Saints beaten despite Ings's first goal

By SFC Media Sat 18 Aug Everton v Saints
Photo by Matt Watson | Danny Ings
Sat 18 Aug 3PM
Premier League
Everton
2
Southampton
1
Walcott [15'] Richarlison [31']
Ings [54']
Hoedt (17') Lemina (19') Romeu (36') Soares (44') Stephens (59')
Referee: Lee Mason | Venue: Goodison Park | Attendance: 38,601

Danny Ings marked his first Southampton start with a goal, but it was not enough to salvage a result from Goodison Park, which remains an unhappy hunting ground for Saints teams past and present.

Hosts Everton did the damage in the first half, as Theo Walcott finished off an inventive free-kick routine before crossing for Richarlison to score his third goal in two games since his big-money summer switch from Watford.

Ings pulled one back just shy of the hour with a poacher’s finish from a corner, but, despite a host of attacking substitutions from Mark Hughes, his side were unable to find an equaliser.

The manager made two changes to his side following the opening day stalemate with Burnley at St Mary’s.

Ings, an impact substitute against his former club, was rewarded with his first start in Saints colours, while James Ward-Prowse took up a position on the right of a four-man midfield.

The absence of Jannik Vestergaard through illness may have played a part in Hughes opting to switch to a back four, while Stuart Armstrong was the other Burnley starter to miss out.

Set-pieces would provide the most obvious route to goal in the opening exchanges, as both sides traded chances from dead-ball situations.

Charlie Austin comes close, heading wide from James Ward-Prowse's free-kick

After Michael Keane headed straight at Alex McCarthy from a Gylfi Sigurdsson free-kick, Ward-Prowse delivered with similar accuracy for Charlie Austin, who nodded wide from near the penalty spot.

But it was the element of surprise that carved Saints open as Walcott struck the opener in the 15th minute.

With Sigurdsson again standing over a free-kick on the edge of the box, instead Leighton Baines stepped up and played the ball short to Morgan Schneiderlin, whose first-time pass around the corner released Walcott to score with ease.

Wesley Hoedt then went into the book – the first of four Saints cautioned in the first half alone – as the visitors made their frustrations clear to see.

Everton lost former Saint Schneiderlin to injury midway through the first period before they were indebted to goalkeeper Jordan Pickford for preserving their lead.

Cédric tried his luck with a speculative shot from distance that Pickford could only fumble into the path of Ings, but as the striker looked certain to score, the England stopper stretched out an arm and somehow diverted the rebound against the crossbar.

It was a clear sight of goal that was made all the more costly when Richarlison doubled Everton’s tally on the half-hour, getting in front of Cédric to head home Walcott’s cross from the right, adding to the brace he scored at Wolves on his debut.

Ings headed wide from a Ward-Prowse corner before Mario Lemina fired high and wide, but Sigurdsson’s set-pieces remained a constant threat and Saints needed the half-time whistle to regroup.

Ings pounces to score his first Saints goal and halve the deficit at Goodison Park

Straightaway there was more intent about Saints after the restart – just as there was against Burnley – as Ryan Bertrand surged down the left and cut the ball back for Ings, who pulled off into a pocket of space but saw his shot deflected behind off Keane.

Ings’ moment was imminent. From a Ward-Prowse corner on the right, Lemina flicked on and the striker found himself in plenty of space to turn the ball home from inside the six-yard box.

Now chasing a leveller, Saints were nearly exposed by Walcott on two occasions. First, the winger had the ball in the net only for the goal to be ruled out for offside in the build-up, before he played a slick one-two with Sigurdsson but skewed his shot wide from a glorious position in front of McCarthy.

Hughes introduced Shane Long, Manolo Gabbiadini and Armstrong – without sacrificing Ings – in a bid to increase his team’s attacking potency, but one last chance eluded Saints and Everton held on.

Everton

Head to Head Stats

Southampton
  • Possession (%)
    58
    42
  • Shots
    13
    15
  • Shots on target
    7
    4
  • Corners
    2
    5
  • Passes Complete
    313
    185

Everton

1
Jordan Pickford (GK)
2
Mason Holgate
4
Michael Keane
3
Leighton Baines
23
Seamus Coleman (C)
18
Morgan Schneiderlin
Tom Davies (24′)
17
Idrissa Gueye
10
Gylfi Sigurdsson
30
Richarlison
Oumar Niasse (86′)
11
Theo Walcott
14
Cenk Tosun
Dominic Calvert-Lewin (75′)
26
Tom Davies
31
Ademola Lookman
22
Maarten Stekelenburg
29
Dominic Calvert-Lewin
43
Jonjoe Kenny
19
Oumar Niasse
5
Kurt Zouma

Southampton

1
Alex McCarthy (GK)
2
Cédric Soares
6
Wesley Hoedt
21
Ryan Bertrand (C)
5
Jack Stephens
18
Mario Lemina
14
Oriol Romeu
Manolo Gabbiadini (72′)
16
James Ward-Prowse
Stuart Armstrong (84′)
22
Nathan Redmond
10
Charlie Austin
Shane Long (58′)
9
Danny Ings
33
Matt Targett
3
Maya Yoshida
17
Stuart Armstrong
28
Angus Gunn
7
Shane Long
20
Manolo Gabbiadini
23
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg
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