London - Southampton extended their unbeaten run to six matches on Tuesday with a
1-0 win over Hull in their English Premier League clash.
A 69th-minute goal by Jose Fonte was enough to give the visitors the
points and leave Hull's Steve Bruce to wait a little longer for his
100th win in the Premier League as a manager.
Victory saw Mauricio Pochettino's attractive and talented side move
above Newcastle – who host Spurs on Wednesday – and to within two points
of seventh-placed Manchester United, who are away at Arsenal on
Defeat halted Hull's mini-revival and leaves them four points above the relegation zone.
Southampton dominated the early stages of the game, Rickie Lambert, who
has eight goals to his name this season, going close in the third minute
as he curled a shot inches wide from Adam Lallana's cross.
Lambert was in again on goal soon afterwards this time trying to chip
the ball over goalkeeper Steve Harper, but the former Newcastle
netminder did enough with defender Paul McShane to clear the danger.
However, it came at a cost as McShane – who had crashed into Harper in
trying to clear the ball – had to be stretchered off and replaced by
Boyd should have put the hosts ahead against the run of play after
Republic of Ireland international striker Shane Long's header came back
off the post but he could only miscue the rebound and minutes later sent
a header wide.
Having got away twice Saints came back at Hull with Lambert turning
creator this time releasing Jay Rodriguez - their leading scorer in the
Premier League with 10 goals - whose excellent effort from long range
was only denied by the bar with Harper well beaten.
The match was riveting no holds barred action as both sides threw caution to the wind.
It was Hull who went close next as Long's strike partner Croatian
international Nikica Jelavic, who had scored his first goal for his new
club in the win over Sunderland on Saturday, got free but his shot was
tame and no danger to Artur Boruc.
Southampton were the livelier side after the break with Rodriguez always
a threat as was Lambert, with both having shots saved by Harper.
The Saints finally broke the deadlock with just over 20 minutes remaining, but it was no thing of beauty.
Hull failed to clear the ball first from Fonte's header, then Rodriguez
seized on the ball but his shot was blocked, Fonte had another go and
then when it appeared it had not gone over the line Lambert made sure
there was no debate by forcing it over.