Clinical finishes and solid defending have handed Southampton their fourth win of the season at St. Mary’s as they continue to impress, moving into fourth place in the Premier League table.
Southampton have allowed just two goals all season, as their defense has been a major story of this Premier League season. On the other end, Adam Lallana and substitute Jay Rodriguez bore the attacking fruit to secure the points.
Both sides pressed early on trying to find their feet, but Southampton were no doubt the more organized side from the get go. The visitors found it difficult to build from the midfield, with a combination of sloppy passing and precise Saints tackles being their undoing.
The home side bagged their deserved opener in the 19th minute, moving the ball around all over the attacking third, twisting and contorting the Swans defensive shape until it broke.
The ball found the feet of 20-year-old Ben Davies, who expertly slotted through a streaking Adam Lallana who settled with his first touch, and fired a laser beam into the top corner with his second.
The goal seemed to put an extra spring in the Saints’ step, but in a few minutes Swansea began to build a serious response.
The Southampton defense, which has conceded just two goals this season, did its first real work in the 26th minute, with Boruc saving twice, first on a low Shelvey shot, then parrying a header from Bony a few minutes later. The Ivorian tested Boruc again the 31st minute, forcing another full-stretch save with a low shot from distance.
The Swans came as close as you possibly can to an equalizer in the 36th minute. Bony backheeled to Nathan Dyer on the wing, which sprung him to make a run into the box. He blasted a shot which hit the inside of the goal post’s top corner and caromed away. For the home side they will feel lucky to have not conceded, but for sure the visitors they will feel it was deserving of a goal.
Swansea picked up where they left off in the second half, but continued to be baffled by the Saints organized defense and could not get a result. The game remained a hard-fought battle on the edges of each box.
Victor Wanyama nearly put the game out of reach with his first Premier League goal on a corner in the 76th minute, but referee Mike Dean called play back for a foul in the buildup.
His counterpart, however, would pick up the team’s second. Substitute Jay Rodriguez grabbed his first of the season when he beat both Chico Flores and Jordi Amat to a long ball and slotted past Vorm to the delight of the home crowd.
That was all she wrote for Swansea, who could not muster anything else on the attacking end. The Swans will feel hard done by the result, as they were not poor enough to be two-goal losers, but in the end they could not produce the final ball against the sharp Saints defense.
Southampton – Lallana 13′, Rodriguez 83′
Southampton – Boruc; Clyne, Fonte, Lovern, Fox; Schneiderlin, Wanyama, S. Davis (Prado, 69′); Lallana, Lambert (Rodriguez, 68′); Osvaldo (Ward-Prowse, 58′).
Swansea City – Vorm; Rangel, Amat, Flores, Davis; Canas, Shelvey; Michu, Dyer, Routledge (Pozuelo, 67′); Bony.