2016/17 Season Review: November

By SFC Media Mon 05 Jun First team

November started and finished on extremely positive terms for Saints, with victories over Inter Milan and Arsenal.

The Europa League clash with Inter was first up in the month, as Saints looked to avenge their defeat in the San Siro.

When Mauro Icardi netted on 33 minutes many would have feared a repeat result, though two goals in five minutes completed a historic comeback victory at St Mary's.

First Virgil van Dijk struck on 64 minutes before Yuto Nagatomo then steered Dušan Tadić's cross into his own net to earn Saints all three points.

Claude Puel then made five changes to the side for the weekend's visit to Hull City, as José Fonte, Ryan Bertrand, Steven Davis, Jordy Clasie and Charlie Austin all started.

Austin’s eighth goal of the season handed Saints an early advantage, as he netted from the penalty spot.

But, despite dominating proceedings, two goals in three minutes saw Hull take the win, as substitute Robert Snodgrass and Michael Dawson netted just after the hour.

A strong defensive display the following weekend, during which Fraser Forster made two exceptional saves, ensured Saints earned a goalless draw against Liverpool before the trip to Prague for their penultimate Europa League group fixture.

But Puel's men were unable to produce a similar performance at the Generali Arena and slipped to their second Group K defeat as Costa Nhamoinesu's strike was enough to see them head home empty handed.

It was, however, quickly back to league action just three days later at St Mary's. Josh Sims was the man of the moment against Everton, as the Academy graduate teed up Charlie Austin to score the eventual winner just 41 seconds into his senior debut.

That winning feeling was then taken into the final game of the month: an EFL Cup quarter-final against Arsenal at Emirates Stadium.

Jordy Clasie's first goal for the club and Ryan Bertrand's first of the season were enough to seal the win for Saints, as they marched into the semi-finals of the EFL Cup for the first time in 30 years.

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