Southampton picked up a comfortable victory in their first pre-season friendly, beating DC United Under-23s 2-0.
James Ward-Prowse’s 16th-minute strike looked like it would prove to be the difference, before a late penalty from Jay Rodriguez made the scoreline slightly more convincing.
Claude Puel named two different sides for each half at the RFK Stadium, with the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Ward-Prowse and new signing Nathan Redmond named in the side for the first half.
Southampton’s first opportunity fell the way of summer signing Redmond, but his shot was straight at home goalkeeper Neidermeier, who was able to make a comfortable save.
Neidermeier then produced an excellent save moments later to deny Dušan Tadić, who was being given the opportunity to roam in a free role by Saints boss Puel.
The opening goal did arrive soon after, as Ward-Prowse hammered the ball home on his left foot at the second attempt following a well-worked corner from the right.
Tadić was twice denied by Neidermeier as the half wore on, with Saints unable to extend their lead despite dominating the play in the searing heat.
A completely changed Saints side began on the front foot in the second half, with Olufela Olomola going close just moments after the restart.
The hosts created their first opportunity shortly after, but a volley from substitute Calix drifted narrowly wide of Harry Lewis’s goal.
Rodriguez – captaining Saints in the second half – was then denied by a smart block, before Lewis did well at the other end to deny Nahkid who had found space in the penalty area.
Saints continued to dominate possession and finally got a second goal when Rodriguez converted from the penalty spot following a foul in the area on Sam McQueen.
Puel will have been pleased with what he saw, as Saints worked hard and put into practice the new manager’s methods and ideas for the first time.
DC United Under-23s: Neidermeier, Ledder (Oberg 80), Manley, Ludwig, Dainkeh (Felipe 62), Rozhansky, Albrecht (Jean-Gilles 62), Hayes, Bustamante (Calix 46), Ebobisse, Nahkid (Pines 80).
Unused Substitutes: Palacios (GK), Kahsai, Garcia, Cunningham, Robinson.
Southampton First XI: Paulo Gazzaniga, Cuco Martina, Virgil van Dijk (c), Jordan Turnbull, Matt Targett, Oriol Romeu, Jordy Clasie, James Ward-Prowse, Nathan Redmond, Dušan Tadić, Charlie Austin.
Southampton Second XI: Harry Lewis, Yan Valery, Jack Stephens, Alfie Jones, Sam McQueen, Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (Josh Sims 65), Harrison Reed, Jake Hesketh, Lloyd Isgrove (Sam Gallagher 70), Jay Rodriguez, Olufela Olomola.
Goals: Ward-Prowse (16), Rodriguez (89)
Booked: Jones (72)