Jack Stephens

Desperate West Ham punishes Southampton

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Michail Antonio and Pablo Fornals shined for West Ham United in a 3-1 defeat of Southampton at the London Stadium on Saturday.

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Fornals set up two goals, and Antonio registered a goal and an assist. Jarrod Bowen and Sebastien Haller also scored for West Ham.

The Irons move out of the drop zone with 27 points, while Saints’ 34 points are nine clear of the bottom three.

Michael Obafemi scored Southampton’s goal.


Three things we learned

1. Fornals keeps rising: The ex-Villarreal man went his first 12 Premier League outings without a goal or assist, but now has two goals and five assists after Saturday’s pair of helpers.

2. Inspired Haller returns: The French center forward was absolutely monstrous on Saturday, and it’s not about his goal. Haller won 21 of 33 duels and 14 of those wins came in the air as David Moyes asked a lot of his big man. Haller had two key passes, two shots on target, and completed four of five dribbles. Key man.

3. Saints waste chance to improve UEL stock: Ralph Hasenhuttl‘s men rarely looked ready to prevail in London, with key mistakes from center back Jack Stephens and Alex McCarthy thwarting a chance to go 10th.

Man of the Match: Fornals.


Bowen gave West Ham the lead off a Saints giveaway, as a lively Pablo Fornals sent the ex-Hull man through for a clever chipped finish.

Michail Antonio was a threatening presence and nearly had the Irons up two.

Saints made it 1-1 when Obafemi worked Ward-Prowse’s cutback beyond the reach of Fabianski.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

West Ham reclaimed the advantage before halftime.

Haller got his seventh goal of the season and first since New Year’s Day when he beat Alex McCarthy to Antonio’s cross and deposited the resulting loose ball.

Antonio was rewarded with a goal of his own in the 54th minute, Fornals again assisting a vital marker.

Southampton outclass Aston Villa

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Southampton outclassed Aston Villa to win 2-0 at St Mary’s on Saturday.

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In-form Shane Long struck early and Stuart Armstrong sealed the win in the 94th minute as Villa never looked likely to draw level.

With the win Southampton move on to 34 points for the season and are in the race for European qualification. Villa are just one point above the drop zone.


3 things we learned

1. Saints almost safe: Ralph Hasenhuttl said he will start sorting out a new contract for himself and his players when they reach 36 points. They are now on 34 as they showed just enough class to get past Aston Villa. A clean sheet will delight Hasenhuttl as his team never really looked like conceding against a poor Villa outfit. Saints have played well in recent weeks without getting the points they deserved but on Saturday they dug deep to grab all three points. With a favorable run of games coming up, Saints are finally looking up the table.

2. Sky is the limit for Djenepo: He is one of the most exciting players to watch as the Mali international dribbles and wriggles his way towards goal. He could have scored a couple but set up Long’s goal and his potential is limitless. He is still just 21 years old and has a huge future in the game.

3. Reina, Grealish are Villa’s big hopes: Jack Grealish did his best to get Villa going, as he has done all season, but he had no real hope from his teammates as Villa were pretty wretched. Late on they chucked everything at Saints but even then they couldn’t break through. Pepe Reina made several fine stops from Southampton’s players at one end, even though his loose passing at the back put them under severe pressure. Villa head to Wembley next weekend to play in the League Cup final against Man City and that is a free-hit. Their main aim is to stay in the Premier League and they are now just one point off the bottom three.

Man of the Match: Stuart Armstrong – He finished off his lung-bursting run in the 94th minute to slot home Saints’ second and the Scotsman was tireless in linking together midfield and attack. Long and Ings set the tempo and Armstrong and Djenepo back them up so well.


Southampton almost took the lead early on as Will Smallbone, making his Premier League debut, saw his shot deflect onto the post and out.

The hosts did take the lead soon after as great work from Moussa Djenepo down the left saw him cross for Long who bundled home the ball. VAR checked the goal for handball but it stood.

Saints continued to dominate as Ryan Bertrand‘s header set up Ings who bundled his way through on goal but Pepe Reina produced a top save to deny him, then Djenepo fired over from Long’s cross.

Villa did improve a little as half time approached with Mbwana Samatta scoring from an offside position and Grealish trying to get on the ball as much as he could.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Jack Stephens flicked just over from a superb Ryan Bertrand free kick and then Stuart Armstrong rounded Reina but sent his shot into the side-netting.

Reina denied Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg‘s volley at one end while at the other Samatta’s deflected shot looped just over.

Substitute Che Adams fired just wide late on as Southampton were a threat on the break as Villa poured forward in search of an equalizer.

A frantic finish saw Adams have a shot cleared off the line at one end then Villa flashed a shot wide at the other. Reina then came up for a late corner kick and Saints cleared, leading to a wonderful ball for Adams who set up Armstrong to slot home and send St Mary’s wild.

Burnley snatch win at Southampton

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Burnley beat Southampton 2-1 at St Mary’s on Saturday in the blustery conditions on the South Coast.

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Ashley Westwood‘s Olimpico goal gave Burnley the lead with less than two minutes on the clock but Danny Ings atoned for his early error to smash home an equalizer. Saints couldn’t make the most of their superior possession and were caught on the break as Matej Vydra fired home the winner in fine style.

With the win Burnley move on to 34 points, while Saints remain on 31 points.


3 things we learned

1. Saints stumble against defensive side: Once again they played well and took the game to the opposition but Ralph Hasenhuttl will be shaking his head because his time are not getting the points on the board their performances deserve. That will be a worry as they are just seven points above the relegation zone and although Danny Ings keeps scoring they do not have a Plan B against teams who sit deep. Saints are at their best when they play against teams who attack them and leave gaps on the break. They have to play plenty of teams around or below them in the next few weeks and they have to find a way to adapt their high-pressing game.

2. Classic Burnley smash and grab: They took the lead twice and held on rather comfortably in the end for a vital three points. This is not Burnley’s first rodeo. Sean Dyche‘s side have taken 10 points from the last 12 available and they are now well clear of relegation trouble and perhaps dreaming about a European push. What a few weeks it has been for them as they’ve returned to basics and dealt with the injured duo of Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes.

3. Best and worst of Ings: He now has 15 goals in the Premier League and 18 in all competitions this season but we have to talk about his early error. What was he thinking? Ings let Westwood’s corner go past him at the near post and it crossed the line. It was a monumental error from Saints’ leading man. The best and worst of Ings was on show on Saturday.

Man of the Match: James Tarkwoski – Marshalled the Burnley defense brilliantly and this was his kind of game. Cleared cross after cross and kept them tight and organize. Great display from the center back.


With the first attack of the game Burnley took the lead as a corner whipped in by Westwood to the near post saw Danny Ings leave it and the ball went straight in. A bizarre Olimpico goal in the windy conditions on the south coast put the Clarets ahead.

Stuart Armstrong‘s shot was blocked by James Tarkwoski as Saints pushed to get back into the game and they did through Ings. The former Burnley striker made up for his early error as he curled home a powerful shot from outside the box to make it 1-1.

Jay Rodriguez almost put Burnley 2-1 up against his former club but he missed a glorious chance and replays showed he might have just been offside.

Sofiane Boufal‘s cross was then flicked onto the bar by Jack Stephens as the hosts cranked through the gears in the first half. Boufal was forced off through injury as he and Chris Wood were both subbed off in the first half as the conditions worsened on England’s south coast.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

In the second half the weather impacted the game but Burnley landed a hammer blow as substitute Vydra latched onto a superb ball over the top from Jeff Hendrick, controlled well and slammed home to make it 2-1.

Saints huffed and puffed to try and get back into the game and wanted a penalty kick for a handball on Ben Mee but VAR checked and nothing was given.

Nick Pope saved from Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg late on as Burnley held on fairly comfortably for the win.

FA Cup: Spurs blow lead, erase deficit to top Saints

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For the second time in 11 days’ time, Tottenham Hotspur coughed up a lead to Southampton in the fourth round of the FA Cup, only this time Jose Mourinho’s side was fortunate enough to escape with victory on the back of their own comeback capped off by an 87th-minute penalty kick.

[ MORE: Christian Eriksen blasts Spurs for treatment, trophies ]

From 1-0 up inside the opening quarter-hour, to a 2-1 down with under minutes to go, to 3-2 in a span of nine minutes, Tottenham are through to the fifth round where they’ll host Norwich City.

Spurs went ahead in the 12th minute and appeared to be off to the races. Ryan Sessegnon raced into the penalty area one-on-one with Jack Stephens before losing out and having the ball tackled away, but it fell directly to Tanguy Ndombele just outside the box. Ndombele hit it hard and low, first-time, and straight at Stephens as he returned to his feet. The ball ricocheted off the Saints defender and left goalkeeper Angus Gunn anchored in place.

The lead didn’t even last until halftime, though, as Shane Long put home a rebound after Hugo Lloris made a diving save in the 34th minute. It was Nathan Redmond‘s initial shot which came in from the edge of the area, only to be saved by the outstretch Lloris. He couldn’t hold the ball and no one in a white shirt arrived to clear the ball away before Long reached the top of the six-yard box and slotted it near post.

[ MORE: USMNT MF Duane Holmes scores again for Derby County ]

Saints took their lead on a devastating counter-attack in the 72nd minute. It began with a Spurs corner kick at one end of the field and Danny Ings tucking the ball in the far corner at the other end.

That lead lasted almost no time at all, though, as Lucas Moura had Spurs level within five minutes. Lucas and Dele Alli played a quick one-two outside the penalty area and the Brazilian tucked his left-footed finish home just as well as Ings had done minutes earlier.

Son Heung-min won, and converted, the penalty kick that proved the difference on the day, but it was once again Alli who pulled the strings and set up one of the game’s crucial moments. His through ball came cut Saints’ defense in half and left Gunn with no choice but to rush off his line, though it must be said the contact he made with Son was minimal, if any at all.

Spurs’ fifth-round clash with Norwich will take place back at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium midweek on the week starting March 2.

Premier League player Power Rankings

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Our latest Premier League player Power Rankings are here and there are some familiar faces sticking around the upper echelons.

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Stars from Liverpool, Man City, Wolves and Southampton dominate our power rankings once again as those teams continue to impress in 2020.

[ MORE: Club Power Rankings

Remember: this is a list of the top 20 performing players right now in the Premier League. If they didn’t play in the last matchweek, they aren’t getting in this list!

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]  

Let us know in the comments section below if you agree with the selections.


1. Virgil Van Dijk (Liverpool) – New entry
2. Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) – Up 2
3. Kevin De Bruyne (Man City) – Even
4. Sergio Aguero (Man City) – Down 3
5. Raul Jimenez (Wolves) – New entry
6. Riyad Mahrez (Man City) – Even
7. Gabriel Martinelli (Arsenal) – New entry
8. Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) – New entry
9. Jordan Henderson (Liverpool) – Up 1
10. Danny Ings (Southampton) – Down 8
11. Adama Traore (Wolves) – New entry
12. Gabriel Jesus (Man City) – Even
13. Troy Deeney (Watford) – Down 8
14. Jack Stephens (Southampton) – Even
15. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) – Even
16. Ayoze Perez (Leicester) – New entry
17. Sadio Mane (Liverpool) – Down 10
18. Nathan Redmond (Southampton) – New entry
19. Jay Rodriguez (Burnley) – New entry
20. Nick Pope (Burnley) – New entry