Gabbiadini saves Southampton season

Leave a comment
  • West Brom relegated
  • Gabbiadini scores 73rd minute goal
  • Southampton moves 16th, three clear of Swans

Southampton won a massive relegation six-pointer on Tuesday when Manolo Gabbiadini‘s second half goal led them past Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium.

The win boosts Saints onto 36 points, three clear of 18th place Swans and level with 17th place Huddersfield Town. Southampton has vastly superior goal differential to both.

West Bromwich Albion was relegated in the loss.

Huddersfield Town is at Chelsea on Wednesday and home to Arsenal on Sunday. Southampton hosts Manchester City on Sunday, while Swans host Stoke City.

One point earned by Huddersfield Town from its final two matches would send Swans to the Championship.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Jordan Ayew won a dangerous free kick early, but a 4th minute effort from 19 yards rammed into the wall.

Jordan then cued up his brother Andre inside the box, and he was defied by duel sliding tackles from Jan Bednarek and Wesley Hoedt. The ball bounded off the back of Hoedt’s arm, but (rightly) no penalty.

Swans had more of the ball, but Charlie Austin brought the next dangerous action with a break. The English striker couldn’t get enough on his shot, though, and Lukasz Fabianski collected the low drive.

Sam Clucas turned a header wide of goal in one of Swans’ best looks at an opener.

Austin was again stopped by Fabianski in the second half.

Bednarek had to be removed from the match when his goalkeeper, Alex McCarthy, punched a corner kick away and connected with the center back’s head.

Southampton broke through off a corner kick, with Austin again defied by Fabianski before Gabbiadini pushed the rebound home.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Stoppage time heartbreak for Saints at Goodison

1 Comment
  • Redmond scores first of season
  • Deflected equalizer in stoppage time
  • Saints move to 17th
  • Everton remains 8th

Everton’s Tom Davies scored in the fifth of four minutes of stoppage time to claim a 1-1 draw with Southampton on Saturday at Goodison Park.

Nathan Redmond‘s second half goal still pushed Saints out of the drop zone and into 17th place, level with Swans and two points behind Huddersfield. Southampton is away to Swansea on Tuesday (Watch live at 2:45 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

Everton stays eighth with 49 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Jordan Pickford made an outstanding save on Charlie Austin as the match neared the 20 minutes.

Saints looked the better bet to score despite their status as visitors, but didn’t get their goal until the second half.

Cedric crossed from the right, and Redmond nodded between the legs of Pickford to give Saints their lead.

Saints went down a man when Maya Yoshida picked up a second yellow card with five minutes to play.

Pickford made a nice save on Redmond in the final stanza.

Alex McCarthy made an amazing save on Leighton Baines‘ late free kick… but then Davies arrived to grab a point.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Southampton 2-1 Bournemouth: Great escape is on

Leave a comment
  • Tadic scores twice to be the hero
  • Southampton grab just their second win in last 22 games
  • Saints one point from safety with three games to go

Dusan Tadic was the hero as Southampton beat Bournemouth 2-1 at St Mary’s on Saturday in a huge win for Saints.

Tadic put Saints ahead but Josh King equalized for Bournemouth right on half time, but Tadic then won the game with a magical strike as Saints couldn’t finish Bournemouth off and had Alex McCarthy to thank for a stunning save late on.

With the win (their first at home since November and Mark Hughes’ first PL win in charge) Saints momentarily moved just one point behind Swansea who sit one place above them just out of the relegation zone. The Saints have 33 points, while Bournemouth have 38 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Southampton went ahead with a rapid counter attack as Mario Lemina broke, then fed Tadic to slot home as St Mary’s erupted. 1-0 to Saints.

The home side then took the game by the scuff of the neck.

Lemina’s rasping drive from distance was then tipped wide by Asmir Begovic and moments later Charlie Austin went down in the box under a challenge from Begovic but no penalty kick was given.

Nathan Ake then had a great chance to equalize for Bournemouth as he turned in the box but Alex McCarthy stopped well down low with his left leg.

Right on half time Bournemouth equalized as a corner from the right was flicked to the back post and King hooked home to stun St Mary’s. 1-1.

After the break Bournemouth did plenty of pressing as Lewis Cook‘s long-range effort was pushed away from McCarthy, but then Saints broke again in devastating fashion and regained the lead.

Tadic picked up the ball 40 yards out, ran towards goals and sent a powerful toe punt towards the far corner which flew past Begovic to make it 2-1.

Saints almost made it 3-1 when Tadic’s shot deflected off Austin and went goalwards but Begovic made a smart reaction stop, then Tadic played in Ryan Bertrand but his weak attempt was saved by Begovic and Austin then smashed into the side-netting.

The chances kept coming for Saints as Shane Long and Lemina combined but Bournemouth’s defense scrambled to clear the danger.

Late on Bournemouth pushed hard for an equalizer as substitute Jermain Defoe was denied by Maya Yoshida and then Wesley Hoedt made a great last-ditch tackle.

And then McCarthy came up big with a wonderful save in stoppage time from Ryan Fraser‘s deflected shot as Saints held on for a huge win.

Southampton believe their great escape is well and truly on as they have dragged plenty of other teams into the relegation scrap.

Three things we learned: Chelsea v. Southampton

Getty Images
Leave a comment

LONDON — Chelsea beat Southampton 2-0 in the FA Cup semifinal at Wembley on Sunday, with the Blues setting up an FA Cup final clash with Manchester United on May 19.

Antonio Conte‘s side scored twice in the second half with Olivier Giroud and Alvaro Morata on the scoresheet against a sorry Saints outfit.

Here’s what we learned as Chelsea have set up a tasty clash with Jose Mourinho next month.


GIROUD AN ELEGANT ASSASSIN

Olivier Giroud is quickly becoming a cult hero at Chelsea. The Frenchman dribbled delicately around three Southampton defenders and goalkeeper Alex McCarthy before prodding home to put his side ahead.

It was a elegant, yet clumsy, goal and summed up Giroud’s penchant for delivering goals of the highest difficulty.

Giroud has now been involved in 22 goals in 26 FA Cup appearances (15 goals, 7 assists), more than any other player in the completion since his debut in 2013.

The Frenchman is now pushing hard to be Chelsea’s first-choice central striker ahead of Alvaro Morata, although the Spaniard did grab a goal late on to wrap up the win.

Giroud has scored four goals in 13 appearances in all competitions since arriving from Arsenal in January but the way he holds the ball up and links with Eden Hazard is a huge plus for Conte. Giroud could also start up top with Morata if Chelsea tweak their system and at the age of 31 there is still plenty of life left in him and not just as a late sub, the role Conte earmarked for him.


COULD CONTE STAY…

Antonio Conte will likely still leave Chelsea at the end of the season but the Italian coach seems to badly want his time at Chelsea to end with a trophy.

But here’s a thought: if Chelsea beat Man United and somehow make it into the top four at Tottenham’s expense (they are five points back with four games to go), will he remain in charge for the final year of his three-year contract?

The Blues cruised into the FA Cup final and looked fired up from the start as Eden Hazard pulled the strings and Giroud made a nuisance of himself.

Conte’s comments all season long suggest he will depart Chelsea this summer and seek a new project, but if he does so after winning the FA Cup (after being runners up last season) to go along with the PL title he won last season, and then finishing fifth, that’s not a bad two years in the PL.

The Italian will depart with his pride and reputation intact even if he doesn’t defeat his old foe Mourinho in the final next month.


SOUTHAMPTON’S STRUGGLES

Saints are in the Premier League’s relegation zone for a reason and their total lack of confidence was clear for all to see at Wembley.

Mark Hughes‘ men have four games left to save themselves but it almost seems as if Saints’ players have resigned themselves to relegation from the Premier League despite sitting just four points from safety. One win in their last 21 PL games (that came against West Brom) tells the story of a side crumbling before our eyes.

After they shipped 12 goals in four Premier League, all of them defeats, Hughes has set Saints up in a 5-3-1-1 formation to try and make them tougher to break down.

It is working, at least defensively, with a 0-0 draw at Leicester on Thursday, but going forward they totally lack any cohesion and only created three real chances on Sunday as Shane Long made a hash of a great opportunity, Charlie Austin hit the post and Nathan Redmond tested Willy Caballero.

Saints are in a really bad place as they now have to find a way to stop themselves hurtling towards relegation. Their game at home against Bournemouth next weekend is a must win. Simple.

Chelsea joins Man Utd in FA Cup Final

AP Photo/Alastair Grant
Leave a comment

Chelsea will meet old pal Jose Mourinho in the FA Cup Final after beating Southampton 2-0 at Wembley Stadium on Sunday.

Olivier Giroud and Alvaro Morata scored the goals for Antonio Conte‘s men, whose date with Manchester United comes at the same venue on May 19.

Southampton will turn its attention back to the relegation battle, four points behind 17th place Swansea City.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Willian hit the cross bar with an early effort as Chelsea looked very much up for the semifinal.

Olivier Giroud had a 39th minute chance zip wide of the frame, as Chelsea posted nine of the first half’s 11 shot attempts while holding 60 percent possession.

Saints would have been happy to get to the locker room at nil-nil.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Twenty-eight seconds into the second half: That’s when Giroud scored, with Chelsea’s first long ball knocked down by Eden Hazard on the edge of the 18 and played to the Frenchman.

Giroud cut between two Saints defenders and goalkeeper Alex McCarthy to stab home with his right foot.

Hazard curled an effort of his own wide in the 48th minute.

Saints snapped to life, and Shane Long touched around Wily Caballero but too strong to equalize at Wembley.

Nathan Redmond forced a wild save out of Caballero in the 72nd minute, and nearly claimed the corner.

McCarthy tipped a Hazard shot over the bar minutes later.

Morata put it to bed on a cross from his in-tune assist man Cesar Azpilicueta.

The finish was thrilling nevertheless, with Charlie Austin hitting the far post and Saints getting a goal line clearance at the other end.