Southampton’s revival continues after gutsy win over Leicester

Posted Sunday, January 13, 2019 by PA

Southampton’s revival continues after gutsy win over Leicester

Ten-man Southampton climbed out of the relegation zone as Ralph Hasenhuttl’s revolution continued with a gutsy 2-1 win at Leicester

James Ward-Prowse’s penalty and Shane Long’s first goal for nine months earned victory at the King Power Stadium.

Long’s strike, in first-half injury time, came just 120 seconds after Yan Valery had been sent off for a second bookable offence.

Wilfred Ndidi pulled a goal back in the second half for the Foxes but Claude Puel suffered defeat against his former club.

Southampton moved a point above the Premier League drop zone after just a fourth win of the season.

Three of them have come under boss Ralph Hasenhuttl as he revives the Saints just a month after replacing Mark Hughes.

Leicester dropped to eighth with boss Puel under fire from fans after performances lacking inspiration.

The Foxes were sloppy from the off and Stuart Armstrong twice went close for the Saints, latterly being denied by Ricardo Pereira’s excellent tackle.

And they proved to be warning signs for Leicester as the Saints took the lead after 11 minutes.

It was needless from the Foxes as Nampalys Mendy’s rash and clumsy push on Long conceded a penalty with the striker going nowhere.

Kasper Schmeichel got a hand to Ward-Prowse’s powerful spot kick but was unable to keep it out.

It gave the struggling Saints confidence and Schmeichel saved Jack Stephens’ header after 28 minutes as the visitors controlled the game.

Leicester had been slack with just a weak header from Harry Maguire to show for their efforts.

A defensive and tepid display had rendered Jamie Vardy and James Maddison anonymous.

But a close call finally sparked the hosts into life after 35 minutes.

Valery’s poor challenge on Ben Chilwell sparked a flare-up between the pair with Valery fortunate to avoid a red card after pushing the England left-back.

They were both booked and from the free kick Wes Morgan’s close-range effort was hacked off the line by Jan Bednarek.

It at least raised the tempo and Maguire nodded straight at McCarthy and the temperature spiked when Valery was dismissed a minute before the break.

The right-back had been rash all game and he received a second yellow after tugging back Mark Albrighton.

But if Leicester thought that was their lifeline they were stunned 120 seconds later when the Saints doubled their lead.

It was a catalogue of errors as Pereira failed to deal with Alex McCarthy’s long kick and when Mendy tried to play it back to Schmeichel he only presented it to Long who stroked past the goalkeeper.

Mendy paid the price at the break as he was replaced by Harvey Barnes with Demarai Gray in for Albrighton.

McCarthy beat away Maguire’s drive before saving Maddison’s snap shot as Leicester desperately searched for a way back.

And they found one in the 58th minute when Southampton switched off and allowed Ndidi to bundle in Pereira’s cross from six yards.

From then the Foxes camped out on the edge of the visitors’ area and Maddison fired over with 12 minutes left but they failed to find a leveller.


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