Southampton – Crystal Palace recap
The stakes were low and the goals were good when Southampton beat Crystal Palace 3-1 at St. Mary’s on Tuesday.
Danny Ings scored twice and Che Adams had a goal and an assist for Southampton and goalkeeper Fraser Forster stopped a penalty from normally automatic Luka Milivojevic to deliver Ralph Hasenhuttl a rare win.
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Christian Benteke had Palace ahead in the second minute with a clever bit of technical skill, but Ings had an equally cool goal level the score in the 19th minute.
MIlivojevic missed a penalty before halftime and Adams got on the board in the second half.
Southampton, already safe, hit the magic 40-point mark in passing Burnley and Newcastle for 14th place on the Premier League table.
Palace is now just a point clear of Saints with three matches left.
Three things we learned from Southampton – Crystal Palace
1. Ings returns, does Ings things: Danny Ings has missed four of Southampton’s last eight Premier League matches, and Saints are a terrible 1D-3L in those outings. In the last four he’s seen the pitch, Ings has dialed up three goals and an assist as Southampton’s won two and lost two. Che Adams also had a great game, but it’s worth noting that Ings has been a part of so many of Saints’ best moments this season. He scored the lone goal in a 1-0 defeat of Liverpool early in the year and had a goal and an assist in a necessary 3-2 win over Burnley last month. What would they be without him? Seems we may find out after this summer.
2. Milivojevic misses?!? Well, Fraser Forster does that… You know that old saying, “Even a broken clock is right twice a day?” What’s the opposite of that, because Luka Milivojevic had converted 14-straight ties from the penalty spot before he was stymied from Fraser Forster in the 41st minute.
Forster is a monster in these situations though, famously denying Alfredo Morales amongst several big stops for Celtic in a Scottish League Cup FInal defeat of rivals Rangers. He’s saved 15 of 40 penalties faced in his career, also stopping two from Ivica Vrdoljak in a UEFA Champions League qualifier.
3. Zaha sets personal best amidst few alternatives: If any year allowed Wilfried Zaha to raise his hand as a man justifying the lofty price tag placed on the Ivorian by Crystal Palace, it’s this one. The combustible but powerful striker scored his 11th Premier League goal of the season, a career-best, but his two assists show just how far Palace’s attack has fallen. Zaha has never had less than five assists in his last five PL campaign has twice hit double-digits. He could still get to five, but only Christian Benteke has scored more than four goals amongst his teammates. Eberechi Eze is a great hope, but there’s been little from Michy Batshuayi, Jordan Ayew, and Andros Townsend, who have combined for
Man of the Match: Che Adams
He was everywhere, stuck into tackles, making three key passes and — of course — delivering the match-winning goals. Huge day for Che.