Saints edge to narrow win

Southampton moved out of the bottom three with a narrow but fully-deserved 1-0 victory over Reading.

Last Updated: 08/12/12 at 21:46 Post Comment

Jason Puncheon scores the game's only goal

Jason Puncheon scores the game's only goal

Free £50 bet

Daily Offers and Promotions, sign up for a free £50 matched bet

Jason Puncheon drilled the ball across Adam Federici in the 61st minute for the only goal of the game, having seen a first-half header harshly chalked off for a foul on the Reading keeper.

Brian McDermott's side posed little threat, with their best chance coming in first-half stoppage time when Hal Robson-Kanu headed against the post.

Southampton made two changes to the side that started at Anfield, Kelvin Davis replacing the injured Paulo Gazzaniga and Jay Rodriguez in for Gaston Ramirez, who had spent much of the week in Uruguay following a family bereavement. Reading were unchanged form the side that started the defeat to Manchester United last week.

The home side looked the more likely to open the scoring early on, but they failed to really hurt Reading despite their vastly superior possession.

Puncheon proved to be a nuisance for Southampton, putting in several decent crosses in the opening stages with Morgan Schneiderlin having the best chance when he was just unable to get on top the ball at the near post.

Adam Lallana, skippering the side despite the recall of club captain Davis, showed why he is said to be attracting a lot of interest from other clubs, driving a half-volley chance straight at Federici.

Jay Tabb was Reading's unlikely goal threat, making a couple of breaks from midfield and shooting straight at a largely underemployed Davis.

But the home side looked to have broken the deadlock after 33 minutes when Puncheon rose at the far post to nod a corner home. Referee Jon Moss immediately blew for an infringement, penalising Maya Yoshida for a push on Federici, but the decision looked a harsh one.

However the visitors nearly made amends for a toothless first half in stoppage time when Robson-Kanu's header struck the left-hand upright. Davis was rooted to the spot, but a goal for Reading at this stage would have been hard on Southampton.

Lallana's impressive first half display ended early when he limped off with a knee injury, but Southampton shrugged off the loss of their talismanic midfielder and continued to look much the better side after the break.

Puncheon had already forced Federici into a good save when he finally gave his side the lead they had deserved. Rickie Lambert fed Nathaniel Clyne, and the right back in turn passed to Puncheon, who broke in from the right to shoot low across Federici into the bottom corner of the net.

Jobi McAnuff curled a shot wide of Davis' left-hand post in response, and Robson-Kanu put a weak effort on the turn straight at the Southampton keeper, but it was the hosts who continued to look likelier to score.

Puncheon drilled a low shot from long range wide before substitute Guly Do Prado found the roof of the net from distance. The Brazilian had another chance in the closing stages, but was denied by a fine save from Federici down to his left.

Saints continued to dominate and were good value for their win, whereas Reading ended the game looking at a long, hard winter with a crucial trip to fellow strugglers Sunderland looming on Tuesday.

SouthamptonTeam StatisticsReading
1Goals0
01st Half Goals0
5Shots on Target2
10Shots off Target4
3Blocked Shots0
7Corners4
12Fouls13
2Offsides4
0Yellow Cards0
0Red Cards0
78.1Passing Success64.7
22Tackles15
68.2Tackles Success80
65Possession35
56.5Territorial Advantage43.5
465Total Passes232
25Total Crosses24
175Lost Balls178
45Recoveries21
64.21st Half Poss.35.8
68.92nd Half Poss.31.1

Free £50 bet

Daily Offers and Promotions, sign up for a free £50 matched bet

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

think all those names linked to United exits make sense. Kagawa has never really looked like hitting the form he had at Dortmund and Fellaini is radioactive after last season (even though I think he's been unfairly singled out for criticism). Nani and Anderson have had more than their fair share of chances so they are done, and Hernandez deserves better than warming a bench.

ted, manchester
The Insecure Gossip

H

e'll be off to Spurs (or better) in January and I don't blame him. Looking forward to re-signing Grant Holt as his replacement though.

notalentjones
Benteke ignoring speculation

I

n fairness, he does look absolutely shattered in that photo.....

FairyNuff
Shaw told to shape up

Footer 365

Champions League: John Collins claims Celtic will have to be at best to get past Legia Warsaw

John Collins says Legia Warsaw pose a huge threat to his dream of Champions League football with Celtic this season.

Premier League: Daniel Sturridge confident Liverpool can shine without Luis Suarez

Daniel Sturridge believes Liverpool have the squad to handle Luis Suarez's exit and will challenge for top honours.

Transfer news: Simon Mignolet backs Liverpool target Divock Origi and welcomes Pepe Reina return

Liverpool are closing in on Divock Origi and the Belgium youngster has been tipped to shine in the Premier League.

Mail Box

No Wonder Wenger Doesn't Buy British

That's if reports that Calum Chambers cost Arsenal £16m are to be believed. The English premium shows no signs of disappearing. Plus, worrying about poor Southampton...

Reasons To Believe That Van Gaal Will Be The Best

Some supporters sound oh so confident on Louis Van Gaal's excellence. Plus thoughts on shirt sales, best signings, football sevens and a good deal more besides...

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