The subject of today's countdown is none other than Guly do Prado - the Brazilian who stole the hearts of the Southampton supporters and helped the club win back-to-back promotions...
5. At the double against Exeter
1st January 2011
Guly scored Saints’ first two goals of the new year in a convincing victory over Exeter that sparked a purple patch in front of goal for the enigmatic Brazilian. These were two calmly taken, almost nonchalant finishes, starting with a deflected pass from Adam Lallana that ran kindly into his path. Opening up his body, he stroked the ball just inside the far post for a stylish opener. He rolled in his second shortly after half time, tucking away Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s square pass across goal, and was only denied a hat-trick by a stunning goal-line clearance soon after. This was the start of a spell of five goals in four games for Guly, as Saints ran out 4-0 winners at St Mary’s.
4. Heading home at Coventry
5th November 2011
By the end of 2011, Saints were sitting pretty on top of the Championship, and this was an important goal that helped Nigel Adkins’s side stay at the summit. Having scored twice in five first-half minutes, Saints were pegged back by Coventry at the Ricoh Arena, as the hosts levelled things up with 20 minutes left. Cometh the man, cometh Guly, who rose unopposed on the edge of the six-yard box to head home a peach of a cross from former Sky Blue Danny Fox, before wheeling away in celebration in front of the thousands of travelling Saints fans. Substitute Steve De Ridder wrapped up the points five minutes from time, as Adkins’s men extended their unbeaten run to seven matches.
3. Celebrating promotion in style
7th May 2011
Whilst it was not quite mathematically certain before kick-off, Saints knew their final game of the 2010/11 campaign would be a promotion party against Walsall at St Mary’s. It was Guly who was the first man to arrive, setting Saints on their way to victory with this cool finish in the 26th minute. Put through by David Connolly, the unpredictable forward slowed down the last defender and cut back inside on to his left foot, placing the ball perfectly inside the far post to give Saints lift-off. Connolly added the second three minutes later, before Oxlade-Chamberlain rounded off a day to remember in the second half, as Saints secured their return to the Championship in style.
2. Dancing through Bristol Rovers
16th April 2011
Inside the last 10 minutes at St Mary’s, Saints were in need of some inspiration against a stubborn visiting Bristol Rovers team. Adkins’s promotion chasers had fallen to defeat at Rochdale last time out and could ill afford another setback, so Guly took matters into his own hands when receiving the ball 25 yards from goal from Rickie Lambert, faced by a sea of yellow and black shirts. Taking the pass neatly in his stride, he escaped the first man and side-stepped the second, creating space to blast an unerring shot across the goalkeeper and into the bottom corner to spark a tidal wave of relief. It was the first of six straight wins to end the season for Saints, who were heading to the Championship.
1. Brazilian magic knocks out Blackpool
8th January 2011
This was League One vs Premier League in the FA Cup third round, but Saints fancied their chances of an upset against top-flight Blackpool. The 2-0 win that followed was richly deserved, earning the club a home tie against Manchester United in round four. Lee Barnard made the breakthrough eight minutes into the second half to finally breach the Seasiders, who were being outplayed at St Mary’s. The game remained in the balance until the closing stages, when Guly’s sprinkling of Brazilian magic finally booked Saints’ place in the hat beyond any doubt. Again it was Lambert who provided the assist, before Guly spun away from his marker with a clever turn, set his sights and buried a shot into the top corner from 25 yards in effortless, languid, quintessentially Guly fashion.