English Premiership

Pelle gives Saints European edge over Stoke

2016-03-12 19:38
Graziano Pelle (Getty)

Stoke-on-Trent, United Kingdom, March 12, 2016 (AFP) -Graziano Pelle ended a 13-game goal drought with a brace as Southampton won 2-1 at Stoke City on Saturday to steal a march on their European qualification rivals.

The Italy striker struck twice in the first 30 minutes and despite Marko Arnautovic reducing the arrears and Southampton substitute Sadio Mane seeing red at the death, Ronald Koeman's side held on for victory.

In ending a three-game winless run in the Premier League, Southampton climbed above Mark Hughes's Stoke to seventh place, three points below Manchester United, who currently occupy the last Europa League slot.

It was Southampton's first league win at the Britannia Stadium since April 2006.

Stoke welcomed captain Ryan Shawcross back after eight games out with a back problem and they made a positive start, Giannelli Imbula shooting wide after a positive run and Ibrahim Afellay seeing a shot blocked.

But no sooner had Southampton stirred as an attacking force, Stoke goalkeeper Jack Butland tipping Pelle's header over the bar, than they went ahead.

From Steven Davis's left-wing corner, Pelle rose at the near post to glance a header past Butland.

Butland parried from Shane Long shortly after, but on the half-hour the Stoke goalkeeper was at fault as Pelle swapped passes with Dusan Tadic before curling in a tame shot that the England international should have saved.

To make matters worse for the home side, winger Xherdan Shaqiri was then forced off holding the top of his thigh, with Bojan Krkic coming on.

Southampton squandered a gilt-edged chance to effectively kill the game off before half-time as Long freed Tadic, whose decision to cut inside onto his right foot allowed Geoff Cameron to come across and block.

Stoke sought to exploit the let-off and reduced the deficit in the 52nd minute, Arnautovic flicking the ball into the roof of the net from Afellay's cross.

Stoke pushed for a leveller, but found no joy, Afellay shooting over from range and Virgil van Dijk brilliantly diverting Mame Biram Diouf's shot over the bar.

Southampton should have been awarded a penalty when Tadic was sent sprawling by Butland after knocking the ball past him, only for referee Lee Mason to shake his head.

After Southampton substitute James Ward-Prowse had struck the bar with a free-kick, Mason angered the visitors again by showing Mane a straight red card for an aerial challenge on Erik Pieters, but Koeman's men survived.


What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Saturday, 16 December 2017
Leicester City v Crystal Palace, King Power Stadium 14:30
Stoke City v West Ham United, Bet365 Stadium 17:00
Arsenal v Newcastle United, Emirates Stadium 17:00
Chelsea v Southampton, Stamford Bridge 17:00
Brighton & Hove Albion v Burnley, The American Express Community Stadium 17:00
Watford v Huddersfield Town, Vicarage Road Stadium 17:00
Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur, Etihad Stadium 19:30
Sunday, 17 December 2017
West Bromwich Albion v Manchester United, The Hawthorns 16:15
AFC Bournemouth v Liverpool, Vitality Stadium 18:30
Monday, 18 December 2017
Everton v Swansea City, Goodison Park 22:00
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Who will claim the Premier League title at the end of the 2017/18 season?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.