Sport24.co.za | Southampton claim first win of season at Palace

Sport24.co.za | Southampton claim first win of season at Palace
Sport24.co.za | Southampton claim first win of season at Palace

Cape Town - Southampton lifted a massive weight off their shoulders by claiming their first Premier League win of the season in a 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Saturday.

Despite a manic start to the game, the deadlock was only broken after half time when Danny Ings netted in the 47th minute.

Charlie Austin blew a fantastic chance to double their lead from the penalty spot around the 65th minute mark, but thankfully for Saints fans it made no difference to the result in the end as Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg made it 2-0 two minutes into stoppage time.

The home side almost gifted Southampton the lead inside the first minute after when Mamadou Sakho bizarrely forced a punching save out of his own goalkeeper with a very poorly attempted chested pass to his teammate.

The frenetic start to the match gathered pace with Cristian Benteke blasting wide moments later before Nathan Redmond's deflected long-range shot was tipped over the bar by Wayne Hennessey.

The game settled down significantly after a manic opening five minutes as both sides settled into their rhythm and began to offer far less space to the opposition.

The Eagles should have taken the lead in the 26th minute when Alex McCarthy came charging out to claim a cross but completely missed the ball, which fell onto the head of Benteke but he was unable to hit the target despite the net being empty.

Crystal Palace seemed determined to put the ball passed their own goalkeeper and Hennessey was once again forced to make a diving save after Milivojevic miss-judged a defensive header sending it towards his own goal.

Southampton found the breakthrough two minutes after half time and it was even through one of their own players as both Sakho and Martin Kelly allowed a Cedric Soares cross to land in the path of Ings who burst into the box and slipped the ball through Hennessey's legs to give his side the lead.

James McCarthur almost answered straight back four minutes later but saw his long-range shot smash into the crossbar.

The home side continued to push for an equaliser and could not believe they weren't level on 57 minutes when a goalmouth scramble was somehow eventually cleared by the Saints defence. Benteke's initial shot was saved by McCarthy before Van Aanholt's shot off the rebound was blocked off the line before the scrum ensued and the visitors were eventually able to clear their lines.

The Saints were then gifted a chance to secure the three points when Aaron Wan-Bissaka used his hand to block a goal-bound shot from Austin. The veteran striker stepped up to take the penalty himself, but was denied by a fantastic save from Hennessey.

McCarthy had to be at his absolute best to preserve his side's lead as he denied efforts from Van Aanholt, McArthur and a phenomenal point blank stop to prevent the wasteful Benteke.

Despite the home side's fight back, Southampton put the final nail in the coffin in the 92nd minute thanks to a superb solo-effort from Hojbjerg, who went on a mazy dribble that began in his own half and ended with him rounding Hennessey to make it 2-0 and secure the win for his side.

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