Southampton maintain 100 per cent pre-season record

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Southampton manager Ronald Koeman stepped up his team's pre-season preparations by fielding his strongest available 11 from the start against AFC Bournemouth.

Artur Boruc, Graziano Pelle, Dusan Tadic, Maya Yoshida and Gaston Ramirez all started the game at the Goldsands stadium, where Southampton came away with a 1-0 victory thanks to Lloyd Isgrove's diving header.

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It was also another game for manager Koeman to assess his squad as they built up their fitness ahead of the new Premier League season, with a host of youngsters also involved in the action against their local rivals.

Koeman style showing

One of the prominent signs from Ronald Koeman's side were that they still maintain the majority of the principles instilled in them by Mauricio Pochettino. The St.Mary's outfit kept the ball well and showed glimpses of creativity which will have encouraged the Dutch manager.

Another trait seen during the evening was the high pressing game also seen last season, with the 52-year-old asking his side to stretch the pitch as much as possible, and fullbacks Nathaniel Clyne and Matt Targett asked to get forward at every opportunity.


Aside from some quality possession, Southampton created a number of good opportunities in the first half and they eventually broke the deadlock through Lloyd Isgrove after good work down the right from Nathaniel Clyne, his cross found the diving head of Isgrove and the ball nestled in the far corner.

Soon after it should have been two as Gaston Ramirez linked well with Dusan Tadic before slipping the ball through to Graziano Pelle who fired a fierce shot at goal but it was well saved by Benjamin Buchel in the Cherries goal.

James-Ward Prowse also saw a long-range effort slip through the hands of Buchel, but the Bournemouth 'keeper was just able to scramble on to the ball before it crossed the line. The second half was a much scrappier affair due to a host of changes and the game fizzled out towards the final 15-20 minutes.

Impressive performances

There were definitely some good performances for Koeman to build on, especially some of the link play between Gaston Ramirez, Dusan Tadic and especially the hold up play of frontman Graziano Pelle.

Young winger Isgrove also looked comfortable in possession and notched a very good header, and he also supported another youngster in left-back Matt Targett, who again looked a solid replacement for Luke Shaw who joined Manchester United earlier this summer.

All in all it will be a pleasing encounter for Koeman, who saw his side keep another clean sheet as well as being able to give some of his stars the full 90 minutes. Southampton face Brighton next Thursday night in the fifth and penultimate game of their pre-season campaign.

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