Saints draw with St Gallen

By SFC Media Sat 15 Jul St Gallen v Saints
Photo by Simon Hausberger (Getty Images)
Sat 15 Jul 3.30PM
Friendlies
St Gallen
0
Southampton
0
Referee: Tomasz Superczynski | Venue: Sportanlage Kellen | Attendance: 0

Southampton’s first friendly match of the summer ended in stalemate, as they drew 0-0 with Swiss Super League side St Gallen.

Saints manager Mauricio Pellegrino fielded different sides in each half in a game that marked the next step in the build-up to the 2017/18 season.

Having finished their training camp in Austria, the squad made the short trip across the border into Switzerland for their meeting with St Gallen, at the Sportanlage Kellen, in the north east of the country.

Pellegrino’s XI for the first half was a mixture of youth and experience, with Aaron O’Driscoll and Jake Flannigan joining Maya Yoshida and Sam McQueen in defence, while 18-year-old Nathan Tella started on the right wing.

Oriol Romeu, Jordy Clasie, Sofiane Boufal, Dušan Tadić and Charlie Austin completed the outfield line-up, with Fraser Forster in goal.

Virgil van Dijk was rested, as Pellegrino reintroduces him to full contact situations carefully, with the defender having been out since January, while Ryan Bertrand was also kept out as a precaution, with a slight hamstring issue.

Forster was called into action after five minutes, as Yannis Tafer hit a low shot across goal from 20 yards, but the Saints keeper dived to his left and was equal to it.

Tadić then went close to giving Saints the lead, as he bent a free-kick from just outside the area over the St Gallen wall and inches wide of the post.

Back down the other end the action went, as the Swiss side nearly edged in front, but Alain Wiss’s back-post header from Tranquillo Barnetta’s corner went a yard wide.

It took a while for another opportunity to appear, as Saints carved out an opening in the 29th minute. McQueen was fed a pass down the left by Boufal, with his cross flicking off a St Gallen head and dropping to Tella at the back post, but his effort was blocked by Andreas Wittwer.

Tella’s afternoon would end ten minutes later, as he went off to be replaced by Tyreke Johnson, having picked up a knock.

Saints were well in control as the game edged towards the break, but they nearly conceded shortly before half-time, as Stjepan Kukuruzovic cut the ball back to Peter Tschernegg, but his low strike back across goal was superbly saved by Forster.

With the scores level at 0-0, Pellegrino made a further ten changes at the interval.

Alex McCarthy replaced Forster in goal, while Jérémy Pied, Alfie Jones, Florin Gardos and Armani Little made up the defence.

Pierre-Emile Højbjerg and Steven Davis joined fellow midfielder Johnson, while Shane Long, Sam Gallagher and Manolo Gabbiadini also came in.

The game continued to be tight, though, and it wasn’t really until midway through the period when either keeper was tested, as Davis’s shot was parried by Daniel Lopar in the St Gallen goal.

At the other end, McCarthy made a superb close-range save to divert Boris Babic’s near-post header to safety, after he had met Gjelbrim Taipi’s corner.

Saints went close to winning it in the final minutes, but Gabbiadini had a low strike saved by Lopar, while Long prodded over as he stretched to meet a ball in the area, before McCarthy made another superb stop at the other end to keep out Marco Aratore's fierce, low free-kick.

St Gallen

1
Daniel Lopar (GK) (C)
2
Philippe Koch
Kofi Schulz (77′)
3
Karim Haggui
6
Alain Wiss
Silvan Gönitzer (77′)
7
Stjepan Kukuruzovic
Nassim Ben Khalifa (59′)
9
Roman Buess
Boris Babic (71′)
10
Tranquillo Barnetta
11
Yannis Tafer
Tim Staubli (77′)
16
Andreas Wittwer
22
Marco Aratore
26
Peter Tschernegg
32
Dejan Stojanovic
8
Gjelbrim Taipi
21
Kofi Schulz
25
Nassim Ben Khalifa
34
Boris Babic
53
Silvan Gönitzer
55
Tim Staubli

Southampton

1
Fraser Forster (GK)
Alex McCarthy (46′)
16
Jake Flannigan
Jérémy Pied (46′)
25
Aaron O'Driscoll
Alfie Jones (46′)
3
Maya Yoshida (C)
Florin Gardos (46′)
18
Sam McQueen
Armani Little (46′)
14
Oriol Romeu
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (46′)
4
Jordy Clasie
Steven Davis (46′)
12
Nathan Tella
Tyreke Johnson (39′)
19
Sofiane Boufal
Shane Long (46′)
11
Dušan Tadić
Sam Gallagher (46′)
10
Charlie Austin
Manolo Gabbiadini (46′)
13
Alex McCarthy
28
Stuart Taylor
26
Jérémy Pied
6
Alfie Jones
5
Florin Gardos
29
Armani Little
23
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg
30
Tyreke Johnson
8
Steven Davis
7
Shane Long
15
Sam Gallagher
20
Manolo Gabbiadini
9
Callum Slattery
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