Saints storm back to beat Palace

By SFC Media Wed 05 Apr Saints vs Palace
Photo by Matt Watson | James Ward-Prowse
Wed 05 Apr 7.45PM
Premier League
Southampton
3
Crystal Palace
1
Redmond [45'] Yoshida [83'] Ward-Prowse [85']
Benteke [31']
Romeu (71') Soares (79')
Benteke (88')
Referee: Roger East | Venue: St Mary's Stadium | Attendance: 29,968

Southampton produced a display that was at times exhilarating, as they came from behind to beat in-form Crystal Palace 3-1, at St Mary's.

Saints overcame Christian Benteke's opener, as Nathan Redmond equalised before the break, before Maya Yoshida and James Ward-Prowse both struck late on to seal a thoroughly-deserved victory.

It looked for a long time as if the hosts would be frustrated, as they could not turn their dominance into a decisive goal, but they produced a stirring end to the night to march back into the top half of the Premier League.

Claude Puel made two changes from the side that drew 0-0 with Bournemouth at the weekend, as Sam McQueen and Shane Long came in, with Jay Rodriguez moving back to the bench and Ryan Bertrand dropping out of the squad.

Saints might have finished with their backs against the wall last Saturday against the Cherries, but they were on the front foot right from the off on this occasion.

They were inches from taking the lead inside the first minute, when Redmond released Long down the inside-left channel, and he sent a low shot across goal that flashed agonisingly wide of the post.

Shane Long fires just wide in the first minute

Saints were getting into good positions down the flanks on a regular basis, with Palace twice having to scramble clear, as Cédric and then Dušan Tadić sent in dangerous low deliveries after finding space.

An excellent opportunity then presented itself to Long in the tenth minute, as Cédric put in a stunning tackle at right-back, which allowed Ward-Prowse to whip a glorious ball in behind from the halfway line.

Mamadou Sakho stretched to meet it, but only sent it into the striker’s path, but he miscued his right-footed shot across goal.

Palace didn’t necessarily look like a side who had won their last four, but they issued a timely reminder of their undoubted threat moments later, as Luka Milivojević curled a free-kick from just outside the area around the wall and off the base of the post.

Undeterred, though, Saints went back up the other end, with Redmond forcing Eagles keeper Wayne Hennessey to tip his header round the post after rising to meet Cédric’s cross in the 21st minute.

Still, Palace remained menacing on the counter, and only a superb Oriol Romeu block denied Wilfried Zaha from firing them ahead in the 27th minute, as he deflected his strike from just inside the area over the bar.

There was no denying the visitors four minutes later, however, as Zaha danced past a few challenges and slipped the ball to Puncheon 20 yards out. He slid Andros Townsend in down the right and his square ball was turned in by Benteke to put Palace 1-0 up.

Saints felt they should have had the opportunity to level matters five minutes from the interval, when Tadić attempted to flick the ball past Jeffrey Schlupp, only for the defender to knock the ball clear with his arm from just inside the area. While the home side appealed determinedly, referee Roger East waved the shouts away.

Two minutes later, he turned down another appeal, as Long was knocked down under a Milivojević challenge. Again, East was unmoved.

Nathan Redmond equalises for Saints

However, Saints didn’t have to wait long for the equaliser as Steven Davis whipped in a cross in the final minute of the half, with the ball falling to Redmond at the back post, and he chested down and fired low into the far corner to send the teams in level at half-time.

This time, it was Palace who were aggrieved with the officials, as they felt Davis had fouled Zaha out on the right to win the ball before delivering the ball into the area, but the goal stood.

Saints were a whisker away from a second within five minutes of the restart, as Redmond got to the byline and cut the ball back to Ward-Prowse, who was denied by a brilliant Sakho block, with Cédric then fizzing a left-footed strike inches wide from the rebound.

Puel’s men then went close again shortly after, as Tadić’s beautifully-weighted pass slipped in Long, who lifted the ball over Hennessey, but also over the bar.

Despite Saints’ dominance, there was always a concern Palace could punish them if they didn’t translate it into a goal, and they so nearly did just that when Martin Kelly spun and lashed a shot against the post from a Benteke knock-down on 65 minutes.

Seconds later, Saints themselves had a golden opportunity to edge in front, as Tadić again played in Long, but Hennessey denied him one-on-one.

The home side was pushing and pushing, with Hennessey denying both Romeu and then Yoshida as the game ticked into the final 15 minutes.

Saints looked almost certain to go in front with ten minutes left when Tadić got to the byline and picked out Davis, but his low strike was somehow blocked inside the six-yard box by Sakho, before Damien Delaney flung himself in the way of the rebound and diverted it wide.

By this point, there was a feeling that the goal would never come, but Saints eventually got what they deserved when Redmond burst to the byline and cut the ball back to Jack Stephens. He couldn't direct his shot in target, but the ball squirmed across the face of goal and right into the path of Yoshida, who slammed home to make it 2-1.

Any hopes of a nervous conclusion were immediately dispelled, as Puel's side made it 3-1 moments later. This time, Cédric was played in down the right and he picked out Ward-Prowse to slam home the third from close range and cap a fantastic night at St Mary's.

Southampton

Head to Head Stats

Crystal Palace
  • Possession (%)
    61
    39
  • Shots
    25
    17
  • Shots on target
    9
    3
  • Corners
    11
    11
  • Passes Complete
    325
    167

Southampton

1
Fraser Forster (GK)
3
Maya Yoshida
24
Jack Stephens
38
Sam McQueen
2
Cédric Soares
11
Dusan Tadic
14
Oriol Romeu
22
Nathan Redmond
Jay Rodriguez (90′)
16
James Ward-Prowse
8
Steven Davis (C)
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (87′)
7
Shane Long
4
Jordy Clasie
40
Mouez Hassen
23
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg
39
Josh Sims
26
Jérémy Pied
12
Martín Cáceres
9
Jay Rodriguez

Crystal Palace

13
Wayne Hennessey (GK)
12
Mamadou Sakho
34
Martin Kelly
31
Jeffrey Schlupp
Damien Delaney (58′)
2
Joel Ward
11
Wilfried Zaha
10
Andros Townsend
42
Jason Puncheon (C)
28
Luka Milivojevic
Mathieu Flamini (88′)
7
Yohan Cabaye
Bakary Sako (45′)
17
Christian Benteke
19
Ezekiel Fryers
14
Lee Chung-yong
26
Bakary Sako
4
Mathieu Flamini
1
Julian Speroni
27
Damien Delaney
25
Sullay Kaikai
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