Southampton 0:2 Leicester City
City completed a league double over second placed Southampton with a fine 2-0 win at St Marys on Monday night…
Although City’s line-up was familiar there were new faces Danny Drinkwater and Nathan Delfouneso on the bench, both of whom made an appearance.
City started very brightly, taking the game to the loftily placed Saints, but it was the home side who should have gone ahead in the 12th minute. A hasty back-pass from Danns set former-City striker Connolly up perfectly but his scuffed shot was comfortably fielded by Schmeichel.
Three minute later, City took the lead. A long but precise ball from Mills found Nugent on the left and he cut inside his marker before curling a beauty of a shot beyond the reach of Davis and in at the far post.
The former-Portsmouth man had received plenty of stick from the Saints fans in the opening quarter of an hour and enjoyed his celebrations.
City continued to put Southampton on the back foot and Nugent went close with a shot across goal as three defenders closed on him.
But City’s loyal band of followers didn’t have long to wait for another goal celebration. In the 26th minute a Gallagher corner from the right saw Dyer sending St Ledger in on the left. Like a seasoned winger he beat Martin and sent over a precise cross for Mills to nod home from 6 yards out.
Southampton mounted a brief revival with Cork and Hammond both missing chances, but City’s two goal lead survived to the break.
Just before half time Drinkwater replaced Gallagher who was struggling with a back injury.
Saints almost pulled a goal back early in the second half, when Hammond got a firm header to a Fox free-kick but Schmeichel added to his portfolio of fantastic saves, clawing the ball out from under the bar.
City went close too, when Konchesky thundered a 25 yard free-kick against the left hand post. ~
Despite the introduction of three subs Nigel Adkins’ side couldn’t dent City’s resolve, with Mills and St Ledger continuing to forge a solid looking partnership in central defence.
Delfouneso replaced Beckford for the final quater hour and went close with an effort after being set up by Wellens. At the other end Saints rarely threatened and the result looked a foregone conclusion long before the final whistle.
It was a superb performance and result rewarding the 600 City fans who travelled to the South Coast. They also got a free scarf, pie and pint, courtesy of the Thais…. cheers!
Although every City player deserved some praise for a great team effort, the first appearance of Drinkwater also looked highly promising. Hopefully this game will be remembered at the start of a revival in City’s league fortunes.
Southampton: Davis, Harding, Martin, Hooiveld (Richardson 65), Fox,Cork, Hammond (Holmes 56), Schneiderlin, Falque (De Ridder 56), Connolly, Do Prado. Unused Subs: Bialkowski, Reeves.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Peltier, Mills (c), St. Ledger, Konchesky, Gallagher (Drinkwater 42), Danns, Wellens, Dyer, Beckford (Delfouneso 75), Nugent (Howard 87). Unused Subs: Logan, Kennedy.
Referee: Neil Swarbrick (Lancashire). Attendance: 21,014.