Saints see off Boro

By SFC Media Sat 13 May Boro vs Saints
Photo by Matt Watson
Sat 13 May 3.00PM
Premier League
Middlesbrough
1
Southampton
2
Bamford [72']
Rodriguez [42'] Redmond [57']
Clayton (66') Gibson (86') de Roon (90')
Referee: Anthony Taylor | Venue: Riverside Stadium | Attendance: 28,203

Southampton climbed up to ninth place in the Premier League, as they beat Middlesbrough 2-1 in their final away game of the season.

Jay Rodriguez's sweetly-struck effort in the first half put Saints ahead, before Nathan Redmond's glorious curling effort doubled the lead after the break, and although Patrick Bamford's header set up a nervy finish, Claude Puel's side were excellent value for the three points.

There were sweeping changes to the Southampton line-up at the Riverside Stadium, as Puel made seven alterations to the side that lost at home to Arsenal in midweek.

Martín Cáceres was handed his Saints debut, while Jérémy Pied got a first start, with Jordy Clasie, Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, Sofiane Boufal, Rodriguez and Shane Long also coming in.

Maya Yoshida took on the captain’s armband, as Steven Davis dropped to the bench alongside Jack Stephens, James Ward-Prowse and Redmond.

Also among the subs were Charlie Austin and Matt Targett, as they ended a significant number of months out with injury, while Cédric, Dušan Tadić and Manolo Gabbiadini did not make the squad.

Martín Cáceres on his Saints debut

Cáceres made a key contribution just 55 seconds into his first Saints appearance, as he put in a superb block to deny Bamford, who had controlled a looping ball into the area and spun to create space to shoot from close range.

Chances were hard to come by for either side after that, though.

Ryan Bertrand was presented with an opening in the 23rd minute when Long’s low ball from the right squeezed its way through to him, but he couldn’t make the correct connection on his less-favoured right foot.

George Friend then headed wide of the near post at the other end shortly afterwards, after Adam Forshaw’s cross had found him.

Both sides then wasted good opportunities from well-positioned free-kicks, while the biggest threat either keeper had to deal with in the opening 40 minutes was Brad Guzan diving to intercept Long’s dangerous low ball across the face of goal.

Jay Rodriguez opens the scoring

Guzan could not prevent Long’s 42nd minute delivery being converted, though. The Saints forward was released down the right by Clasie, and he cut back a cross perfectly into the path of Rodriguez, who brilliantly slammed a low half-volley into the back of the net to put the visitors in front.

With a lead at the break, Puel opted to make his first change of the game, as Boufal was withdrawn for Redmond.

There was a nervy moment for Saints within moments of the restart, as Forshaw’s shot from just outside the area deflected narrowly wide.

Bamford then wasted a good opportunity in the 55th minute, as Álvaro Negredo’s header across the area picked him out, but he got under his left-footed shot and sliced it high and wide.

Boro were made to pay for that moments later, as Rodriguez’s pass found Redmond unmarked on the left edge of the area, and he cut inside sharply before bending a beautiful shot into the far top corner.

Redmond celebrates his goal

Saints then had a golden opportunity to make it 3-0 in the 63rd minute, as Bertrand picked out the run of Long, who was upended in the area by a diving Guzan.

Long himself stepped up to take the resulting penalty, but, despite sending the Boro keeper the wrong way, he got too much air under his shot, with the ball clipping the crossbar and going over.

It would have set up a comfortable finish for Saints, but instead it would be a nervy one, as Bamford headed in a Viktor Fischer corner at the near post in the 73rd minute to make it 2-1.

Puel immediately reacted by sending on Davis in place of Højbjerg, while Austin was sent on for his first appearance since injuring his shoulder in December, as he replaced Long with four minutes to go.

Forster had to make a good save to deny ex-Saint Calum Chambers' fierce effort as the clock ticked past 90 minutes, while Rodriguez then saw an effort deflected wide, before the final whistle went.

Middlesbrough

Head to Head Stats

Southampton
  • Possession (%)
    42
    58
  • Shots
    14
    14
  • Shots on target
    3
    4
  • Corners
    6
    3
  • Passes Complete
    281
    439

Middlesbrough

12
Brad Guzan (GK)
3
George Friend
2
Fabio
6
Ben Gibson (C)
25
Calum Chambers
8
Adam Clayton
34
Adam Forshaw
Grant Leadbitter (60′)
14
Marten de Roon
10
Álvaro Negredo
20
Patrick Bamford
19
Stewart Downing
Viktor Fischer (60′)
18
Cristhian Stuani
5
Bernardo
7
Grant Leadbitter
11
Viktor Fischer
37
Adama Traoré
1
Dimitrios Konstantopoulos
17
Antonio Barragán

Southampton

1
Fraser Forster (GK)
26
Jérémy Pied
12
Martín Cáceres
3
Maya Yoshida (C)
21
Ryan Bertrand
14
Oriol Romeu
4
Jordy Clasie
23
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg
Steven Davis (74′)
9
Jay Rodriguez
19
Sofiane Boufal
Nathan Redmond (45′)
7
Shane Long
Charlie Austin (87′)
10
Charlie Austin
22
Nathan Redmond
24
Jack Stephens
16
James Ward-Prowse
40
Mouez Hassen
8
Steven Davis
33
Matt Targett
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