- Steven Whittaker sent off after two quick yellows
- Graziano Pelle put Saints in front before halftime
- Tadic put it away with a 2nd half brace
- Southampton earns first win of the year
It’s been a struggle for Southampton early on in the new season, but they took the first step towards turning things around with their first win of the season, a 3-0 thumping of Norwich City at St. Mary’s behind a brace from Dusan Tadic.
The visitors played the final hour with 10 men after Steven Whittaker was sent off for two yellows in the span of four minutes, and it was too much for the Canaries to handle.
James Ward-Prowse nearly put Southampton up after just 70 seconds with a free-kick that caused Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy to go full-stretch to keep it out. Saints remained attacking-minded in the opening five minutes but put a pair of shots well over the bar off early corner kicks.
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Cameron Jerome’s first opportunity for Norwich came on 20 minutes in the first sustained attack for the Canaries, but he mistimed Graham Dorrans’ cross and failed to get a head on it from point-blank range. Southampton remained in control and Tadic pulled a shot close but wide on the half-hour mark.
Then the match turned on its head as referee Jon Moss handed Norwich defender Steven Whittaker a second yellow card in the 31st minute. Whittaker had received his first just four minutes earlier, and was rightly sent off for holding back Tadic on a ball forward.
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Southampton worked with the man advantage and finding the breakthrough in first-half stoppage time as Saido Mane fed Pelle in front of goal, and the Italian beat Ruddy at his near post from a tight angle.
With the man advantage, it was all Southampton after the halftime break as Mane continued to prove bright and found himself one-on-one with Ruddy, but the Norwich goalkeeper stopped him on the break.
Southampton would double their lead and put things away as Mane pushed a low cross through the box and Tadic latched onto the loose ball, smashing it first-time into the top corner for a 2-0 lead. Tadic would then get a second and the team’s third minutes later as Cedric Soares sent a ball into the box that met the head of Pelle and while his thumping header was saved by Ruddy, Tadic pounced on the rebound for an easy tap-in.
Their first win put Southampton on five points for the new season and pulls them off the bottom of the table. Norwich, meanwhile, sits on four points with a win and a draw so far.