As New Year fast approaches, get set for the final week of 2019 with the latest news from St Mary's and Staplewood in our Monday Briefing...
Festive form impresses
Danny Ings continued his rich vein of form to take his tally to 14 goals for the season with a second-half equaliser that earned Southampton a valuable point against Crystal Palace at St Mary’s on Saturday afternoon.
Back on home soil after successive away wins at Aston Villa and Chelsea over Christmas, Saints took time to warm to their task, and Palace thought they had taken a 15th-minute lead through Max Meyer, only for VAR to intervene and disallow the goal for offside.
Instead the visitors made the breakthrough five minutes into the second half through a towering header from defender James Tomkins, but when Martin Kelly gifted the ball to Ings 16 minutes from time, Saints’ red-hot marksman made no mistake.
Ings continues hot streak
Danny Ings has scored 12 goals in his 20 Premier League appearances this season, his best haul in a top-flight campaign.
He's also netted 50% of Saints' Premier League goal tally this season, the highest proportion of any player in the division this season.
Double game week
Ralph Hasenhüttl says he is encouraged by the progress his team have been making in recent weeks, ahead of another two game week - as Saints prepare to host Tottenham and Huddersfield (FA Cup).
Saints picked up their seventh point in a week in Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Palace, following consecutive away victories at Villa and Chelsea over Christmas.
It means Hasenhüttl’s men have picked up 13 points from their last seven matches – more than half of their tally for the season – propelling them four points clear of the Premier League drop zone.
Franny Benali appointed MBE
Southampton legend Franny Benali has been made an MBE for services to cancer patients.
An official Club Ambassador for Saints, the former left-back earned iconic status during a memorable 15-year career with the first-team, making 389 appearances, but his achievements extend well beyond the football pitch.
The 50-year-old broke his £1m fundraising target for Cancer Research UK earlier this year, after completing the last of three ultra-endurance challenges in aid of the charity.
Now Southampton-born Benali’s heroics have been recognised in the 2020 New Year Honours list.
Saints Stores and the Ticket Office will operate limited opening hours over the next week - including for our home game against Spurs.
Fans purchasing tickets for games at St Mary's can choose to print tickets at home, or collect from the Ticket Office at St Mary's, while Official Members can upload tickets to their member cards.
More information can be found here.