Southampton eased past Norwich City at St Mary’s on Friday, as Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side continued their fine recent form.
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Che Adams scored in the first half and Oriol Romeu smashed home late on as Southampton were superior throughout.
With the win Saints move up to ninth place in the table on 35 points as they’ve lost just once in their last 12 games in all competitions and just one of their 13 home games in the PL.
Norwich remain bottom of the Premier League table and after three-straight defeats that are five points from safety.
Southampton vs Norwich final score, stats
Southampton 2-0 Norwich
Goals scored: Adams 36′, Romeu 88′
Shots: Southampton 27, Norwich 8
Shots on target: Southampton 9, Norwich 1
Possession: Southampton 59, Norwich 41
Three things we learned from Southampton vs Norwich
1. Saints showing control, focus: They dominated this game from start to finish and Saints are now showing great composure and patience to go with their trademark high-press under Hasenhuttl. There is a different feel to this team this season. They have experience in Romeu, Ward-Prowse and Armstrong to keep the ball in tight areas and calm things down and they look more solid defensively. When we think about Saints the first things we associate with them is risk-taking and high-pressing. They still have that in them but now they have more control, balance and solidity. That is why they’re on a great run and with winnable games coming up, they could push to finish in seventh or eighth.
2. Norwich stuck in neutral: The Canaries played like a team who know they are running out of time to save themselves in the Premier League. Dean Smith’s side just couldn’t keep the ball and they neither sat back deep or committed players forward. They had zero shots on target during this game. They were stuck in neutral during this game and they now have 12 games to save themselves from relegation. They created a few half chances when they were more direct and got Teemu Pukki in-behind and Sargent and Rashica going on the counter, but it didn’t happen anywhere near enough. Norwich just have to go for it if they’re going to have any chance of staying up.
3. Romeu is incredibly underrated: The Spanish midfielder is a warrior and a real unsung hero. He is quietly having a mighty season in Saints’ engine room and he was already a fans favorite at St Mary’s. But like a fine Spanish Rioja, Romeu is ageing magnificently. He won Saints’ player of the year in the 2016-17 season and he’s always had wonderful control and passing ability. This season he’s added forward driving runs to his game and his goal was a beauty. Alongside James Ward-Prowse he makes Saints tick.
Man of the Match: Oriol Romeu – Controlled the tempo of the game in midfield, so tidy on the ball and smashed home the late clincher. Stuart Armstrong and Kyle Walker-Peters were also excellent for the hosts.
Saints set the tone
Southampton started well but it was Norwich who had the best chance early on. After Teemu Pukki raced clear and crossed, USMNT forward Josh Sargent saw his shot blocked by Tino Livramento, then Billy Gilmour’s effort was deflected wide.
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Norwich then gave the ball away in a dangerous area but Broja couldn’t get enough power on his effort as Angus Gunn saved. Gunn then denied Mohamed Elyounoussi’s volley from close range and from the resulting corner Che Adams nods wide.
Adams makes breakthrough
Moments later Adams bundled the ball home, as Livramento’s cross caused chaos and the Scotland international hooked the ball home while he was on the ground.
Elyounoussi flashed a shot just wide right on half time as Southampton were well on top. Adams went close to adding a second early in the second half, as Norwich struggled to get on the ball.
Stuart Armstrong’s shot was cleared by Norwich and Kyle Walker-Peters had his effort saved by Gunn soon after.
Canaries try to go for it, but Romeu strikes
Salisu blocked an effort from Pukki as Norwich tried to push hard for an equalizer late on, as Grant Hanley headed wide.
Romeu then smashed home a beauty late on to seal the win and that was exactly what Saints deserved.