Report: Crystal Palace 0-1 Saints

By SFC Media time Sat 16 Sep Crystal Palace v Saints
Photo by Matt Watson | Steven Davis
Sat 16 Sep 12.30PM
Premier League
Crystal Palace
0
Southampton
1
goal
Davis [6']
Cabaye (33') Puncheon (50') Ward (56') McArthur (67') Dann (82')
yellow card
Long (77')
Referee: Robert Madley | Venue: Selhurst Park | Attendance: 24,199

Steven Davis marked his 200th Southampton appearance with the only goal of the game as Saints heaped more misery on Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

The hosts, hoping for a reaction under new manager Roy Hodgson, suffered the worst possible start as Davis slotted home after just six minutes.

Saints were comfortable for the most part, but also indebted to the heroics of Fraser Forster, who made point-blank saves in each half from Christian Benteke and Jason Puncheon to preserve a third clean sheet in five Premier League outings this season.

Mauricio Pellegrino made four changes to his side following a first Premier League defeat of the season last time out, inflicted by Watford at St Mary’s.

Maya Yoshida, Mario Lemina, Dušan Tadić and Shane Long – making his first start of the season – all came into the team.

Jack Stephens, James Ward-Prowse, Sofiane Boufal and Manolo Gabbiadini all dropped to the bench alongside Virgil van Dijk, who was named in a Saints squad for the first time in eight months.

The game was meant to signal a clean start for the hosts, who inherited the unwanted record of becoming the first team ever to lose their first four matches of a Premier League season without scoring a goal.

But instead things went from bad to worse for Palace when Saints struck first inside six minutes.

It was Davis who started the move, finding Tadić on the right corner of the penalty area.

When the Serb drove to the byeline and crossed towards Long at the near post, goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey could only parry the ball straight to the skipper, who calmly threaded his left-footed shot through the eye of a needle to find the bottom corner.

When Lemina saw a shot blocked and Long headed well wide from another Tadić cross, Palace’s brittle confidence levels were plain to see, but Hodgson’s men should have drawn level on 16 minutes.

In similar fashion to the goal, Ruben Loftus-Cheek raided down the right and crossed low towards a team-mate, only to see Benteke denied by a point-blank save from Forster.

Saints were comfortable in possession and controlling the game, but the same pair caused more problems when Loftus-Cheek latched on to a Benteke lay-off and drilled a low shot narrowly wide from 25 yards.

Then the Chelsea loanee waltzed through the Saints defence and into a shooting position, only for Ryan Bertrand to keep him at bay with a crucial block.

Lemina’s presence in the midfield was making a big difference to Pellegrino’s side, but it was the unlikely combination of Tadić and Wesley Hoedt causing a headache for Hodgson.

The Dutchman played a handful of arrowing diagonal passes out to the right wing, where Tadić was often in space and consistently had the beating of Jeffrey Schlupp.

In a lively end to the first half, Tadić saw a shot blocked following a slick move, while Nathan Redmond sent Hennessey sprawling down to his right before Andros Townsend lashed wide from a Benteke flick on.

Hodgson would have demanded a response and must have been encouraged by the way his players started the second period.

The dangerous Loftus-Cheek sent a low ball across the six-yard line that somehow went unconverted, before a similar cross from Schlupp was met by former Southampton winger Puncheon for what looked a certain goal until Forster intervened.

But it was more of a passing shower than a storm, and Saints soon regained a foothold despite the precarious scoreline.

Palace were awarded a couple of cheap free kicks in the closing stages, allowing them to flood the box, but the introduction of van Dijk helped shore things up and Saints stood firm to secure a first away win of the season.

Crystal Palace

Head to Head Stats

Southampton
  • Possession (%)
    46
    comparison angle
    54
  • Shots
    14
    comparison angle
    13
  • Shots on target
    3
    comparison angle
    4
  • Corners
    5
    comparison angle
    5
  • Passes Complete
    311
    comparison angle
    404

Crystal Palace

13
Wayne Hennessey (GK)
15
Jeffrey Schlupp
24
Timothy Fosu-Mensah
6
Scott Dann yellow card
2
Joel Ward yellow card
10
Andros Townsend
42
Jason Puncheon (C) yellow card
7
Yohan Cabaye yellow card
18
James McArthur yellow card
replace Luka Milivojevic (69′)
8
Ruben Loftus-Cheek
replace Bakary Sako (78′)
17
Christian Benteke
5
James Tomkins
26
Bakary Sako
4
Luka Milivojevic
3
Patrick van Aanholt
1
Julian Speroni
14
Lee Chung-yong
34
Martin Kelly

Southampton

44
Fraser Forster (GK)
2
Cédric Soares
3
Maya Yoshida
6
Wesley Hoedt
21
Ryan Bertrand
11
Dusan Tadic
replace Virgil van Dijk (87′)
14
Oriol Romeu
22
Nathan Redmond
replace James Ward-Prowse (85′)
18
Mario Lemina
8
Steven Davis (C) goal
7
Shane Long yellow card
replace Manolo Gabbiadini (92′)
20
Manolo Gabbiadini
5
Jack Stephens
17
Virgil van Dijk
16
James Ward-Prowse
19
Sofiane Boufal
33
Matt Targett
13
Alex McCarthy
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