1-0, min 53, Boufal.
Southampton 1 Middlesbrough 0- As it happened

Southampton 1 Middlesbrough 0- As it happened

Joe Nicholson
SouthamptonForster, Martina, Fonte (C), Van Dijk, McQueen, Clasie (Long, min.85), Romeu, Ward-Prowse, Boufal (Davis, min 73), Tadic (Redmond, min.46), Rodriguiz
MiddlesbroughValdes, Barragan, Chambers, Gibson, Fabio, Clayton, de Roon, Forshaw, Stuani (Traore, min.81), Fischer, Rhodes
REFEREEStuart Attwell (ENG). Booked Barragan (min. 16), Tadic (min.21), Boufal (min. 45), Forshaw (min. 52), Fonte (min. 55), Romeu (min. 58), Clayton (min. 80)
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1-0, min 53, Boufal.

That rounds up today's live coverage, I hope that you've enjoyed it. I've been Joe Nicholson and you have been reading Vavel's live blog of Southampton v Middlesbrough. You can continue to follow our dedicated Premier League coverage here on Vavel UK.

Sofiane Boufal scored his first Premier League goal with a great strike which was a worthy winner. Next up for Claude Puel's men is an away trip to Stoke.

It was a frustrating afternoon for Boro and their striker Jordan Rhodes, who was starved of service upfront. Fischer had a great chance at 0-0 which went begging and Karanka may feel that this is an opportunity missed. It doesn't get any easier for his side with Liverpool up next.

A valuable win for the Saints who move up to 10th in the table after their Europa League exit. On the balance on play they probably edged it and showed more ambition after the break.


92' - It should be game over but Rodriguez misses a sitter from Redmond's cross. Fortunately for him it shouldn't make a difference.

90' - Three minutes added time.

87’ - Terrific last ditch tackle from Barragan denies Long a shot at goal. Will it prove costly for the hosts?

85' - SUBSTITUTION - Long comes on in place of Clasie.

82' - Close, Southampton are nearly out of sight but Rodriguez's header is blocked on the line by Clayton.

81' - SUBSTITUTION - Traore replaces Stuani with nine minutes remaining.

80' - Clayton is the latest player to go into the book. Southampton look well-organised and are making it difficult for Boro to break them down.

75' - Brilliant cross from Martina falls onto the head of Davis but he heads the ball over. Still 1-0.

73' - SUBSTITUTION - Goalscorer Bofal is replaced by Davis for the hosts.

66' - Boro a starting to advance up the pitch but still no sign of a change from Karanka. The visitors have a penalty appeal turned down when the ball bounces up onto Fonte's midriff. The referee makes the right decision and turns it away.

58' - Yellow card for Romeu for a late challange on Forshaw.

53' - The hosts have started the second half much better and they get their reward. Boufal receives possession on the edge of the penalty area and finds space to unleash a shot. His brillant strike gives Valdes no chance. 1-0 Southampton.

53' GOAL - Southampton 1 Middlesbrough 0 - Boufal

51' - Southampton have started brightly after the re-start. Rodriguez sees his shot blocked by Gibson before Boro scramble the ball away.

46' - And we are back underway.

46' SUBSTITUTION - Redmond replaces Tadic at half-time.

A subdued first 45 minutes at St Mary’s. Should we really be surprised when we are watching the two lowest scorers in the division. Southampton have seen more of the ball but the best chance fell to Boro when Fischer was sent through on goal. Hopefully things improve after the break.

Half Time Southampton 0 Middlesbrough 0

45' - Yellow card for Boufal who picks up a needless booking for kicking the ball away.

35' - Out of nothing Boro are gifted the best chance of the game when a loose pass sends Fischer through on goal. However, the Dane is unable to sort he feet out and is tackled by the back-tracking Van Dijk. 

33' - The game has drifted into a bit of a lull in the last few minutes. Ward-Prowse is picked out by Tadic's cross but sends his header wide.

21' -Yellow card for Tadic after he pulls Fabio's shirt.

 20' - Rodriguez forces Valdes into action by turning Tadic's cross towards goal. The Boro keeper is equal to it though.

16' - First yellow card of the game is shown to Barragan after the Boro right back apperas to catch McQueen. A couple of late challanges has just disrupted the game at the moment.

11' Southampton are seeing a lot of the but haven't been able to do much with it. The hosts record their first shot of the game but Clasie fires wide.

3' -First chance of the game falls to Rhodes, after Fischer cuts the ball back to the striker but his close range effort is saved by Forster. 

KICK-OFF - We are underway at St Mary's.

The Boro boss also keeps faith in Danish international Fischer and resists the temptation to bring Traore back into the side. It’s also a huge opportunity for Rhodes, who has not started for Boro since the 1-1 draw away at West Ham on October 1.

Karanka makes two changes from the side which beat Hull. Negredo and Ramirez miss out all together, as Rhodes comes in to make only his second start of the season. Stuani also returns.

The Saints make five changes from the side which lost 3-0 at Crystal Palace last weekend as Martina, Mcqueen, Clasie, Tadic and Rodriguiz all come in. It is the first time that Tadic and summer arrival Boufal have started a game together.

Boro's bench: Guzan, Nsue, Bernardo, Leadbitter, Traore, Downing, Nugent

On the bench for Southampton: Taylor, Bertrand, Yoshida, Davis, Redmond, Reed, Long

And here is how Boro line-up: Valdes, Barragan, Chambers, Gibson, Fabio, Clayton, de Roon, Forshaw, Stuani, Fischer, Rhodes

The Southampton team is in and is as follows: Forster, Martina, Fonte (C), Van Dijk, McQueen, Clasie, Romeu, Ward-Prowse, Boufal, Tadic, Rodriguiz

Karanka was also complementary about the opposition saying: “Southampton is a team that plays good football. We have almost exactly the same numbers in the league in terms of points,” said the Boro boss. “They have a good coach, an experienced coach and good players who are more experienced than us. We have to go there thinking we can win the game, especially with the way we have been playing and the confidence we have at the moment.”

In his pre-match press conference Puel spoke about how he was looking for the perfect response after his side were knocked of the Europa League “I think they are a good team, and they try to play good football with good players like Negredo and Ramírez,” he said. “It’s a good team. I saw this team in their last games and it will be important to have a strong determination against this team. They play good football, so it’s important now for us to have good results and a good reaction. I’m sure this will be the case.”

The last time the two sides met was when they were both in the Championship back in 2012. The Saints needed a point to secure automatic promotion to the Premier League when they travelled to the Riverside on the penultimate day of season. The visitors made the perfect start when Billy Sharp opened the scoring after 47 seconds, however Boro equalised though Nicky Bailey’s deflected shot. Tony Mowbray’s side then went on to postpone the Saints' promotion party when Merouane Zemmama swept home a spectacular free-kick 13 minutes from time. The last time the sides played at St Mary’s came in October 2011, when the Saints recorded an emphatic 3-0 victory. Two goals from Guly Do Prado before a third from David Connolly sent Nigel Adkins’s side to the top of the Championship, after dispatching a promotion rival.

Boro will assess the fitness of Alvaro Negredo, Jordan Rhodes and Gaston Ramirez, after Karanka revealed all three players missed training on Friday and are therefore injury doubts. Ramirez would be a huge loss after his man-of-the -match performance against Hull on Monday, when he scored the only goal of the game. The Uruguayan limped off with five minutes to go and although it doesn’t appear too serious, the injury does appear worse than first thought. Karanka also confirmed that full-back George Friend is back in training but he still needs to build up his fitness before returning to the first team.

Southampton will be without their top scorer Charlie Austin, who suffered a shoulder injury against Hapoel Beer Sheva on Thursday night. The Englishman has scored nine goals in all competitions and six of his side’s 13 goals in the league. Dusan Tadic returned from injury during the week when he came on as a second half substitute. Jay Rodriguez and Sofiane Boufal have reportedly recovered after recent knocks.

Aitor Karanka described Middlesbrough’s 1-0 victory over Hull on Monday night as a “massive” victory. Gaston Ramirez scored the only goal of the game to give Boro just their third victory of the season and provide them with some breathing space away from the bottom three. The victory followed a 2-2 draw away at the champions Leicester, in a match which Karanka’s side deserved to win and were only denied by a last-minute penalty. Boro have lost just once away from home, against Everton in September, and they have now picked up eight points in seven games on the road.

Southampton will have to recover from their Europa League exit on Thursday night, after a 1-1 draw at home to Israeli side Hapoel Beer Sheva saw Claude Puel’s team crash out of the competition. That result followed chastening 3-0 defeat to an out-of-form Crystal Palace side, in a match which saw the Saints concede three goals in the league for the first time this season. The Saints have been fighting on three fronts in the first half of the campaign and despite their disappointment in Europe, Puel has guided his side to the semi-final of the EFL Cup after Southampton beat Arsenal in the last eight.

Hello and welcome to VAVEL UK’s live minute-by minute commentary of Southampton vs Middlesbrough. I'm Joe Nicholson and will be taking you through all the action on Sunday afternoon. Kick-off at St Mary’s is at 2:15PM BST, until then you can follow my build up to the game, including the team news when it arrives.