Saints edge past Jiangsu Suning

By SFC Media time Wed 11 Jul Jiangsu Suning v Saints
Photo by Matt Watson
Wed 11 Jul 1.05PM
Club Super Cup
Jiangsu Suning
2
Southampton
3
Lingfeng [29'] Boakye [34']
goal
Gabbiadini [26'] Redmond [43'] Gallagher [77']
Venue: Xuzhou Olympic Sports Centre Stadium | Attendance: 0

Saints continued their productive start to pre-season with victory over Chinese Super League side Jiangsu Suning, in another lively, entertaining affair in China.

Manager Mark Hughes retained the majority of the starting XI that began the 3-3 encounter with Schalke 04 a week ago, but for the introduction of James Ward-Prowse and Manolo Gabbiadini, in place of Shane Long and Charlie Austin.

Again, the conditions were stifling, with the humidity baring down inside the Xuzhou Olympic Sports Centre Stadium. Yet Saints began energetically, much as they did against the Germans in their first outing, considerably the better side, and looking dangerous in attack.

The brightest of which, Nathan Redmond – who rounded off a lively first-half display with a well-taken goal – was getting forward well, providing creative spark on the ball, and also dropping deep to link play in midfield.

Stuart Armstrong continued his encouraging start under Hughes with the assist for Gabbiadini's opener, while Sam Gallagher also got his campaign up and running with the game's winner late in the second half.

Such was Saints' early intent, the first meaningful chance fell their way in the ninth minute, as Matt Targett's high press forced the ball into the path of Redmond, where the winger turned, created a yard of space inside the Suning box, before miscuing the finish, rather off balance.

Redmond was again on the assault in the 16th minute, using a good turn of pace and quick feet to sidestep Yang Boyu, before firing marginally off target, but providing more positive impetus. And the opener arrived shortly after.

Twenty minutes had elapsed before Saints had edged themselves in front, carving open the Suning defence for the game's first goal. Armstrong picked up the ball in a wide area and glided across the bobbly surface before sweeping an inviting cross towards the head of Gabbiadini, who nodded past Li Haito and into the far corner with ease.

Moments later, the hosts were themselves on the scoresheet. Zhang Lingfeng provided the quickfire response in the 28th minute, finishing coolly below Alex McCarthy, after latching onto a smart through ball from Gao Tianyi.

The Chinese enjoyed a spell of pressure towards the backend of the first half, and indeed capitalised, as Richmond Boakye put Suning ahead six minutes after their leveller.

A dead ball was floated towards the back post, where Boyu kept it alive, and Jack Stephens could only head as far as Boakye, who snuck the ball inside the near post to round off the first-half action.

XUZHOU, CHINA - JULY 11: Stuart Armstrong of Southampton during the 2018 Club Super Cup pre-season match between Southampton FC and Jiangsu suning FC, on July 11, 2018 in Xuzhou, China. (Photo by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images)
Stuart Armstrong against Jiangsu Suning, in a pre-season friendly in China

James Ward-Prowse crashed a free-kick off the crossbar in the opening exchanges of the second period, while Mario Lemina was denied by substitute keeper Jiang Hao after pinching the ball on the edge of the Suning area.

Entering the fray at the interval, Fraser Forster was forced into action in the 55th minute, as an ill-timed slip from Hoedt had allowed Boakye a chance to regain the lead. Forster stood tall however, and saved with an outstretched boot.

The second half excitement didn't quite match the first, as energy levels dipped in the heat, but Gallagher's goal 13 minutes from time capped another valuable run-out for Hughes's men.

The 22-year-old played a one-two with Steven Davis, before opening his body and side-footing into the far corner of the net from a tight angle. A forward's finish, it was Gallagher's first Saints strike since returning from a successful loan spell at Birmingham City last season.

Jiangsu Suning

23
Li Haito (GK)
replace Jiang Hao (45′)
2
Li Ang (C)
5
Zhou Yun
6
Yang Boyu
11
Xie Pengfei
12
Zhang Xiaobin
16
Gao Tianyi
18
Zhang Lingfeng goal
24
Ji Xiang
33
Wang Song
38
Richmond Boakye goal
3
Tian Nongnong
10
Alex Teixeira
14
Nan Xiaoheng
15
Gao Dalun
20
Abuduhaimiti
21
Cao Haiqing
22
Wu Xi
27
Yang Jiawei
28
Yang Xiaotian
29
Gabriel Paletta
37
Liang Jinhu
44
Huang Jiangjun
54
Xie Xiaofan
61
Jiang Hao

Southampton

1
Alex McCarthy (GK)
replace Fraser Forster (45′)
5
Jack Stephens
6
Wesley Hoedt
14
Oriol Romeu
replace Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (45′)
16
James Ward-Prowse
replace Steven Davis (63′)
17
Stuart Armstrong
replace Sam Gallagher (63′) goal
18
Mario Lemina
replace Jordy Clasie (63′)
20
Manolo Gabbiadini goal
replace Charlie Austin (45′)
21
Ryan Bertrand (C)
replace Harrison Reed (63′)
22
Nathan Redmond goal
replace Josh Sims (63′)
33
Matt Targett
replace Sam McQueen (45′)
4
Jordy Clasie
8
Steven Davis
10
Charlie Austin
23
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg
25
Harrison Reed
27
Sam Gallagher
32
Alfie Jones
34
Jake Flannigan
38
Sam McQueen
39
Josh Sims
43
Yan Valery
44
Fraser Forster
55
Callum Slattery
57
Jake Vokins
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