Football

Southampton player ratings v Crystal Palace

Published Add your comment

Football News
24/7

Southampton ran out deserved 3-1 winners over Crystal Palace on Boxing day to take them back to fourth place in the Premier League.

A first-half Sadio Mane goal was added to by Ryan Bertrand and Toby Alderweireld to put the visitors in a commanding position before Scott Dann nodded in a consolation goal for the home side.

The three points took the Saints back ahead of West Ham into fourth in the league, ahead of fixtures against Chelsea and Arsenal at St. Mary's.

Same shape

Ronald Koeman stuck with the 352 formation that worked so well against Everton last weekend, with Florin Gardos replacing the suspended Jose Fonte.

Morgan Schneiderlin came into midfield in place of Harrison Reed whilst Sadio Mane started alongside Graziano Pelle in attack ahead of Shane Long.

Article continues below

It also allowed Nathaniel Clyne and Ryan Bertrand to continue as wing-backs in an attempt to counter Palace's threat from the wide areas.

Mane the difference

In a frantic opening period of Christmas action, it was the visitors who came closest after Toby Alderweireld sent a looping effort into the box which was tipped onto the crossbar and over by Julian Speroni.

Jason Puncheon stang the palms of Fraser Forster from the edge of the box before Southampton took the lead with a slick team move.

Graziano Pelle leaped highest to nod the ball to Mane, he touched the ball off to James Ward-Prowse and continued his run forward.

The young Englishman returned the favour with a lovely through ball which split the Palace defence wide open for Mane to skip round the advancing Speroni and fire into the empty net.

Early second half double

The second half sprang to life almost instantly as Ryan Bertrand made it 2-0 after just three minutes.

Good work down the right by Mane saw him beat Joel Ward and fire in a low cross which found it's way to the back post. Bertrand was on-hand to hit a right-foot volley into the top corner from 18 yards.

They made it three before the hour as Toby Alderweireld rose highest to head powerfully past Speroni from Ward-Prowse's corner.

No clean sheet

The only negative of the afternoon came in the final minutes as Scott Dann beat Victor Wanyama in the air to score a consolation goal for the home side and ruin the Saints' hopes of a clean sheet.

Another academy product Jason McCarthy came on to make his debut for Southampton in the closing stages as they saw the game out to take all three points.

The win will be another boost of confidence ahead of hosting first Chelsea and then Arsenal to St. Mary's in the next week.

Southampton player ratings

Forster - 6
Clyne - 7
Gardos - 6
Alderweireld - 9
Yoshida - 7Bertrand - 8
Schneiderlin - 7
Ward-Prowse - 8
Davis - 7
Mane - 8
Pelle - 7

Subs

Wanyama - 6
McCarthy - 6
Long - 6

Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms

Topics:
Southampton
Crystal Palace
Premier League
Football

Article Comments

Report author of article

Please let us know if you believe this article is in violation of our editorial policy, please only report articles for one of the following reasons.

Report author

DISCLAIMER

This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

Want more content like this?

Like our GiveMeSport Facebook Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to Facebook, don't ask me again

Follow GiveMeSport on Twitter and you will get this directly to you.

Already Following, don't ask me again

Like our GiveMeSport Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to G+, don't ask me again