Southampton reach Capital One Cup quarter finals

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Southampton advanced to the Capital One Cup quarter finals for the first time in 10 years, with a 3-2 win over Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium.

Graziano Pelle's 89th minute winner put Southampton back in the lead after they had squandered a two goal advantage in the second half.

The Italian reacted first after Steven Davis' free-kick hit Erik Pieters to poke home from close-range and spark the celebrations on the Southampton bench.

Two goal advantage

Southampton came into the game full of confidence having beaten Stoke in the Premier League on Saturday and their start to the game showed just that.

It did not take long for the visitors to take the lead either, as Pelle received the ball from Matt Targett and having had too much time to turn, the prolific striker fired a superb effort into the back of the net from 25 yards.

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The Saints stretched the scoreline further on the half hour mark when Steven Davis raced clear and squared the ball across the six-yard box for Shane Long to slot home for his first goal since joining the club.

Stoke comeback not enough

After a poor first half from the home side, Mark Hughes' side came out fired up after the break and they pulled a goal back through Steven N'Zonzi whose shot from range beat Fraser Forster. Asmir Begovic then denied Long and then Victor Wanyama from close range, keeping his team in the game in the process.

The goal gave Stoke hope and with Peter Crouch entering the frame, the game had changed almost completely. Following their fifth corner in a row, Charlie Adam's corner was flicked on for Mame Biram Diouf to tap home from three yards to level the scoreline.

With the pressure mounting on Fraser Forster's goal, a Stoke winner seemed most likely. Southampton however looked like they could perhaps steal the tie on the counter attack.

Late drama

There was still time for more drama to ensue though, with Peter Crouch receiving a red card for two quick yellow card offences. First he caught Southampton left-back Matt Targett with a stray arm and moments later his late challenge on Steven Davis was enough for referee Lee Mason to give the 6ft 7in star his marching orders.

The foul on Davis and the resultant red card was not the only problem for Stoke who then had to defend the resultant set-piece a man down.

Davis' free-kick was flicked on and after the ball hit Pieters, Pelle was the quickest to react and he found the net for the ninth time this season to send his side into the Capital One Cup quarter finals.

Southampton player ratings

Forster - 6
Clyne - 6
Fonte - 7
Gardos - 6
Targett - 7
Schneiderlin - 7
Wanyama - 6
Davis - 7
Tadic - 7
Long - 8
Pelle - 9

Cork - NA

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