Southampton advanced to the third round of the Capital One Cup thanks to a 2-0 victory over Millwall with goals from Jack Cork and Graziano Pelle.
Both goals were momentous as Cork and Pelle opened their account for the Saints, although Cork has taken a lot longer to do it than his new Italian team-mate. He rose in untypical fashion and headed home the energetic Dusan Tadic's corner to open the scoring.
The latter of the two, however, was probably more relieved than overjoyed with opening his Southampton account, with Pelle having numerous attempts kept out before finally making his mark in the last two minutes, finishing low past David Forde in the Millwall goal.
Keen to build momentum
Ronald Koeman kept faith with the majority of the side that started Premier League games against Liverpool and West Bromwich Albion, with only three changes as Matthew Targett, Lloyd Isgrove and Shane Long replaced Ryan Bertrand, Morgan Schneiderlin and Dusan Tadic.
The side put out by the Dutchman indicated he was taking the competition seriously but that he also wanted his first-team to get some more game time under their belts and more importantly build some momentum.
It was Koeman's side that bossed the majority of the game, grinding out chance-after-chance and it was something of a surprise that the game was still goalless at half-time although Millwall's defensive resilience deserved as much.
Lloyd Isgrove's night lasted just under half an hour and he was replaced by Tadic who was at the heart of most things again, and it was the Serbian's corner that was headed home by Jack Cork eight minutes into the second half.
Seeing the game out
As the second half progressed, Pelle saw a header clip the post, one effort curl just wide of the post before stinging the hands of Forde with another attempt, whilst at the other end, Fraser Forster pushed away a couple of efforts and smothered John Marquis' close-range effort away with minimal fuss.
Dusan Tadic thought he had sealed the victory but his curled attempt just evaded the far corner, but as the game ticked into four minutes of additional time there was just enough left on the clock for Steven Davis to feed Pelle and he made no mistake, firing past Forde at his near post.
The celebration was a mixture of relief and joy for Pelle, who was joined by his teammates whilst the travelling Southampton fans also showed their appreciation of the Italian strikers efforts on the night as the Saints saw the game out and advanced to the next round.
Southampton player ratings:
Forster - 6
Clyne - 7
Fonte - 6
Yoshida - 6
Targett - 7
Davis - 7
Ward-Prowse - 7
Isgrove - 5
Wanyama - 6
Pelle - 8 MOM
Long - 7
Tadic - 8
Cork - 8
Ramirez - NA
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