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    Southampton 3-0 Norwich City


    Norwich City manager Alex Neil had been delighted with his team's performances to begin the season, until this Sunday's live televised trip to Southampton. The Canaries had been unbeaten on their travels throughout 2015 but the game turned for them when defender Steven Whittaker was sent off for two thoughtless challenges in the space of three minutes in the first half. 

    On the other side of the pitch, this result could prove to be a turning point for Southampton who had been struggling post Morgan Schneiderlin and Nathaniel Clyne this season. The Saints were without a Premier League win this campaign, had been knocked out of their European adventure early and could have easily been distracted by ongoing unhappiness issues surrounding the influential Victor Wanyama.


    You could have been forgiven for expecting the visitors to get off to the better start but Koeman's side came out with a renewed positivity and dominated proceedings even before Whittaker's moments of madness. Young James Ward-Prowse was pulling the strings for the home side and showed that he is an excellent talent for the future. He forced a save from John Ruddy after just 64 seconds and Pelle, Mane and Fonte all had attempts within the first half hour. 

    On 27 minutes Whittaker received a first caution for grappling with Matt Targett whilst holding up a free kick and just three minutes later he cynically pulled back Dusan Tadic when the threat was minimal. Tadic was wrong in his reaction to wave an imaginary yellow card but Whittaker can have no complaints. No matter how good Norwich's away record has been, they were always going to struggle playing with 10 men against a rejuvenated Southampton for 60 minutes.


    Southampton pressed forward and Alex Neil was forced to sacrifice one of his most influential players in Wes Hoolahan to protect the defence. However it wasn't long before the home side broke the deadlock, with Graziano Pelle heading home Sadio Mane's cross right on half time. 

    The home side sensed their first three points of the season and continued to press forward in the second half with Ward-Prowse still running the game. On 64 minutes Sadio Mane laid a pass off for Dusan Tadic to rifle home and seal the game for the Saints. It was Mane's second assist of the game, the first time he's achieved such a feat this season. The icing on the cake came 3 minutes later when Ruddy did well to save Pelle's header only to see the ball fall at the feet of Tadic for him to get his second of the game.

    John Ruddy prevented the result from being embarrassing with saves from Ward-Prowse, Mane and Rodriguez whereas Norwich barely threatened. The home side had 61% of possession and dominated with 21 shots to 6, only 1 of which was on target for the Canaries. Alex Neil said 'the way in which we relinquished the away record was disappointing' and he will be concerned about their lack of firepower up front. No striker has scored for Norwich yet this season and with Lewis Grabban looking unhappy and the Canaries having bids for Benik Afobe and Jon Walters turned down, Neil could be working hard in the transfer market tomorrow. 


    Man of the match:
    Dusan Tadic- a fantastic talent when he is on his game and scored two goals in three minutes to seal the three points for Southampton. 

    By Chris Lincoln
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    Item Reviewed: Southampton 3-0 Norwich City Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Chris Lincoln
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