Southampton overcame Hull City in a 4-1 victory at St Mary’s Stadium with Adam Lallana putting in a superb display capped off by a fine individual goal.
The win for the Saints sees them move into third in the table a mere three points behind league leaders Arsenal. For Hull, the defeat sees them drop to 12th in the standings and concedes them to their fourth defeat of the season.
Southampton went into this fixture on the back of a 2-1 Capital One cup exit at the hands of Sunderland. In the league meanwhile, the Saints were looking to get back to winning ways following their 1-1 away draw with Stoke City. Hull City will be looking to continue their good performances which saw them beat Sunderland 1-0 at the KC Stadium, thanks to an own-goal from Carlos Cuellar.
Manager of the Month Mauricio Pochettino was afforded the luxury of naming an unchanged starting eleven for the third consecutive time from their last Premier League outing but there was no place for Tadanari Lee or the influential Gaston Ramirez on the bench – their places were taken by Pablo Osvaldo and youngster Sam Gallagher. The recently called-up England trio of Adam Lallana, Jay Rodriguez and Rickie Lambert all continued their run in the side.
Steve Bruce again saw one of his troops ruled out for a considerable amount of time with the news that Sone Aluko would be out of action after tearing his Achilles in the warm-up to the Sunderland game – meaning he is out of action till February. Son Alex Bruce was fit again to be named on the substitutes bench alongside Egyptian international Gedo and the recalled Danny Graham.
Southampton: Boruc – Shaw – Lovren – Fonte – Clyne – Ward-Prowse – Wanyama – Schneiderlin – Lallana – Rodriguez – Lambert
Subs: Davies – Davies – Osvaldo – Cork – Chambers – Hooiveld – Gallagher
Hull City: Harper – Rosenior – Davies – McShane – Figueroa – Elmohamady – Boyd – Meyler – Huddlestone – Livermore – Sagbo
Subs: Jakupovic – Bruce – Quinn – Koren – Gedo – Graham – Proschwitz
An early Adam Lallana cross from the right set the tone for the game after he beat Liam Rosenior seeing his delivery flash just past the head of Rickie Lambert and Hull were able to clear than danger.
Southampton began the game with their high tempo pressing game limiting Hull to any time on the ball and the midfield battle between Tom Huddlestone and Victor Wanyama looking a feisty affair.
Roy Hodgson was in the stands casting an eye on his recent England trio and in the 15th minute saw what one of them had to offer. Clyne got the better of Rosenior on the right and fired in a deep cross which Lambert headed back towards the penalty spot to Morgan Schneiderlin who powered his header into the top corner.
Hull’s first real chance came in the 17th minute after a Huddlestone free-kick from the touchline was headed behind for a corner. From the resulting set-piece Paul McShane failed to direct his header on target.
Southampton doubled their advantage in the 28th minute when Lambert played a through ball to Lallana which brought out Harper only for the goalkeeper to bring down the forward inside the box. The ref awarded a penalty but only a yellow card to Steve Harper amongst chants from the Saints support for a red card to be shown. Lambert stepped up and fired in the penalty in emphatic fashion despite Harper diving the correct way.
Things got even better for the home side in the 36thminute when Lallana gathered the ball on the outside of the box before ghosting past Huddlestone towards to left side of the box. The forward then after sublime footwork beat Davies and Elmohamady running into the box before firing a low curling shot past Harper. A truly great goal by the forward in front of the watching England manager.
The lone Hull striker Yannick Sagbo looked particularly isolated and if the Tigers were to come back they would have to dent a defence the second best in Europe behind only AS Roma in Italy.
Davies was then shown a yellow card after Luke Shaw knocked the ball past the defender only to be brought down just before the half-time interval.
Hull had the best chance to dent the Saints defence from a corner in first-half stoppage time but Figueroa’s header was cleared off the line as the ref blew for the interval.
Steve Bruce brought on Robert Koren in place of Ahmed Elmohamady at the start of the second-half as Hull looked to reshuffle their ranks.
Hull started the second-half much brighter and pegged a goal back in the 54th minute when Boruc played a ball into Wanyama, who was disposed on the edge of the box, before Sagbo curled the ball into the net round Lovren and past Boruc.
Lallana nearly grabbed his second and Southampton’s fourth just before the hour mark after a neat one-two was played with Lambert, but Harper denied him pulling off a fine save to his right.
Lambert made way in the 75th minute and was replaced by record-signing Pablo Osvaldo, with Hull also bringing on Danny Graham in place of David Meyler.
Osvaldo had an attempt minutes after coming on after he won a header under pressure from both Rosenior and Davies but his attempted looping header was caught by Harper.
Goalscorer Schneiderlin was lucky to get away with just a yellow card after a high challenge on Rosenior in front of a furious Bruce.
Adam Lallana then received a standing ovation and surly an England debut after he was replaced by Jack Cork.
Substitute Steven Davies then wrapped up the win after Clyne sung in a ball from the right seeing Curtis Davies miss his header, before Davies controlled the ball superbly before setting himself and smashing the ball into the right corner.
Rodriguez then spurred a chance to add further gloss to the victory after he was played through but took too long to get his shot away and Davies came across and cleared.
The Egyptian Focus
This was a game I never expected to get anything out of as a fan, I just felt with the injuries we’d suffered and Southampton playing well it was inevitable we’d get beat. Ahmed Elmohamady began in a 3-5-1-1 formation as a right wing-back and had a tough first half. The attacking trio of Adam Lallana, Jay Rodriquez and Rickie Lambert caused no end of problems for the back-line. Going in at half-time 3-0 down something had to change and Elmo made way for Robert Koren in a system change to 4-4-2. Gedo was again an unused substitute with Bruce favouring bringing on Danny Graham instead.
Published on November 09 2013 for KingFut.com