Report: Southampton 1-0 Sunderland

By SFC Media Wed 26 Oct Saints vs Sunderland
Wed 26 Oct 7.45PM
EFL Cup
Southampton
1
Sunderland
0
Boufal [66']
Olomola (61')
Khazri (45+2') Jones (64') Ndong (90+4')
Referee: Chris Kavanagh | Venue: St Mary's Stadium | Attendance: 21,460

Sofiane Boufal netted a brilliant goal on his first start in Southampton colours as Saints edged past Sunderland with a 1-0 win in the fourth round of the EFL Cup.

Moroccan Boufal who had made two appearances as a substitute in the past week, was out to make an impression on his home bow, and took to his role as entertainer with some neat footwork throughout the contest.

His shining moment came midway through the second half when he seamlessly plucked a high ball out of the air before going on to curl a superb arching finish into the top corner for a goal worthy of winning any game, let alone this one.

An otherwise largely forgettable contest saw Saints labour their way to victory, though Sunderland to their credit battled on until the end, on a night which was further soured for them when manager David Moyes was sent to the stands for an over-zealous reaction to an unanswered penalty claim.

Puel made sweeping changes from the team that took a point at Manchester City last weekend, which saw five academy graduates start the game, with defender Jack Stephens and winger Lloyd Isgrove included in the starting line-up for the first time this season.

Boufal also made his first start for the team, while Alex McCarthy returned in goal for the hosts who defended the Chapel stand for the opening 45 minutes of action.

There was a good level of intensity from Saints in the first few exchanges, which led to an early tester from Højbjerg, whose low drive was blocked from reaching the target as Papy Djilobodji stuck a leg out to intercept the shot.

The ball remained comfortably in Southampton’s possession, but they lost Rodriguez after 26 minutes as he succumbed to an injury picked up earlier in the contest. That handed academy striker

Olufela Olomola his first senior appearance for the club by coming on as a substitute.

Keen to make an impression, Olomola’s first act of the game saw him ferociously chase down a pass the entire width of the pitch, with Puel quick to bring the youngster’s enthusiasm back under control from the sidelines.

Olufela Olomola made his first senior appearance during the opening 45 minutes.

As Sunderland grew into the contest, the hosts struggled to recapture their earlier rhythm, and both sides were unable to make either shot stopper work as the clock ticked towards half time.

Højbjerg again snapped a shot at goal which flew wide, and Olomola also volleyed over.

Sunderland’s best chance fell to Wahbi Khazri from distance and he fired an effort high over the bar, as the game entered the break goalless.

There were no changes at the interval for either side but Sunderland started the half better than they had begun the opening 45 minutes.

Despite a loose pass out from Alex McCarthy, Black Cats forward Duncan Watmore was unable to capitalise, and the same man would go on to fire a volley over the bar, as clear chances remained hard to come by.

Saints showed signs of life again when Reed brought the ball under control and picked out McQueen on the left who found Boufal inside the area, with the Moroccan forcing a corner following another neat turn.

And the club’s record signing went on to serve up a moment of magic on 66 minutes when he showed terrific skill to bring a lofted pass down onto his right foot, before curling a fine strike into the top corner of the net for the game’s breakthrough goal.



Boufal curls in his fine strike on 66 minutes.

Sunderland almost restored parity immediately when a header at the far post from Paddy McNair somehow stayed out through a combination of some last ditch defending and the woodwork.

The game opened right out and both managers responded, with Sunderland bringing on top scorer Jermain Defoe, while Isgrove made way for Nathan Redmond.

Defoe forced a good save out of McCarthy, while further strong defending denied Anichebe a shot at goal inside the area as play entered the final ten minutes.

Lamine Koné saw an ambitious penalty appeal fall on deaf ears of the match officials, a decision which incensed David Moyes who was later sent to the stands as Sunderland’s late push for a leveller went unrewarded.

The final whistle confirmed Saints’ progress to the quarter-finals of the competition and ensured they reached that stage for a third consecutive season, the last time they did that was from 1988/89 to 1990/91.



Southampton

Head to Head Stats

Sunderland
  • Possession (%)
    57
    43
  • Shots
    6
    10
  • Shots on target
    1
    2
  • Corners
    5
    3
  • Passes Complete
    0
    0

Southampton

13
Alex McCarthy (GK)
38
Sam McQueen
6
José Fonte (C)
3
Maya Yoshida
24
Jack Stephens
18
Harrison Reed
Jordy Clasie (82′)
16
James Ward-Prowse
23
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg
9
Jay Rodriguez
Olufela Olomola (26′)
27
Lloyd Isgrove
Nathan Redmond (72′)
19
Sofiane Boufal
32
Olufela Olomola
41
Harry Lewis
15
Cuco Martina
10
Charlie Austin
22
Nathan Redmond
4
Jordy Clasie
17
Virgil van Dijk

Sunderland

13
Jordan Pickford (GK)
2
Billy Jones
23
Lamine Koné (C)
3
Patrick van Aanholt
5
Papy Djilobodji
17
Didier Ndong
19
Paddy McNair
Steven Pienaar (87′)
8
Jack Rodwell
28
Victor Anichebe
10
Wahbi Khazri
Jermain Defoe (72′)
14
Duncan Watmore
Lynden Gooch (87′)
46
Lynden Gooch
22
Donald Love
16
John O'Shea
20
Steven Pienaar
18
Jermain Defoe
12
Mika
21
Javier Manquillo
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