Extending their unbeaten streak to four Premier League matches, Southampton emerges as winners at St Mary’s, where they have ultimately dominated Everton today after a shaky start.
The Toffees, by contrast, were woeful for much of the game and have now gone ten away fixtures without a win in the top flight.
Their reticence allowed Saints to dictate the tempo and some impressive play by the hosts’ young full-backs.
Ward-Prowse’s pinpoint delivery also bodes well for the rest of the season.
SOUTHAMPTON (4-4-2): Fraser Forster;
Valentino Livramento, Jan Bednarek, Mohammed Salisu, Kyle Walker-Peters;
Stuart Armstrong, James Ward-Prowse, Oriol Romeu, Mohamed Elyounoussi;
Armando Broja, Che Adams.
EVERTON (4-4-2): Jordan Pickford;
Seamus Coleman, Mason Holgate, Michael Keane, Jonjoe Kenny;
Anthony Gordon, Allan, Donny van de Beek, Alex Iwobi;
Richarlison, Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
SAINTS LEAD! Capitalising on their first sustained attack of the half, Southampton go in front! Romeu and Adams combine on the left side of the area, and the latter plays in Armstrong, who strokes the ball brilliantly into the bottom corner of the net from the edge of the 18-yard box. Southampton 1-0 Everton.
SAINTS DOUBLE UP! Unopposed by a blue shirt, Armstrong strides into the final third, laying the ball off to Livramento. The young full-back crosses from the right for Long to meet at the far post, and the Ireland striker heads down past Pickford and into the back of the net. Indeed that’s game over. Southampton 2-0 Everton.
So, what’s next for Southampton and Everton?
Southampton next hosts the second of three successive home matches – taking on Norwich City in the league before welcoming West Ham in the FA Cup at the start of March.
Meanwhile, Everton will have to improve rapidly, as they take on Manchester City and Tottenham in their next two league fixtures.
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