Saints hit four to sink Everton

By SFC Media Sun 26 Nov Saints v Everton
Photo by Matt Watson | Charlie Austin
Sun 26 Nov 1.30PM
Premier League
Southampton
4
Everton
1
Tadic [18'] Austin [52' 58'] Davis [87']
Sigurdsson [45']
Referee: Kevin Friend | Venue: St Mary's Stadium | Attendance: 30,461

Saints sailed back into the top half of the Premier League as Charlie Austin scored twice in six second-half minutes to heap more misery on Everton at St Mary’s.

There was more intent about the hosts right from the first whistle, and Dušan Tadić deservedly opened the scoring with a composed finish after 14 minutes.

Everton struggled to threaten throughout, but did draw level in the dying seconds of the first half when Gylfi Sigurdsson beat Fraser Forster with a stunning shot from distance.

Unfazed by the setback, Saints responded with two quick-fire headers from Austin – virtual carbon copies as he dispatched crosses from the left by Ryan Bertrand and Tadić.

Skipper Steven Davis added the icing on the cake with a well-placed shot from the edge of the box that arrowed into the far corner two minutes from time.

Mauricio Pellegrino made three changes to his side following the defeat at Liverpool last time out, as James Ward-Prowse, Pierre-Emile Højbjerg and Austin all earned recalls.

Nathan Redmond and Manolo Gabbiadini dropped to the bench, while Oriol Romeu was suspended having picked up a fifth yellow card of the season at Anfield.

Straightaway Everton struggled to deal with Ward-Prowse’s devilish delivery, as one free kick caused a nervy moment for Phil Jagielka before Austin blazed over from Virgil van Dijk’s knockdown at a corner.

The visitors attacked for the first time in the tenth minute, as Aaron Lennon combined with Dominic Calvert-Lewin to set up Kevin Mirallas, who steered his shot wide from 20 yards.

But Saints were certainly on top and were soon within inches of taking the lead.

Cédric showed excellent persistence to chase a ball down to the byeline and send Sigurdsson off the pitch with a hard but fair old-fashioned shoulder barge.

When he lifted his head to cross, the defender picked out Austin who this time struck the foot of the post from six yards.

Pellegrino’s men were getting closer and made a deserved breakthrough courtesy of a fine team goal after 18 minutes.

Bertrand started the move, hitting the feet of Austin from the left-back position, and continued his run before receiving the ball again from Højbjerg.

Now deep into visiting territory, the England man had the vision to pick out Tadić, who went eye to eye with Jordan Pickford and outwitted the keeper with a swift first touch and finish, all in one movement.

Not much is going right for Everton at the moment, thrashed 5-1 by Atalanta in the Europa League on Thursday night, and things went from bad to worse for stand-in manager David Unsworth when Leighton Baines hobbled off injured before the half-hour mark.

As for Saints, the confidence was flowing. Sofiane Boufal’s wicked cross just eluded Ward-Prowse, before a slick move earned a corner from which van Dijk nodded narrowly wide.

Everton simply were not in the game and looked bereft of confidence, yet still contrived to go in at half-time on level terms thanks to a moment of magic completely out of the blue.

Sigurdsson picked up possession and opted to try his luck with a curling shot that dipped over Forster, and eventually nestled in the back of the net via a combination of crossbar and post.

It was certainly a setback, but if the game was to follow a similar pattern after the interval, Saints would be right to feel confident.

And so it proved – there was no hangover when the players reappeared 15 minutes later, as Saints got straight back on the front foot.

It would take just seven minutes for the hosts to retake the lead, with Bertrand again influential.

This time he collected the ball from Boufal and crossed from the byeline for Austin, who headed in at the near post with the help of the same crossbar that smiled favourably on Sigurdsson.

Before the hour it was 3-1, by which time Unsworth must have been tearing his hair out as Austin was left all on his own in virtually the same spot.

This time it was Tadić with the perfect supply, whipping an almost identical cross that Austin met with more of a glancing touch that nestled just inside the far post to leave Pickford helpless.

The home fans were delighted to see Mario Lemina return to action as a second-half substitute for his first appearance in five weeks, as Tadić and later Austin – replaced by Shane Long – departed to standing ovations.

Everton’s attempts to set up a tense finale proved fruitless, as Forster smothered another Sigurdsson shot, before the ex-Swansea man showed his frustration with an uncharacteristically wild effort that flew high over the bar.

Long was only denied his first goal of the season by an impressive Pickford save, getting fingertips to a curling shot that was destined for the bottom corner.

But still Saints were not finished, as Ward-Prowse picked out Davis on the edge of the box, who rounded off a superb afternoon’s work with perhaps the pick of the goals – an angled 20-yard drive across Pickford that left the keeper clutching at thin air.report

Dušan Tadić's calm finish gave Saints the lead after 18 minutes

Pellegrino’s men were getting closer and made a deserved breakthrough courtesy of a fine team goal after 18 minutes.

Bertrand started the move, hitting the feet of Austin from the left-back position, and continued his run before receiving the ball again from Højbjerg.

Now deep into visiting territory, the England man had the vision to pick out Tadić, who went eye to eye with Jordan Pickford and outwitted the keeper with a swift first touch and finish, all in one movement.

Not much is going right for Everton at the moment, thrashed 5-1 by Atalanta in the Europa League on Thursday night, and things went from bad to worse for stand-in manager David Unsworth when Leighton Baines hobbled off injured before the half-hour mark.

As for Saints, the confidence was flowing. Sofiane Boufal’s wicked cross just eluded Ward-Prowse, before a slick move earned a corner from which van Dijk nodded narrowly wide.

Everton simply were not in the game and looked bereft of confidence, yet still contrived to go in at half-time on level terms thanks to a moment of magic completely out of the blue.

Sigurdsson picked up possession and opted to try his luck with a curling shot that dipped over Forster, and eventually nestled in the back of the net via a combination of crossbar and post.

It was certainly a setback, but if the game was to follow a similar pattern after the interval, Saints would be right to feel confident.

And so it proved – there was no hangover when the players reappeared 15 minutes later, as Saints got straight back on the front foot.

It would take just seven minutes for the hosts to retake the lead, with Bertrand again influential.

Charlie Austin headed the first of his brace from another Bertrand assist 

This time he collected the ball from Boufal and crossed from the byeline for Austin, who headed in at the near post with the help of the same crossbar that smiled favourably on Sigurdsson.

Before the hour it was 3-1, by which time Unsworth must have been tearing his hair out as Austin was left all on his own in virtually the same spot.

This time it was Tadić with the perfect supply, whipping an almost identical cross that Austin met with more of a glancing touch that nestled just inside the far post to leave Pickford helpless.

The home fans were delighted to see Mario Lemina return to action as a second-half substitute for his first appearance in five weeks, as Tadić and later Austin – replaced by Shane Long – departed to standing ovations.

Everton’s attempts to set up a tense finale proved fruitless, as Forster smothered another Sigurdsson shot, before the ex-Swansea man showed his frustration with an uncharacteristically wild effort that flew high over the bar.

Long was only denied his first goal of the season by an impressive Pickford save, getting fingertips to a curling shot that was destined for the bottom corner.

But still Saints were not finished, as Ward-Prowse picked out Davis on the edge of the box, who rounded off a superb afternoon’s work with perhaps the pick of the goals – an angled 20-yard drive across Pickford that left the keeper clutching at thin air.

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Southampton

Head to Head Stats

Everton
  • Possession (%)
    67
    33
  • Shots
    17
    5
  • Shots on target
    5
    2
  • Corners
    7
    2
  • Passes Complete
    564
    232

Southampton

44
Fraser Forster (GK)
17
Virgil van Dijk
6
Wesley Hoedt
21
Ryan Bertrand
2
Cédric Soares
11
Dusan Tadic
Mario Lemina (78′)
16
James Ward-Prowse
19
Sofiane Boufal
Maya Yoshida (86′)
23
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg
8
Steven Davis (C)
10
Charlie Austin
Shane Long (80′)
3
Maya Yoshida
22
Nathan Redmond
18
Mario Lemina
38
Sam McQueen
7
Shane Long
13
Alex McCarthy
20
Manolo Gabbiadini

Everton

1
Jordan Pickford (GK)
4
Michael Keane
Nikola Vlasic (75′)
43
Jonjoe Kenny
6
Phil Jagielka (C)
3
Leighton Baines
Ashley Williams (27′)
18
Gylfi Sigurdsson
17
Idrissa Gueye
12
Aaron Lennon
2
Morgan Schneiderlin
29
Dominic Calvert-Lewin
11
Kevin Mirallas
Ademola Lookman (64′)
33
Joel Robles
9
Sandro Ramírez
27
Nikola Vlasic
54
Beni Baningime
31
Ademola Lookman
10
Wayne Rooney
5
Ashley Williams
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