Saints seal first league win of season

By SFC Media time Sat 01 Sep Crystal Palace v Saints
Photo by Matt Watson | Danny Ings
Sat 01 Sep 3PM
Premier League
Crystal Palace
Ings [47'] Højbjerg [90+2']
Wan-Bissaka (64')
yellow card
Vestergaard (77')
Referee: Martin Atkinson | Venue: Selhurst Park | Attendance: 25,495

Southampton earned their first win of the Premier League season, as Danny Ings and Pierre-Emile Højbjerg struck at Selhurst Park to ensure three points against Crystal Palace.

Ings's second goal for the club and Højbjerg's strike in added time ensured a deserved victory, which could and perhaps should have been even more comfortable, with Charlie Austin seeing a penalty saved and home keeper Wayne Hennessey making a number of other big stops.

However, Alex McCarthy, fresh from his senior England call this week, was a match at the other end to ensure Saints built on their midweek Carabao Cup win at Brighton and head into the international break on the back of a confidence-boosting success.

Hughes named the same side that lost 2-1 to Leicester City last weekend, with Højbjerg having served a one-match suspension in Tuesday's trip to the Seagulls.

There was little other than half chances in the opening stages of the game, with Christian Benteke heading wide for Palace, Nathan Redmond’s deflected effort drawing a comfortable save from Hennessey and Cédric seeing a shot blocked.

It took until the 20th minute for the first opportunity of note to be carved out, and, when it arrived, it came from Saints.

Mohamed Elyounoussi turned in the area and clipped in a cross that picked out Shane Long, who controlled the ball nicely into space in a central position, only for Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Mamadou Sakho to throw their bodies in front of his shot as he looked set to fire the visitors in front.

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 01: Nathan Redmond of Southampton during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Southampton FC at Selhurst Park on September 1, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images)
Nathan Redmond on the ball during the first half at Crystal Palace

After Benteke again headed wide for the hosts and Højbjerg forced Hennessey into a good save with a fierce strike from distance, Saints went extremely close to grabbing the lead in the 33rd minute.

Elyounoussi sent in a free-kick from the right, towards the near post, with Luka Milivojević diving to try to head it behind, only to send the ball flying towards the top corner, but Hennessey produced a superb reaction save to tip the ball over.

Milivojević produced another effort of note – this time at the right end for him – on the stroke of half-time, sending in a fierce volley, which was straight at a well-positioned McCarthy, who made the save, to ensure the score stayed level heading into the break.

It took less than two minutes of the second half beginning for the deadlock to be broken, though, as Ings notched his second Southampton goal.

Cédric sent a ball forward from the right, which drifted through the Palace backline and ended up finding the run of Ings to perfection, and the forward made no mistake as he poked past the on-rushing Hennessey to give the visitors a deserved lead.

It almost lasted no more than a few minutes, though, but James McArthur’s curling shot from the edge of the box slammed against the bar and cannoned to safety.

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 01: Ryan Bertrand and Cedric of Southampton during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Southampton FC at Selhurst Park on September 1, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images)
Ryan Bertrand and Cédric celebrate Danny Ings's goal

Long then had a chance to double the lead, as he rose to meet Cédric’s right-wing cross in the 57th minute, but his header was straight at Hennessey, who made the stop.

It proved to be the striker’s last action of the game, as he was replaced by Austin in the 61st minute having picked up a knock, shortly after McCarthy had made a fine save to deny Benteke from a tight angle.

Austin was given a glorious chance to double Saints’ lead within moments of coming on, as Wan-Bissaka handled his shot to give the visitors a penalty.

The striker stepped up to take it, but his low effort was ideally-placed for Hennessey, diving to his right, to save.

Having kept out the spot kick, the Palace keeper continued to frustrate Saints’ search for a second, saving well from Redmond’s low shot across goal, with Elyounoussi flicking the rebound against the bar.

After Cédric made a fine intervention to deny Jordan Ayew sliding in at close range, Hughes made his second change, sending on Matt Targett in place of Elyounoussi.

His third and final swap arrived shortly after, as Ings was removed and Oriol Romeu sent on, with 13 minutes left on the clock.

McCarthy was called into action as the clock hit 82 minutes, diving to his left to push away a fierce strike from Patrick van Aanholt and keep Saints' lead intact.

Moments later, he again came to the rescue, tipping over James McArthur's shot, and, when he failed to claim the resulting corner, he received some deserved good fortune, as Palace striker Benteke headed over from an excellent position.

And McCarthy saved his best stop of the day for the 90th minute, as Benteke rose six yards out and looked set to head in the equaliser, but Saints' number one kept him out brilliantly with his feet.

Having absorbed the pressure, Saints then sealed the win in added time, as they countered on Palace, with Højbjerg streaking clear and firing a low shot past Hennessey to cap a fine day in London for Hughes's men, whose season is now well and truly up and running.

Crystal Palace

Head to Head Stats

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Crystal Palace

Wayne Hennessey (GK)
Patrick van Aanholt
Mamadou Sakho
Martin Kelly
Aaron Wan-Bissaka yellow card
Andros Townsend
replace Cheikhou Kouyaté (72′)
Jeffrey Schlupp
replace Max Meyer (76′)
Luka Milivojevic (C)
James McArthur
Jordan Ayew
replace Alexander Sørloth (76′)
Christian Benteke
Alexander Sørloth
Vicente Guaita
Joel Ward
Jason Puncheon
Jairo Riedewald
Cheikhou Kouyaté
Max Meyer


Alex McCarthy (GK)
Ryan Bertrand (C)
Wesley Hoedt
Jannik Vestergaard yellow card
Cédric Soares
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg goal
Mario Lemina
Mohamed Elyounoussi
replace Matt Targett (73′)
Nathan Redmond
Danny Ings goal
replace Oriol Romeu (78′)
Shane Long
replace Charlie Austin (62′)
Maya Yoshida
Steven Davis
James Ward-Prowse
Oriol Romeu
Matt Targett
Angus Gunn
Charlie Austin
Hughes's thanks to Saints fans
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Hughes's thanks to Saints fans

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