Football

Shane Long brace gives Southampton fifth straight

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Shane Long’s late double gave second placed Southampton their fifth consecutive win in a 2-0 victory over a resilient Leicester City at St. Mary’s.

The Irish striker came off the bench to score both goals in a superb cameo appearance. His first came after superb hold-up play by Graziano Pelle and Long curled home from 18 yards with his left foot.

The second came after he beat the offside trap and raced clear to control Victor Wanyama’s lobbed through ball. After bringing the ball down exquisitely over his shoulder he kept his cool to slot past the en-rushing Kasper Schmeichel.

Unable to break the deadlock

Although they had the majority of the play in a wet first period, Ronald Koeman’s high-fliers struggled to trouble the visitors. Sadio Mane wasted the best chance of the half as he sent a shot over the bar from close range.

The Premier League’s best defence again looked solid and with the rain still coming down, the St. Mary’s pitch played right into the hosts’ advantage.

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The Premier League’s best defence again looked solid and with the rain still coming down, the St. Mary’s pitch played right into the hosts’ advantage.

Despite not being able to break the deadlock, the home faithful stayed behind their side and it looked like only a matter of time before the opening goal came.

Long time coming

Mane did have the ball in the net in the second half, although the linesman’s flag correctly ruled that the Senegalese was offside.

Koeman then sent Long into the fray, and it took just seven minutes for him to make his mark. Jack Cork’s clipped ball into Pelle was well held-up by the Italian and his lay-off allowed Long to swing his left boot and curl an effort past Schmeichel into the far corner for his first league goal for the Saints.

He didn’t have to wait long for the second to come along either. Timing his run perfectly to Race past the Leicester back line, Long took Victor Wanyama’s clipped ball down over his shoulder and took a moment to compose himself before slotting past Schmeichel.

The goals arrived just when it looked like they might not come at all and they keep Southampton in second place over the international break, and with some tough fixtures coming up for the Saints, the confidence these wins bring could be vital in the coming months.

Southampton player ratings

Forster - 6
Clyne - 7
Fonte - 7
Alderweireld - 6
Bertrand - 7
Wanyama - 6
Schneiderlin - 6
Davis - 6
Mane - 6
Tadic - 7
Pelle - 7

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Topics:
Premier League
Southampton
Football

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