Southampton return to form with 3-0 victory over Everton

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Southampton ended a run of five straight defeats with an emphatic 3-0 win over Everton at St. Mary's this afternoon.

A Romelu Lukaku own goal put the Saints ahead from a corner and Graziano Pelle made it two in the second half.

Maya Yoshida rounded things off with a shouldered effort from Steven Davis' superb cross as Ronald Koeman's side bounced back from their midweek defeat to Sheffield United.

Back to basics

Saints boss Ronald Koeman made four changes to the side who faced Burnley last weekend as he changed to a 3-5-2 formation with Jose Fonte, Toby Alderweireld and Maya Yoshida at the back.

Nathaniel Clyne and Ryan Bertrand were pushed into wing-back positions, with Harrison Reed, Steven Davis and James Ward-Prowse in the centre of midfield. Graziano Pelle and Shane Long formed a strike partnership for the first time this season, as Koeman got his side back to basics after their recent poor form.

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Dominant performance

The hosts started brightly and took the game to Everton, with all the confidence of their early-season form back in their game.

They will feel aggrieved not to have been awarded a penalty after Shane Long was caught in the air by Phil Jagielka, but referee Jon Moss awarded a corner although the ball had hit Long.

However they were rewarded for their good play from the resultant corner as James Ward-Prowse's delivery hit Romelu Lukaku under pressure from Jose Fonte and the ball bundled across the line.

Second half near-perfect as Toffees slipped

The second half couldn't have gone much better for the Dutch boss as his side went 2-0 up with 65 minutes played.

Good work down the right saw Nathaniel Clyne beat Leighton Baines to the byline and his cross found Shane Long. The Irishman cushioned a header to his strike partner and Graziano Pelle helped the ball past Tim Howard and into the net.

Maya Yoshida made it three with ten minutes to play after he sent a half-cleared corner back to Steven Davis on the left, then continued his run to shoulder the ball home from six yards out.

Dominant display

In what was a dominant second half performance the Saints could have had another after Ryan Bertrand fired wide, but overall it was a pleasing performance from the home side which banished their poor form to the back of the memory.

They can now head into Christmas in good form and with a number of academy prospects on the bench again today, it seems it is all smiles again on the South coast.

Southampton player ratings

Forster - 8
Clyne - 7
Fonte - 7
Alderweireld - 7
Yoshida - 8
Bertrand - 7
Reed - 9
Davis - 8
Ward-Prowse - 6
Long - 7
Pelle - 8


Targett - 6
Gape - NA

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