Southampton 2 Crystal Palace 0 match report: Saints go fourth as Palace problems multiply

Goals from Dani Osvaldo and Rickie Lambert  add to Ian Holloway's troubles

St Marys

This home victory over a team in the bottom three may not sound much of an achievement but it was something of a collector’s item for Southampton. Since Mauricio Pochettino became manager in January, his team had beaten the best at St Mary’s but struggled against the rest. That is, until Crystal Palace presented their somewhat threadbare credentials.

Against teams that open up and attack they can find spaces. But put a massed defence in front of them and they are often nonplussed, and the fact that they found a way through yesterday says less about their qualities than Palace’s shortcomings.

Manager Ian Holloway sent his team out to work hard and frustrate but they could not muster the necessary discipline to see it through and gave away two goals early in the second half. Dani Osvaldo scored his first since his £15m summer transfer from Roma, and Rickie Lambert curled in his 200th career goal from a free-kick.

It was not a convincing display by Southampton, but they had their first home win since March and found themselves fourth in the Premier League table.

Talk of Europe may sound fanciful beyond Hampshire, but Pochettino was not ruling anything out. “We’re not setting ourselves any limits,” he said. “We just have to keep on believing.”

As for Palace, they have lost five of their six League games and are without a goal in four and half hours. Holloway, back from a two-match touchline ban, cut a frustrated figure. “I didn’t like the way we capitulated again,” he said. “We’ve got to find out about ourselves in the world’s toughest league. We’ve got to learn to be determined and very dogged.”

Palace could have gone behind after only six minutes when Joel Ward had to head a Morgan Schneiderlin effort off the line. After that they never looked like denting their record of failing to score a first-half goal all season.

Palace’s best chance came after 27 minutes when Marouane Chamakh decided to dive rather than chase the ball after overhitting it when through with only Saints goalkeeper Artur Boruc to beat. Holloway held his head in his hands. “There was contact but Chamakh made the wrong decision,” Holloway admitted.

After 47 minutes Southampton went ahead, Osvaldo turning Kagisho Dikgacoi to crash a left-foot shot past Speroni.

It was Southampton’s first goal in open play this season, and in another minute the game was over. Osvaldo was felled on the left and Lambert curled the ball in off the inside of the post.


Southampton (4-3-3): Boruc; Clyne, Fonte, Lovren, Shaw; Schneiderlin, Wayama, Davis (Ward-Prowse, 67); Lallana (Ramirez, 85), Osvaldo, Lambert (Rodriguez, 77).

Crystal Palace (4-3-3): Speroni; Ward, Mariappa, Gabbidon, Moxey; Dikgacoi, Jedinak, Bannan (Thomas, 57); Kebe (Phillips, 73) Chamakh, Gayle (Jerome, 57).

Referee: Martin Atkinson.

Man of the match: Schneiderlin (Southampton)

Match rating: 4/10

Ed Miliband received a warm welcome in Chester
election 2015
Life and Style
Apple CEO Tim Cook announces the Apple Watch during an Apple special even
fashionIs the iWatch for you? Well, it depends if you want for the fitness tech, or the style
Astronauts could be kept asleep for days or even weeks
scienceScientists are looking for a way to keep astronauts in a sleeplike state for days or weeks
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own