- Ward-Prowse, Long score for Saints
- Valery sent off in first half
- Southampton out of relegation zone
- 3 defeats in last 4 for Leicester
10-man Southampton beat Leicester City 2-1 at the King Power Stadium on Saturday, as Ralph Hasenhuttl‘s men dragged themselves out of the relegation zone with a wonderful defensive display.
James Ward-Prowse and Shane Long put Saints 2-0 up in the first half but they also had teenage right back Yan Valery sent off for two yellow cards. With a host of injuries, suspensions and players away on international duty, Saints dug deep with eight academy graduates in their matchday squad.
In the second half Leicester pulled one back as Wilfred Ndidi made it 2-1, but despite having all of the possession and efforts they couldn’t break down a stubborn Southampton side.
With the win Saints move up to 16th place on 19 points, while Leicester slip to eight on 31 points.
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Southampton took the lead early on thanks to a moment of madness by Nampalys Mendy. The Leicester midfielder caught Shane Long in the box and gave away a blatant penalty kick.
Ward-Prowse stepped up to score the penalty as Kasper Schmeichel got close to it but couldn’t keep it out.
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An unmarked Jack Stephens then forced Schmeichel into a stop as he powered in a header from a corner which the Leicester goalkeeper pushed away. Harry Maguire nodded wide from Ben Chilwell‘s cross as Leicester battled their way back into the game before half time.
After a flashpoint between Jan Valery and Chilwell saw them both booked, Jan Bednarek somehow cleared Wes Morgan‘s effort off the line as Saints held firm. At the other end Valery should have finished off Matt Targett‘s cross at the back post under pressure and moments later he was the villain.
Valery brought down Marc Albrighton and was given a second yellow card as Saints were reduced to 10 men right on half time, but then they went 2-0 up. Long beat Mendy to a long ball and his shot had too much out on it Schmeichel to keep out.
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At half time Leicester brought on Demarai Gray and Harvey Barnes to try and get back into the game, as Leicester had plenty of the ball but Saints were a threat on the break with the pace of Nathan Redmond and Long.
The Foxes pumped long balls into the box and soon pulled a goal back as Ndidi bundled the ball home from Ricardo Pereira‘s cross. Game on.
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Jamie Vardy and Barnes went down in the box without any contact to leave Southampton’s defenders furious, while Vardy headed off target when under pressure.
Late on Leicester threw everything at Southampton as Maddison curled a long-range effort just wide, but Saints held on for a huge victory after a valiant defensive effort.