Saints see off Feyenoord

By SFC Media Sun 28 Jul Feyenoord v Saints
Photo by Matt Watson
Sun 28 Jul 1.30PM
Friendlies
Feyenoord
1
Southampton
3
Kökcü [23']
Adams [6'] Yoshida [34'] Boufal [90']
Referee: Serdar Gözübüyük | Venue: De Kuip | Attendance: 0

Southampton’s pre-season hot streak extended to four wins from four games played on Sunday afternoon, with a 3-1 victory over top-flight Dutch side Feyenoord.

Che Adam’s opener laid the foundations for a deserved victory at De Kuip, before Maya Yoshida and Sofiane Boufal added strikes of their own – equalling the three-goal tally Saints registered against the Eredivisie outfit back in 2015.

There was a slice of luck about Saints’ opening goal, but nevertheless, Ralph Hasenhüttl will be pleased with another bright performance, not to mention another positive result; adding to friendly wins over Brentford, Preston North End and Guangzhou R&F - as well as a hard-fought draw with SCR Altach.

Only FC Köln remain during Saints’ pre-season fixture schedule, which takes place at St Mary’s in six days’ time, before the 2019/20 Premier League season officially commences against Burnley on August 10th.

Manager Hasenhüttl began with a tried and tested back three, following the same formation as against Preston a fortnight ago, but with a considerable change in personnel.

Yoshida, having joined pre-season camp in Dublin late from Macau, started alongside Jannik Vestergaard - the only player to play 90 minutes - and Jan Bednarek, who kept his starting berth from the Preston victory.

Angus Gunn, Ryan Bertrand, Pierre-Emile Højbjerg and Danny Ings were the only other players to retain their place from Saints' previous outing.

Plenty of hassling and harrying took place in the opening exchanges, primarily by Hasenhüttl's men. Customarily so, the press was high and quick, in an attempt to unnerve the hosts.

Unfortunately, referee Serdar Gözübüyük didn’t take too kindly to the visitors’ early enthusiasm and stopped play numerous times, disrupting their rhythm.

But it was clear Saints were keen to get on the front foot, and in the sixth minute, the opportunity to do just that presented itself rather fortuitously to striker Adams.

He charged down Sven van Beek, who hesitated on the ball inside the area, and allowed Adams to divert it goalwards, with goalkeeper Kenneth Vermeer stranded. The perfect start for Saints as the net rippled; yet another goal and subsequent confidence boost for the club's latest signing. 

For the third time during pre-season, the forward had found the net before the clock had even hit 10 minutes.

Saints celebrate Che Adams' third pre-season goal for Saints at De Kuip

But for all Saints’ endeavour and energy in the final third, a brief lack of concentration at the back nearly cost them in the 15th minute. Steven Berghuis had escaped down the left, pulling the ball back centrally towards Dylan Vente, whose first time effort was turned marginally wide.

Early substitute Luis Sinisterra had a further chance not long after, which Gunn was more than equal to, diving low to his left and pushing to safety.

Things were beginning to liven up.

Nathan Redmond was next on the uptake, cutting inside from wide left and firing low at Vermeer. The keeper repelled the ball with his legs, rather perilously, but with enough pace to evade any lurking yellow and grey shirts.

The game was becoming stretched, with both sides intent on pushing forward, and 23 minutes in, Japp Stam’s side had unlocked Saints at the back.

A smart move was rounded off by Orkun Kökcü, restoring parity, before Berghuis was denied another by Gunn moments later, resulting, bizarrely, in a goal-kick. Saints’ stopper might have felt slightly aggrieved that his fingertip save went unnoticed, but pleased that the pressure had been relieved, nevertheless.

Angus Gunn gets down well to deny Steven Berghuis<br> 

Both sides continued to threaten, and it was clear that goals were forthcoming. Indeed, it was the visitors who clawed themselves ahead for the second time 10 minutes before the break, with Yoshida benefitting from the Dutch side's somewhat relaxed approach to defensive duties.

James Ward-Prowse’s free-kick was spurned effectively enough, but the rebound dropped kindly to Yoshida, who was quickest to react and stab the ball home, replicating his scoring feats from 2015’s friendly – which Saints won 3-0.

Only defender Vestergaard remained after the interval, with every other position changed at the break.

Still, Saints’ forward thinking mentality persisted. Shane Long and Michael Obafemi came into attack, with the latter keen to get off the mark in pre-season.

An unchanged Feyenoord weren’t without their own threat, though, as Vente forced a respectable save from Alex McCarthy in the 54th minute. Berghuis, who had been lively throughout, again tested the substitute keeper before the hour mark, but the save was comfortable.

The quality had dipped vaguely from the first period, for both sides, until the 70th minute, where a some encouragement from the De Kuip crowd prompted a little exhibition play from midfielder Wouter Burger.

Wesley Hoedt during the second period at De Kuip

He was thwarted in the box by Wesley Hoedt, but it did serve to increase the noise levels inside the stadium, which had been fairly muted since half-time. 

The game sprung into life once more with ten minutes remaining, particularly so for young forward Obafemi, who was presented with an opportunity by Long.

Jake Vokins had released the Irishman on the counter down the left, who squared the ball to his national compatriot on the move. Obafemi swivelled, under pressure from Eric Botteghin, who managed to steal the ball before the teenager could get his shot off.

Another Berghuis free-kick went close moments later, before a further effort from the midfielder crashed off the head of Vestergaard and out for a corner. Burger took a stab at the resulting set-play, but again the effort was rushed and off target.

Saints were holding the 15-times Dutch champions, and there was still time for a final moment of glory at the opposite end as Vokins teed up Boufal. The winger, full of composure, rounded off the scoring with, perhaps, Saints' best move of the game, providing the perfect end to another successful leg of pre-season.

Feyenoord

1
Kenneth Wermeer (GK)
3
Sven Van Beek
Jan-Arie Van der Heijden (41′)
4
Jeremiah St. Juste
5
Ridgeciano Haps
10
Steven Berghuis
11
Sam Larsson
Luis Sinisterra (8′)
19
Leroy Fer
Liam Kelly (65′)
23
Orkun Kökcü
Luciano Narsingh (74′)
33
Eric Botteghin (C)
34
Dylan Vente
Naoufal Bannis (71′)
35
Wouter Burger
6
Jan-Arie Van der Heijden
7
Luciano Narsingh
8
Liam Kelly
15
Tyrell Malacia
17
Luis Sinisterra
21
Nick Marsman
26
Jordy Wehrmann
31
Elber Evora
36
Emil Hansson
38
Lutsharel Geertruida
45
Naoufal Bannis

Southampton

28
Angus Gunn (GK)
Alex McCarthy (45′)
3
Maya Yoshida
Wesley Hoedt (45′)
4
Jannik Vestergaard
9
Danny Ings
Michael Obafemi (45′)
10
Che Adams
Shane Long (45′)
12
Yan Valery
Cédric (45′)
15
Jan Bednarek
Will Smallbone (45′)
16
James Ward-Prowse
Stuart Armstrong (45′)
21
Ryan Bertrand
Jake Vokins (45′)
22
Nathan Redmond
Sofiane Boufal (45′)
23
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (C)
Harrison Reed (45′)
1
Alex McCarthy
2
Cédric
6
Wesley Hoedt
7
Shane Long
17
Stuart Armstrong
18
Harrison Reed
19
Sofiane Boufal
20
Michael Obafemi
27
Josh Sims
30
Jake Vokins
44
Fraser Forster
24
Will Smallbone
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