Puel relieved to have got through

By SFC Media Wed 18 Jan Saints vs Norwich
Photo by Naomi Baker | Claude Puel

Claude Puel felt Southampton warranted their Emirates FA Cup win over Norwich City after their second-half performance.

Saints had to wait until added time for the all-important breakthrough in the third-round replay with the Canaries, as Shane Long managed to force the ball home from close range to give the hosts a 1-0 win and set up a home clash with Arsenal.

Puel was relieved to have avoided extra-time, and believed it was, in the end, a deserved result for his team.

"It's an important result," he said. "It was important to win this game. It was a difficult game.

"Our first half did not have a good enough rhythm, and it was important in the second half to control the game and the ball.

"Of course, we should have scored before we did, but we prevented extra-time and this is important for the recovery of the players.

"All the players kept a good attitude, with good concentration. We gave no chances to the opponent during the whole 90 minutes, and in the second half we had many opportunities.

"We were perhaps unlucky, or not clinical enough, but the most important thing was to qualify and now we have an important game against Arsenal in this competition."

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