Fletcher goal downs Saints

Sunderland moved further away from the relegation zone after a 1-0 victory over Southampton, a Steven Fletcher goal five minutes before the break proving the difference in a match often lacking in quality due to the wet conditions.

Last Updated: 23/12/12 at 08:15 Post Comment

Steven Fletcher: Scored the only goal of the game before the break

Steven Fletcher: Scored the only goal of the game before the break

The first half was dominated by Southampton but the home side failed to create any clear-cut chances. They were made to pay five minutes before the break, when Fletcher converted his first opportunity of the match. Stephane Sessegnon's shot was mis-hit and fell to the Scottish striker, who converted in a fashion which has become customary this season.

The second half was just as frustrating, Sunderland nullifying any threat from the home team, who were particularly disappointing with their set-piece and crossing delivery. Time after time the first man was hit.

Southampton did create occasional chances in the last 10 minutes, but could not break down a resolute defence that gave the visitors only their second away league win since February.

The game pitched together the two sides directly above the relegation zone, and was billed pre-match as a relegation six-pointer. Nigel Adkins had Adam Lallana out with a knee injury, whilst his opposite number Martin O'Neill welcomed Danny Rose back after a lay-off.

Sunderland almost took the lead after less than thirty seconds, with a Sessegnon shot fabulously tipped wide by Kelvin Davis, but Southampton were soon into their stride. Lambert had a free-kick deflected just wide and Gaston Ramirez tried on multiple occasions from outside the box, but there were no clear-cut chances.

With the game meandering towards the break, Sunderland scored against the run of play. A ball was played to Sessegnon in the area, and the forward scuffed a shot straight to the feet of Fletcher. Fletcher had been holding his back throughout the first period, but finished beautifully past the helpless Davis from fifteen yards.

Southampton made early changes during the second half, but they struggled to find their rhythm as the crowd began to groan at the lack of quality from both teams. Jose Fonte had a header cleared from near the line, but the Saints struggled to get support for Rickie Lambert up front.

The home side's set-piece delivery was particularly disappointing, and opportunities to threaten were consistently wasted by hitting the first man. The game reached the last fifteen minutes without Simon Mignolet being tested sufficiently.

Southampton did have occasional late chances, but Sunderland defended immensely in order to hold out for a well-earned victory, and the 2,000 travelling supporters were rewarded for their 300-mile journey.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

More Match Results

Sunday, 20 April 2014
16:10
Everton 2-0 Man Utd Report
14:05
Hull City 0-3 Arsenal Report
12:00
Norwich 2-3 Liverpool Report
Saturday, 19 April 2014
17:30
Chelsea 1-2 Sunderland Report
15:00
A Villa 0-0 Southampton Report
Cardiff 1-1 Stoke City  
Newcastle 1-2 Swansea Report
West Ham 0-1 C Palace Report
12:45
Tottenham 3-1 Fulham Report
Wednesday, 16 April 2014
19:45
Everton 2-3 C Palace Report

Barclays Premier League

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Liverpool 35 52 80
2 Chelsea 35 41 75
3 Man City 33 54 71
4 Arsenal 35 21 70
5 Everton 35 23 69
6 Tottenham 35 2 63
7 Man Utd 34 16 57
8 Southampton 35 5 49
9 Newcastle 35 -15 46
10 Stoke City 35 -10 44
11 C Palace 35 -13 43
12 West Ham 35 -10 37
13 Swansea 35 -4 36
14 Hull City 34 -9 36
15 A Villa 34 -14 35
16 West Brom 33 -11 33
17 Norwich 35 -28 32
18 Cardiff 35 -34 30
19 Fulham 35 -42 30
20 Sunderland 34 -24 29

Updated Mon, 21 Apr 2014

Footer 365

Reports: Moyes facing the sack

According to various reports, David Moyes is set to be sacked from his role as Manchester United manager.

Moyes demands final push

Manchester United boss David Moyes has challenged his under-fire players to end the season on a high by winning their four remaining matches.

Champions League: Atletico Madrid keeper Thibaut Courtois happy to take on Chelsea

Thibaut Courtois is delighted to have been cleared to face parent club Chelsea in the Champions League semi-finals.

Mail Box

'Tactically Inept And Lacking In Belief And Style'

It's fair to say that the 'Moyes Out' brigade is understandably out in force, whilst there are also staunch defences of Mourinho and Arteta. Plus, Liverpool fans can almost taste it.

That's Why We Didn't Want Jose At United

There is plenty of reaction to Mourinho's antics (Isn't that exactly what he wanted?) plus thoughts on Connor Wickham, Fabio Borini, beach balls and Tim Sherwood...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property