2015/16 Season Review: November

By SFC Media time Thu 02 Jun Club

We take a look back at another record-breaking campaign for Southampton by looking at how Ronald Koeman's men fared in the month of November.

Despite prolonging their unbeaten run, it would prove to be a month of two halves for Saints who won two and lost two of their four Premier League matches.

The month started with the return of a local derby as newly promoted AFC Bournemouth were in town for the first time since the two teams met in League 1 during the 2010/11 season.

Sunday 1st November: Southampton 2-0 AFC Bournemouth

Two first half goals were enough for Southampton to see off Eddie Howe’s side, while Saints were also reduced to ten men in the closing stages at St Mary's.

Saints have never lost to the Cherries on home soil, and they were rarely in trouble of seeing that record ended, despite a stronger second 45 minute showing from the visitors.

Steven Davis and Graziano Pellè scored within five minutes of each other leading up to half-time as Saints were in control at the break.

A double substitution at the interval from the Cherries saw an improved performance from Eddie Howe’s men, but they couldn’t take advantage of Victor Wanyama’s 78th minute dismissal for two yellow cards.

Bournemouth applied late pressure, Ritchie struck a rising shot over the bar and Tomlin forced a low save from Stekelenburg, but the Cherries, who had scored in each of their last eight league games, were ultimately denied a way through.

Saturday 7th November: Sunderland 0-1 Southampton

Southampton earned a well-deserved 1-0 victory at Sunderland for their first win at the Stadium of Light since 2003.

The success saw Saints’ unbeaten away start to the season - of two victories and four draws - set a post-war record for the club.

And it stretched the team’s unbeaten run in league and cup competitions going to eight matches.

They dominated proceedings against the Black Cats, but had to wait until midway through the second half for the decisive moment, as Tadić converted from the spot after Ryan Bertrand had been tripped by Yann M'Vila.

Tadić slammed the spot-kick low into the bottom corner to beat the dive of the tall frame of Sunderland ‘keeper Costel Pantilimon.

Sunderland twice went close in the moments after, with Maarten Stekelenburg having to beat away Fabio Borini’s shot at the near post, before Adam Johnson curled a free-kick just over from 25 yards, but it wasn’t enough for the hosts.

Saturday 21st November: Southampton 0-1 Stoke City

Southampton saw their eight-game unbeaten run in all competitions come to an end with a 1-0 defeat to Stoke City at St Mary’s.

A frustrating afternoon all-round for Ronald Koeman’s men saw Saints fail to recover from Stoke’s tenth-minute strike from Bojan.

The Spaniard’s neat flick gave the visitors a priceless advantage which they held on to with a resilient performance, as they repelled Saints time and again in the contest.

Saints felt they had good claims for a penalty when Philipp Wollscheid, who had an earlier tangle with Graziano Pellè, then kicked the striker inside the area as he went up for a header, which brought the Italian to ground, but match official Lee Mason wasn’t interested in the appeals.

The late introduction of Juanmi for Cèdric meant that Saints ended the game with five attacking players on the pitch who threw everything at their opponents, but Stoke who also saw Afellay’s shot cleared from the line by Bertrand, held firm for the win.

Saturday 28th November: Manchester City 3-1 Southampton

Saints, who had conceded just four goals in their six away games before the trip to the Etihad Stadium, were two goals behind inside 20 minutes as Kevin De Bruyne and Fabian Delph found the net.

Shane Long, leading the line in the absence of the suspended Graziano Pellè, handed Saints a lifeline four minutes into the second half, but Aleksandar Kolarov’s powerful strike restored City’s two-goal advantage.

Despite pressure late on through Dušan Tadić and Sadio Mané, City kept Saints at bay to inflict a first defeat away from home this season on Ronald Koeman’s men.