2015/16 Season Review: August

By SFC Media time Mon 30 May Club

We take our first look back at another record-breaking campaign for Southampton by looking at how Ronald Koeman's men fared in August.

Southampton’s 2015/16 campaign actually began in July due to their involvement in the third qualifying round of the UEFA Europa League.

After a 3-0 win against Dutch club Vitesse, Saints headed into the first month of the Premier League season full of confidence.

Thursday 6th August: Vitesse 0-2 Southampton

A 3-0 win in the first leg meant Ronald Koeman’s men were in control of the tie already, but when Graziano Pellè grabbed his second in as many games early on, there was only ever going to be one winner.

Saints kept Vitesse at bay as they looked to find some form of consolation, before Sadio Mané rounded off the scoring to complete a 5-0 aggregate win late in the game.

Sunday 9th August: Newcastle United 2-2 Southampton

If Saints were to progress further in Europe, they would need to get used to the Thursday-Sunday matches. Their first test was at Newcastle United, now under the management of Steve McClaren.

In the absence of Koeman, who had sustained an Achilles injury during the trip to Holland, his brother Erwin took charge. Pellè was again the man to open the scoring, as he headed home a cross from Cédric.

But Newcastle levelled through Papiss Cisse and then took the lead when Georginio Wijnaldum headed home with just three minutes of the second half played. Substitute Shane Long would salvage a point for Saints, as he headed home with ten minutes remaining.

Saturday 15th August: Southampton 0-3 Everton

Saints had the full week to prepare for their first home game of the campaign, which came against Roberto Martinez’s Everton side on a blistering hot day at St Mary’s.

But the extra preparation could not help Koeman’s men, as they slipped to a disappointing 3-0 defeat. Romelu Lukaku proved to be the difference as he netted twice in the first half, before Ross Barkley completed the scoring late on.

Thursday 20th August: Southampton 1-1 FC Midtjylland

The Danish champions, unknown to many, were seen as an excellent draw for Saints, but it proved to be very different over the course of the two legs.

Former Saints Academy man Tim Sparv shocked St Mary’s when he grabbed a vital away goal for the visitors midway through the first half.

Saints pressed and probed, and finally got their reward when Jay Rodriguez converted a penalty. But they couldn’t find a winner, and knew they would have to score in Herning if they were to progress.

Sunday 23rd August: Watford 0-0 Southampton

Having failed to keep a clean sheet in their opening two games of the league season, Koeman switched to a 3-5-2 formation against the newly-promoted Hornets.

While Saints were better defensively, as they registered a first league clean sheet of the campaign, they were unable to break down a resilient Watford side and had to settle for a second consecutive away draw.

Thursday 27th August: FC Midtjylland 1-0 Southampton

On a dismal night in Herning, Saints were dumped out of the UEFA Europa League at the final hurdle before the group stages, as Midtjylland won 1-0.

Morten Rasmussen’s 28th-minute goal, after Saints had started brightly, was the difference between the two sides on the night, and meant the Danish champions progressed 2-1 on aggregate.

Sunday 30th August: Southampton 3-0 Norwich City

After defeat in Denmark, Saints needed a morale-boosting performance and victory when Norwich City paid a visit to St Mary’s at the end of the month, and that’s exactly what they got.

It took until just before half time for Koeman’s men to break down the Canaries, but when Pellè opened the scoring in stoppage time at the end of the first half, Saints never looked back.

Dušan Tadić netted his first league goal of the campaign just after the 60-minute mark, and the Serbian’s second just three minutes later handed Saints all three points and a first league win of the campaign.


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