Southampton’s new transfers’ sparkling Premier League debuts continued when Sadio Mane tapped home the end of a Dusan Tadić and Graziano Pelle orchestrated set piece to give the Saints a deserved 1-0 lead at home against Stoke City.
Tadić’s floated free kick fell to Pelle, who blasted a ball off the post. The rebound came to Mane who put a no-doubted into the upper part of the net. It was 1-0 at half, and it was all the Saints would need.
Southampton climbs into second place on 19 points, leapfrogging Manchester City and sitting three points behind Chelsea, which plays Manchester United on Sunday. Stoke falls to 11th, with 11 points.
[ RELATED: Latest Premier League standings ]
And though the scoreline remained tame, the Potters never really looked to be on even footing with the hosts. Manager Ronald Koeman’s team had far more shots and chances than their opposition.
Stoke City mainstay and USMNT veteran Geoff Cameron played 90 minutes for the Potters in the midfield, his preferred spot.
[ RELATED: Watch full match replays ]
Stoke’s desperation set in late, but Saints goalkeeper Fraser Forster made sure to keep his cool with a few easy collections and solid positioning.
Southampton: Forster, Clyne, Fonte, Alderweireld, Bertrand, Cork (Wanyama, 62′), Schneiderlin, S. Davis (Gardos, 90′), Mané, Tadić, Pelle
Stoke City: Begovic; Bardsley, Shawcross, Wilson, Pieters; Cameron, Nzonzi; Walters (Arnautovic, 69′), Adam (Diouf, 53′), Moses (Assaidi, 79′); Crouch