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    Southampton record first victory in Premier League



    Southampton regrouped after their disappointing result in Europe to claim a priceless three points against 10 man Norwich City.

    The game changed on the hour-mark as Canaries right-back Steven Whittaker was sent to the changing rooms by referee Jonathon Moss. The Scotland international received two yellows in three minutes.

    Just before the first 45 came to an end, Graziano Pelle latched onto a Sadio Mane pass and beat Norwich keeper John Ruddy at his near post.  In the second-half Saints' capitalised on their man advantage as Dusan Tadic scored his first goals of the season.

    Whittaker’s first yellow was after a tussle with left-back Matt Targett and just minutes later, he was heading for an early bath after tugging back Dusan Tadic, who angered the visiting fans as he waved an imaginary card.

    Former England keeper Ruddy denied James Ward-Prowse, Mane and Jay Rodriguez in the first half as Southampton dominated the match from start to finish.

    The visiting team offered little threat to Stekelenburg in the opposing goal as they registered just one shot on target as Bradley Johnson's effort in the 92nd minute was saved by the Southampton keeper which epitomised Norwich’s lack of attacking threat.

    The Canaries have been thwarted in their pursuits of a striker as bids for Wolves’ Benik Afobe and Stoke’s Jon Walters have been turned down.

    The Carrow Road’s outfit last venture in the Premier League returned a goal tally of 28. Alex Neil will need to learn from those lessons if they hope to last more than one season.

    The absence of Lewis Grabban due to disciplinary issues and Gary Hooper, who is second choice to Cameron Jerome highlights the fact Norwich need a proven marksmen.

    £8.5 million signing Ricky Van Wolfswinkel has re-joined Delia Smith’s team and he will hope to fare better this time around as he scored just once in his first foray into English football.

    This away defeat for Alex Neil was the first in 15 matches in all competitions and the international break could be the break him and his squad need.

    Ronald Koeman will be delighted to get his first win, under his belt but as the transfer window shuts on Tuesday at 6pm, who knows whether he will be able to rely upon Victor Wanyama and Sadio Mane.

    Southampton with the quality they have in their squad should achieve a mid-table position and the former Barcelona defender has done a remarkable job since taking over guiding his new charges into Europe for the first time in 12 seasons last year.

    This is the first time the Saints have kept two successive clean sheets in the Premier League since February. The St Mary's fans and hierarchy will hope this result will kick-start their season.

    Ronald Koeman courtesy of Ronnie Macdonald

    Article by Dominic Rust






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    Item Reviewed: Southampton record first victory in Premier League Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Dominic Rust
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