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Southampton 2-0 Swansea: Match Report
Southampton 2-0 Swansea: Match Report - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game as it happened.
Duo secure points for Saints
Adam Lallana and Jay Rodriguez strikes secured Southampton a third successive Premier League victory, albeit in somewhat fortuitous fashion against Swansea.
The clash between two sides known for their attractive style lived up the billing, with play flowing from end to end in a pulsating encounter at St Mary's.
Swansea dominated proceedings after Lallana's first-half strike, only for substitute Rodriguez to make the most of slack defending to secure a 2-0 win for Mauricio Pochettino's side.
The result was harsh on Michael Laudrup's side, who showed no signs of a hangover from Thursday's Europa League clash against St Gallen as they pressed from the outset.
After Lallana latched onto a neat ball from Steven Davis to put Saints ahead, Artur Boruc was forced into fine saves to stop Michu and Wilfried Bony levelling.
Nathan Dyer also hit the inside of the post as half-time approached, with Swansea continuing in the ascendancy after the break.
However, Southampton kept the Welsh side at bay to earn a fifth clean sheet of the term, with Rodriguez slotting home seven minutes from time after seeing a Victor Wanyama goal dubiously ruled out.
It was harsh scoreline on a Swansea side that made five changes from the win over St Gallen.
One of those to come in was Saints academy graduate Dyer, who burst down the right flank early on only to be blocked off by Dejan Lovren.
Jonjo Shelvey tested Boruc soon after as Swansea controlled the early tempo, but Saints soon settled into their stride.
Michel Vorm was fortunate to avoid punishment after appearing to handle outside the box under pressure, before Dani Osvaldo wriggled free and fired into the side netting from an acute angle.
An intelligent Rickie Lambert pass just evaded Lallana as Saints continued to threaten, finding the breakthrough in the 19th minute.
Morgan Schneiderlin cushioned a header back to Davis, whose delicate chipped pass found Lallana and the Saints captained rifled home.
It was just the hosts' second goal from open play this season, but they almost had another soon after as Lallana came close to latching onto a Lambert knock back.
The match was now flowing from end to end and Swansea were testing the Southampton defence with increasing regularity.
Jose Fonte had to react quickly to head behind a threatening Wayne Routledge cross, before Boruc fantastically denied a header from Michu, wearing a protective scrum cap after receiving a head injury on Thursday.
The Polish goalkeeper was again called into action to thwart hopeful efforts from Shelvey and Bony, as well as smother a low Dyer cross.
Lambert saw a long-range free-kick parried away when Saints returned to the attack, only for Swansea to come agonisingly close to levelling.
Dyer collected a clever backheel from Bony and had time to hit a left-footed strike that hit the inside of the post and flew across the goal before going out for a goal kick.
Davis and Lambert had attempts for Saints, only for Swansea to again threaten as a Dyer cross found Bony, whose powerful header was just pushed around the post by Boruc.
Shelvey, Dyer and Bony all had efforts early in the second half as Swansea continued in the ascendancy after Jose Canas was booked for a lunge on Osvaldo.
Saints were struggling to deal with the hosts' possession game and Lovren was given a yellow card for bringing down Bony on the edge of the box.
Shelvey floated the resulting free-kick just over, with James Ward-Prowse replacing Osvaldo as Pochettino looked to stem the flow.
The change appeared to work as Swansea attacked with less regularity and Saints managed to secure a better foothold on the game.
The hosts thought they had made it 2-0 in the 76th minute when Wanyama prodded home a Ward-Prowse's corner, which should not have been awarded in the first place.
The Kenyan raced to the corner in celebration, only for the goal to be ruled out by referee Mike Dean to the puzzlement of those inside St Mary's.
The home fans did not have to wait long for a second, though.
Chico failed to deal with a ball over the top and Rodriguez took advantage, grabbing possession and slotting home to secure three points.
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