Southampton snatched a late 1-0 win against Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road on Saturday, as the Saints continue to push for a top four finish
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The only goal of the game arrived in second half stoppage time as Sadio Mane burst through and smashed home a stunning goal to send the Saints fans situated behind the goal wild. QPR’s best chance of the match arrived with 10 minutes to go but Fraser Forster made a superb save from Charlie Austin at point-blank range.
With the win Southampton climb to third-place as they are on 45 points, while QPR remain in 19th on 19 points and are without a manager following Harry Redknapp walking out earlier this week.
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Southampton had the better chances in the first half as James Ward-Prowse went close with a free kick, plus Mane went close on three occasions with Robert Green a busy man as Saints took the game by the scruff of the neck.
Over six minutes of injury time were added to the first half as teenage left back Matt Targett had to be stretchered off the pitch for Saints after a head injury. Targett, 19, was in for the suspended Ryan Bertrand but his departure saw a defensive reshuffled as Maya Yoshida switched from center back to left back and Florin Gardos came off the bench.
The visitors then had a great chance as Jose Fonte smashed a powerful effort against the crossbar with Green rooted to his goal line.
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In the second half QPR were on the back foot but looked dangerous on the break as Armand Traore headed into the side-netting. Saints wasted some great chances to take the lead as Mane found plenty of spaced behind the R’s backline but couldn’t make the most of it.
QPR substitute Mauro Zarate popped up at the back post but hit his effort straight at Forster as the Hoops started to threaten more as full time neared. Joey Barton smashed in a shot which Austin redirected but Forster reacted superbly to push it over the bar.
Mane, who had been a constant thorn in QPR’s side all afternoon, then served up a terrific winner to keep Ronald Koeman’s men on course for their best-ever finish in the Premier League.
QPR: Green, Onuoha, Dunne (Vargas, 83′), Hill, Phillips, Barton, Fer, Traore (Isla, 73′), Taarabt (Zarate, 83′), Austin. Subs: McCarthy, Isla, Kranjcar, Henry, Vargas, Zamora, Zarate
Southampton: Forster, Clyne, Fonte, Yoshida, Targett (Gardos, 26′), Wanyama (Schneiderlin, 61′), S. Davis, Ward-Prowse, Elia (Tadic, 80′), Mane, Pelle
Goal: Mane (90+2′)