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Saints 2-0 Swansea: Report

PUBLISHED

16:35 6th October 2013

Southampton made it three Barclays Premier League victories in succession thanks to goals in either half against the Swans.

The impressive stats continue to build for Saints, who went a fourth match unbeaten in the top-flight, keeping four clean sheets in that time too as they showed the ruthless side to their game in a 2-0 success at St Mary’s.

One record the home side had been looking to break was a goal in the opening half of a league match, and that strike gleefully arrived after 19 minutes of this encounter when Adam Lallana made the most of a clever pass from Steven Davis to put Saints into a one goal lead that they kept until half time.

Some credit too should go to Artur Boruc for keeping that way particularly as his save from Wilfried Bony’s header inside the last five minutes of the half went a long way towards maintaining that advantage.

The Swans had lost all three games prior to this fixture when they had conceded first and although there was little to choose between the teams long into the second half, the visitors’ fate was sealed on 83 minutes. Second half substitute Jay Rodriguez put the icing on the cake with a well-taken strike inside the area to finish another impeccable and professional performance from Saints who gave themselves the perfect send-off to the break for international fixtures.

Mauricio Pochettino made one enforced change to the starting eleven with Luke Shaw missing out through illness. Danny Fox deputised for the youngster at left back.

Elsewhere, Guly do Prado returned to the 18 in place of Gaston Ramirez in the only other change from the squad that beat Crystal Palace last time out.

With skipper Ashley Williams only fit enough for the bench, Swansea named Jordi Amat in their starting eleven. The Spanish defender played alongside Saints’ Dani Osvaldo at Espanyol under Pochettino.

The visitors won the toss and elected to change ends to take advantage of the partially shaded, Chapel Stand end which Saints attacked from kick-off.

The Swans made a bright start though as they displayed their willingness to get forward early on to test the resolute backline that the hosts have had in the opening six league matches.

After Artur Boruc had outwitted Michu from another quick Swansea break forwards, midfielder Jonjo Shelvey had the first shot of the game on five minutes, which was easily gathered by the Polish stopper.

The action then swung back up the other end with Swans goalkeeper Michel Vorm appearing to handle the ball outside of the area as he miscued a clearance under pressure from Osvaldo.

Moments later, Osvaldo was put through by Lambert for the first real opening from the hosts. The Italian shook off Chico’s last ditch defending before smashed the ball over from an acute angle inside the area as the Swans survived a scare.

Saints pushed on again and won a corner when Schneiderlin had a shot blocked as the contest showed signs of opening out further inside the first ten minutes of action.

A lovely flick from Osvaldo set Lallana on his way to earn Saints their second corner in the 13th minute, but the visiting defence held firm once more as Victor Wanyama lurked to try and head the ball home.

Some further intricate build up from Saints almost reaped rewards in the 16th minute when Wanyama and Osvaldo linked up to find Lambert who attempted to thread the ball through to Lallana, only for the ball to narrowly escape the skipper as he steamed into the penalty area.

The breakthrough goal arrived with a move that started and finished by LALLANA on 19 minutes. The winger crossed the ball into the area where the ball was only half cleared by Chico. Morgan Schneiderlin rescued the move to find Steven Davis, who intelligently picked out the run of the number 20 who fired home with the angle against him to make it 1-0.

It was the first time that Saints had scored in the opening half of a match this season, and not only was it Lallana’s first goal of the campaign it was also the 40th league strike of his career.

Buoyed by his goal, the skipper tried his luck from range again in the 24th minute, but this time his effort was off target.

Saints still pressed, and were unfortunate not to make more of their next move when Lambert headed down Osvaldo’s cross back towards the late run of Lallana, but Vorm was quickly off his line to deal with it.

At the other end, Angel Rangel’s cross towards the far post was met by Michu’s header, but Boruc was equal to it.

The Saints stopper was at his best again soon after to thwart Shelvey’s low drive, and then again he got down well to intercept Nathan Dyer’s cross from the byline towards Wilfried Bony.

The competitive nature of the contest continued with Lambert seeing a free-kick from range batted away by Vorm, and almost immediately down field Boruc had to be alert to keep out Bony’s deflected shot from the edge of the area.

Inside the last ten minutes of the half, Schneiderlin and Lambert linked up well on the right side but the latter’s cross towards Lallana was blocked.

Swansea’s best chance of the half came when Bony provided a neat flick into the path of Nathan Dyer on the right flank. The former Saints man kept his composure to turn Fonte before unleashing a fierce strike at goal which clipped the inside of the right post and bounced across goal on its way out of play, miraculously staying out of Boruc’s net.

Back up at the Chapel end Lallana rescued another move which had broken down and quickly fed Steven Davis to try his luck with a shot at goal that Vorm just about held onto.

Lambert headed over Lallana’s free-kick from the right, and the skipper was almost provider again moments later as he twisted his way down the left, but no-one in a red shirt was there to meet his delivery.

As the end of the half approached, Boruc produced a brilliant one handed save to keep out Bony’s header from Dyer’s cross on the right, and then held Michu’s header from another delivery by Dyer to leave Saints with a one goal lead intact heading into the break.

HALF-TIME: SOUTHAMPTON 1-0 SWANSEA CITY

With Swansea’s Michel Vorm playing into the sun for the second period, Saints aimed to make a quick start, which they did by winning a throw in an advanced position from kick-off.

There was a brief stoppage to follow though as Osvaldo required treatment for a knock from Jose Canas, whose challenge earned the Swansea midfielder a booking whilst the Italian forward slowly got back to his feet.

Swansea made a good response from there with Shelvey seeing his low cross held by Boruc, and then Nathan Dyer fired wide from range before Bony headed over a cross into the middle.

A free-kick right on the edge of the area was awarded to the visitors after Lovren and Fonte had doubled up on Bony. The foul gave Shelvey an opportunity to line up a shot at goal, but his curling effort had just too much on it as it sailed over the top of Boruc’s crossbar.

Saints had to withdraw Osvaldo, who succumbed to his injury before the hour mark. James Ward-Prowse entered the action in the Italian’s place with 58 minutes on the watch.

Saints went back on the front foot to earn themselves a corner when Lallana and Lambert combined for the former to hook a cross in towards Ward-Prowse, who was denied a chance to make a full connection at the far post.

A substitute apiece from either side saw Swansea bring on Alejandro Pozuelo for Wayne Routledge before Jay Rodriguez replaced Lambert a minute later as the contest got into the final third of the 90.

Shelvey had another pot shot gathered by Boruc as the Swans midfielder continued to try and make something from very little for the visitors, but Saints immediately countered to win two corners that tested the Welsh side’s backline once more.

Saints had the ball in the net on 76 after Ward-Prowse’s corner was turned into the net via a combination of Lovren and Wanyama, but somewhere amongst the build -up, referee Mike Dean spotted an infringement to rule the effort out.

Wanyama was the second Saint to go into the book after a lunge on Dyer as play entered the final ten minutes.

Despite the promising looking position of the set piece, the Swans wasted their opportunity inside Saints’ half, and were duly punished just three minutes later when Saints sealed their win.

A long ball forward wasn’t dealt with by the Swansea backline and Jay RODRIGUEZ pounced to fire in a low and crisp left-footed finish past Vorm to make it 2-0.

The game was up from there for the visitors who, aside from a weak header by Michu failed to cause a stir in the closing stages.

Saints brought on Guly on for Steven Davis with two minutes remaining, and the hosts saw out the victory in four minutes of stoppage time to maintain their unbeaten start to the season on home soil.

FULL-TIME: SOUTHAMPTON 2-0 SWANSEA CITY

Southampton team: Artur Boruc, Nathaniel Clyne, Dejan Lovren, Jose Fonte, Danny Fox, Morgan Schneiderlin, Victor Wanyama, Steven Davis (Guly do Prado 88), Adam Lallana (c), Dani Osvaldo (James Ward-Prowse 58), Rickie Lambert (Jay Rodriguez 67).

Unused substitutes: Kelvin Davis, Jack Cork, Calum Chambers, Jos Hooiveld

Swansea City team: Michel Vorm, Angel Rangel, Jordi Amat, Chico Flores, Ben Davies, Jonjo Shelvey, Jose Canas, Wayne Routledge (Alejandro Pozuelo 66), Nathan Dyer, Michu, Wilfried Bony

Unused substitutes: Gerhard Tremmel, Neil Taylor, Ashley Williams, Leon Britton, Dwight Tiendalli, Alvaro Vazquez

Referee: Mike Dean

Attendance: 28,570 (including 1,795 away)

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