Puel: A great performance

By SFC Media Thu 15 Sep Saints vs Sparta

Southampton manager Claude Puel hailed a "great performance" from his team, as they beat Sparta Praha 3-0 in the first game of their UEFA Europa League campaign.

Saints cruised to victory at St Mary's on the back of a Charlie Austin brace and a late goal from substitute Jay Rodriguez.

The result meant a first victory of the season for Puel's men, and the Saints boss was understandably delighted with his players' efforts.

"I think it was a great performance," Puel told youtube.com/southamptonfc. "We played a very good team, with technical players, but the penalty at the beginning of the game was good for us, and we also had good organisation, then after we could score also another goal."

Having conceded a penalty in each of their last three games, Puel was pleased to see Saints finally get one awarded in their favour, as Sparta defender Costa Nhamoinesu handled in the area from an Austin cross, allowing the striker to convert the opening goal from the spot.

"I am happy to have a penalty for us, because in the first four games of the season to have three penalties against us is very hard for my team and my players," he said.

"Now, one time for us, I take it."

Puel added: "It was important for Charlie. Shane made a very good game also, and all the offensive players. But I think for all the team this result and this performance is very, very important."