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Southampton beat Besiktas in pre-season friendly

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Southampton closed their spell abroad with a 3-1 victory over Turkish side Besiktas.

The Saints have been abroad in Catalunya and Austria this pre-season, playing out four fixtures. They end their training camps with three victories and one defeat. First up was UE Llagostera, who were narrowly beaten 2-1. An 8-0 demolition of CF Palamos followed, before the Premier League club succumbed to a 2-0 loss to Schalke 04.

Against Besiktas, the Saints had much of the early possession without threatening the Turks' goal. The first meaningful chance fell to former Tottenham striker Hugo Almeida, who somehow saw Artur Boruc turn his effort wide of the post with a last-ditch save.

Besiktas had a smattering of half-chances as Southampton tried to find some rhythm in the final third for the first twenty minutes of the game. 

Left-back Danny Fox was the first to really trouble Gonen in the Besiktas goal, but his low strike was well-held by the 'keeper. Shortly after, Southampton won a free-kick on the edge of the penalty area after Rodriguez was brought down.

James Ward-Prowse stepped up, and only narrowly curled his attempt wide of the target. The Saints continued to pile forward, with Fox and Chambers providing meaningful crosses that were well-claimed by Gonen.

At the interval, Mauricio Pochettino opted to make three changes. Calum Chambers, Danny Fox and Guly Do Prado made way for Victor Wanyama, Luke Shaw and Rickie Lambert. Jack Cork moved to right-back as Wanyama partnered Schneiderlin in central midfield.

Besiktas could've taken a lead in the 48th minute, after Tore found Dentinho with an effective cut back. The Brazilian could only blaze his side-footed attempt up and onto the bar, before seeing it bounce behind for a goal-kick.

A pocket rocket of a shot was next to challenge Boruc, but the Polish stopper responded magnificently to get a hand to deny Hugo Almeida.

Shortly before the hour mark, Pochettino made two more changes, this time replacing Morgan Schneiderlin and Adam Lallana with Steven Davis and Jason Puncheon.

A wonder strike from Muhammed Demirci would eventually break the deadlock. The 18-year-old Turkish midfield broke forward, beating off challenges from Southampton players before slamming a piledriver past Artur Boruc from all of 30 yards.

Lambert was next to try his effort, but his attempt from James Ward-Prowse's whipped free-kick went wide of the Besiktas goal.

Dejan Lovren, Lloyd Isgrove and Emmanuel Mayuka were next to enter the fray, replacing Jos Hooiveld, James Ward-Prowse and Jay Rodriguez.

Mayuka was to have an instant impact, coolly slotting an attempt past the Besiktas 'keeper before seeing the goal disallowed for an offside call against Jason Puncheon. The Zambian was still waiting for his first goal for Southampton since joining from BSC Young Boys of Switzerland in August 2012.

With a quarter of an hour remaining, Jack Cork lofted a cross into the box from a deep position, finding Rickie Lambert. Lambert took the ball on his chest before emphatically thundering home to draw the scores level with the game nearing its conclusion.

It was to be a quick-fire double for the Saints, as Emmanuel Mayuka made amends for his earlier attempt - by scoring the goal of the match. He got himself onto a lofted pass, before powering in a half-volley from just outside the left-hand corner of the box. The Zambian's delight was clear, as he brought an end to his long wait for his first goal in a Saints shirt.

Steven Davis should have made it 3-1 with 5 minutes to go, when after capitalising on a Besiktas corner, he managed to break away past two defenders, running half the length of the pitch before seeing his chipped attempt rebound off of the bar.

New signing Victor Wanyama teed up Rickie Lambert after some good work down the left-flank, but Lambert's attempt was held by Gonen.

It was to be three for Southampton soon after though, as Luke Shaw marauded forwards before cutting back to find fellow academy graduate Lloyd Isgrove making a run into the area. Isgrove curled in with his left foot to score a goal that was straight out of the Saints academy.

That was to be that, as the final whistle blew immediately upon the restart of play.

Southampton have just two more friendlies before they start the Premier League season.

Saints return to England on Monday for a week of training, before returning to Spain to face Celta Vigo in the penultimate game of their pre-season campaign, the first under the watch of Mauricio Pochettino.

They follow that up with a return to England before taking to St. Mary's for a face-off with Champions League side Real Sociedad to conclude their pre-season preparations.

Southampton start the season away to West Bromwich Albion on August 17.

 

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Topics:
Premier League
Southampton
Football
Rickie Lambert

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