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
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
Latest in Sport
Raheem Sterling to Manchester City: Winger to report for Liverpool training on today but Reds braced for third City bid this week
Morgan Schneiderlin to Arsenal: Transfer news live - Sergio Ramos to Manchester United; Raheem Sterling to Manchester City
Football kits 2015/16: The good, the bad and the downright worst new shirts from around the world for next season
Nick Kyrgios praises fans smearing Vegemite and Nutella on their faces in support of Wimbledon star
Alexis Sanchez 'will miss start of Arsenal season' after Chile go all the way in Copa America
- 1 Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
- 2 Greece debt crisis explained: A history of just how the country landed itself in such a mess
- 3 People all over the world are getting semicolon tattoos to draw attention to mental health
- 4 Greek debt crisis: Yanis Varoufakis's funniest (and most memorable) quotes
- 5 Swedish minister gives strongest case yet on why EU should stop turning away asylum seekers
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
Sickness and disability benefits could be reduced by £30 a week as part of £12bn welfare cuts