Southampton go second with Stoke scalp

Mane celebrates his match-winning goal (©GettyImages)

Southampton followed up last weekend's 8-0 win over Sunderland with a narrow 1-0 victory over Stoke City at St. Mary's.

It was never going to be as one-sided as their previous match, but Southampton continued their great run of form to leapfrog Manchester City into second with the win.

Sadio Mane got the only goal of the game after he reacted quickest after the ball struck a post to find the top corner of Asmir Begovic's goal.

Southampton started the game well and Morgan Schneiderlin hit the crossbar with an effort from a well-worked corner before Mane broke the deadlock on the half-hour.

Graziano Pelle had hit the post and the ball rebounded kindly to Mane and he rocketed an effort into the top right-hand corner from ten yards out. There was no doubt that this was the Senegalese's first goal in English football after seeing his strike against Sunderland last week ruled as an own goal.

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With the goal advantage, the home side took control and saw out the remainder of the first period without much trouble and the lead at the break was as much as Ronald Koeman could have asked for against a typically combative Stoke side.

Stoke pressure inevitable

The second-half was a much tighter affair with Stoke looking to get back into the game. Graziano Pelle again went close for the home side though, as he struck the post for the second time in the afternoon.

Stoke had a string of set-pieces sent into the box but Jose Fonte and Toby Alderweireld marshalled the lofty Stoke attack well to fend off danger. Victor Wanyama was introduced for Jack Cork as Koeman looked to add some more steel to his midfield for the final stages.

Pressure

Fraser Forster released the majority of the pressure inside St. Mary's with a big claim late on as Stoke sent a long ball into the box in search of an equaliser but they just did not create enough to severely worry the Southampton rearguard all afternoon.

Another three points for Koeman pushes his team up to second in the Premier League table. The Saints will be hoping for the same outcome when the two sides meet again at The Britannia on Wednesday night in the Capital One Cup.

Southampton player ratings

Forster - 6
Clyne - 6
Fonte - 7
Alderweireld - 7
Bertrand - 6
Schneiderlin - 7
Cork - 7
Davis - 6
Tadic - 7
Mane - 8
Pelle - 7

SubsWanyama - 6
Gardos - N/A

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