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Premier League Preview: Swansea City vs. Southampton

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  • Sides drew 0-0 Aug. 12 at St. Mary’s
  • West Brom relegated by non-draw
  • Saints lead all-time 33W-16D-20L

There’s gamesmanship afoot as Southampton prepares to visit Swansea City in a massive relegation six-pointer Tuesday at the Liberty Stadium (Watch live at 2:45 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online on NBCSports.com).

The Daily Mail claims that Southampton was denied its hotel reservations ahead of the crucial clash with claims of a virus in the building, only to learn that the hotel was accepting guests.

[ MORE: JPW on the $230m match ]

That’s ironic given Swans’ status as gracious hosts: Only Stoke has lost more home league matches than Swansea’s eight, though four of their six wins have come since Jan. 22

Southampton has shown a knack for getting points away from home, with eight draws and two wins amongst their 18 results.

But Saints will know three points are huge with a visit from Man City its final match of the season while Swans at home to already relegated Stoke City.

What they’re saying

Swans’ Jordan Ayew is counting on home field advantage“Time is running out, but we are confident when we play at home. With the support of the fans, we can beat any team. We’re not scared of anyone and we can get a lot of points at home. We know that we have two more tough games, but we can only take one at a time. Everything is in our hands and we need to win the games.”

Southampton’s Hughes on Saturday hero Redmond’s season struggles“Sometimes he was being too sure, rather than being the natural player he is but I thought he was excellent when he came on, clearly understood what was required of him and when we made the change, that shows he is engaged and focused on what is happening on the pitch.”

Prediction

Saints have more quality in attack, and that could be enough. Neither of these teams are particularly good at defending, and Swans will know it needs a win even more than their visitors. Call it 3-2 to Southampton in a thriller.

Stoppage time heartbreak for Saints at Goodison

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  • 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 ]

Redmond: “Nothing negative or offensive” from Pep

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It didn’t look pretty on television, but Nathan Redmond insists his encounter with a fiery Pep Guardiola was acceptable.

The Southampton attacker was understandably downtrodden after Manchester City scored in stoppage time to take all three points from the Etihad Stadium when Guardiola came storming toward him.

[ MORE: Sounders joins Toronto in MLS Cup Final ]

Moreover, Redmond ripped into an English outlet which alleges Guardiola called him a foul name. The player says that was “lazy journalism” and insisted that Guardiola complimented him as a player and wished he would’ve attacked City like he did in 2016-17.

Redmond said, “I told him I was doing what my manager had asked me to do in the game. That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less.”

From the outside, it sure seemed like Guardiola was tearing into Redmond in a rather classless fashion, if not taunting him. And we imagine Redmond wouldn’t want to respond angrily to a man he probably wouldn’t mind playing under at some point in the future.

His full statement is below:

Pep Guardiola’s bizarre rant at Nathan Redmond concerning

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Pep Guardiola got caught up in the moment after Manchester City’s last-second 2-1 win against Southampton on Wednesday.

We get it. Soccer is an emotional game.

Pep, we excuse you for running around and celebrating like a madman, and we also understand your players (including the injured Benjamin Mendy) running around like lunatics to celebrate Raheem Sterling‘s 96th minute winner. It was a big deal and kept City’s eight-point lead atop the table.

What we cannot excuse is Guardiola seeming to goad and undermine opposition players in an aggressive manner as they walked off the pitch.

The video here shows Southampton’s Nathan Redmond being confronted by Guardiola as he walked off, devastated. We don’t know what happened before this footage. If Redmond antagonized Guardiola or said anything to spark such a furious reaction, but even if he did, Guardiola’s reaction is completely unnecessary and out of order. Why get involved?

Post-game Guardiola was asked about his reaction to Redmond and he had the following to say, more than likely with his tongue firmly inserted into his cheek.

“I said what good a player he is,” Guardiola said. “Last season he destroyed us here. I didn’t know him last season and didn’t realize how good he is. Today he could not attack because he defends all the time.”

Look, what Guardiola did wasn’t the worst thing in the world but do we really think Redmond wanted this “advice” or “praise” from Guardiola, the opposing manager, seconds after his team had just conceded a goal in the 96th minute to lose a game?

The answer is no. Redmond didn’t react angrily, despite covering his mouth and saying something which obviously upset Guardiola further, but he shouldn’t have to be in that situation even if what Guardiola said happened was true. Other players may not react as placidly as Redmond did in that situation.

Guardiola is a passionate man and a soccer purist. We get it. He didn’t like Saints sitting back, soaking up pressure and coming so close to being the first team in 19 games in all competitions to stop Man City from winning.

But what if Jose Mourinho, Jurgen Klopp, Antonio Conte or Arsene Wenger had confronted an opposition player in this manner following a last-gasp win?

I’d expect they would be getting a message from the English Football Association this morning being asked to explain their actions. Even though Man City have won 12 games on the spin and Guardiola is the mastermind of one of the greatest teams the Premier League has ever seen, he should be held accountable and be questioned further as to why he thinks confronting opposition players at the final whistle is okay to do.

Grabbing an opposition player, puffing your chest out and screaming in his face isn’t acceptable, no matter what was said.

Southampton 3-2 West Ham: Late pen avoids Saints blushes

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  • Redmond, Gabbiadini combine for first
  • Arnautovic sent off
  • Tadic, Austin convert penalties
  • Hernandez scores twice

Charlie Austin watched as Southampton tossed away a 2-0 lead against brace-scoring Chicharito and 10-man West Ham United, then buried a penalty in stoppage time to give Saints all three points on Saturday at St. Mary’s.

Manolo Gabbiadini and Dusan Tadic scored to stake Saints to their lead, and Maya Yoshida won the penalty.

Marko Arnautovic saw red for violent conduct in the first half, and Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez scored for West Ham before and after the break.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Nathan Redmond‘s through ball slid right into Gabbiadini’s stride, and the Italian spun the ball around Joe Hart and inside the far post.

Redmond then flicked a Dusan Tadic pass toward Hart, but the England keeper was wise to it.

Mark Noble should’ve put West Ham down to 10 men with an awful challenge just before the half hour mark, and then Marko Arnautovic earned a red card with an elbow to the neck of Jack Stephens.

Tadic converted a penalty on his 100th Premier League appearance, getting his 15th goal after ex-Saints star Jose Fonte hauled down Steven Davis in the box.

Hernandez netted his first West Ham goal when Fraser Forster pushed Michail Antonio‘s left-footed shot onto the path of the Mexican national team star.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

El Tri’s first class poacher was at it for the equalizer as well, as Forster saved another Antonio chance to Hernandez for a blast into the top of the net.

Nathan Redmond took a left-footed effort that deflected, forcing Hart to push the ball off the bar and out for a corner.

And Saints would break through with a second penalty given by Lee Mason. Pablo Zabaleta tried to get away with a veteran’s shove as Yoshida tried a header in stoppage time.