in the final-day win against Crystal Palace to take them onto 11 for the campaign, as Mané finished the season with an impressive eight goals in eight league games.

It’s the first time in Premier League history in which Saints have had three players all reach goalscoring double figures in a single season, while it has been 31 years since it happened in the top flight.

On that occasion, Joe Jordan, Steve Moran and David Armstrong all achieved the feat during the 1984/85 campaign as Saints finished the season in fifth.

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