2016/17 Season Review: April

By SFC Media Sat 10 Jun First team

At the start of a busy month, Southampton were held to a goalless draw by AFC Bournemouth at St Mary’s on a frustrating afternoon.

Claude Puel’s men were the aggressors early on and after 15 minutes they thought they had broken the deadlock when Jay Rodriguez latched on to Nathan Redmond’s pass to finish past Artur Boruc, only to be ruled offside.

Dušan Tadic saw his curler strike the outside of the post, while Bournemouth also had chances of their own through Joshua King and Benik Afobe.

Late on, the game’s biggest talking point came when Ryan Bertrand was deemed to have brought down Ryan Fraser in the penalty area by referee Jonathan Moss.

Harry Arter stepped up before slipping at the vital moment and ballooning his shot well over the crossbar.

Despite plenty of endeavour in the closing stages to win it, Saints would have to settle for a share of the spoils.

However, that was not to be the case a few days later when they channelled that frustration to storm back and beat Crystal Palace at St Mary’s.

The in-form visitors, who were fresh off the back of a superb away success at Chelsea, took the lead through Christian Benteke just after the half hour mark.

But Nathan Redmond’s equaliser on the stroke of half-time teed up an exhilarating second period.

The search for something decisive to show for their dominance proved elusive until seven minutes from time, when Jack Stephens’ shot found its way to Maya Yoshida who made no mistake from close range.

Just two minutes later, James Ward-Prowse supressed any lingering nerves when he slammed home Cédric’s right-wing cross to make it 3-1.

An away trip to West Brom followed, where Jordy Clasie’s solitary strike helped strengthen the grip on a fourth successive top-8 finish.

Dušan Tadić teed up the Dutchman on 25 minutes and his unstoppable drive was reminiscent of his EFL Cup goal against Arsenal.

Such good form was punctuated by a 3-0 home defeat to Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, with goals from Vincent Kompany, Leroy Sane and Sergio Aguero.

The penultimate game of the month came against eventual champions Chelsea at Stamford, where, despite a good display, Saints were beaten 4-2 with Oriol Romeu and Ryan Betrand on target.

April concluded with the visit of Hull City to St Mary’s, where only a late Eldin Jakupovic penalty save from Dušan Tadić denied Southampton a third win.

Results

Saturday 1st AFC Bournemouth (h) D 0-0
Wednesday 5th Crystal Palace (h) W 3-1
Saturday 8th West Bromwich Albion (a) W 0-1
Saturday 15th Manchester City (h) L 0-3
Tuesday 25th Chelsea (a) L 4-2
Saturday 29th Hull City (h) D 0-0

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