Southampton 2-0 Everton: Classy Saints end the Toffees unbeaten start
(Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

James Ward-Prowse and Che Adams' first-half goals were enough to seal the match for Southampton as the Saints inflicted Everton with their first defeat of the season in the Premier League.

Southampton's relentless Gegenpress no doubt impressed manager Ralph Hasenhuttl as Ward-Prowse opened the scoring with a dangerous overlap into the box and slotted home just before the half-hour mark. 

Calmy set up by Danny Ings, he became provider yet again with an impressive run down the left-hand side, fizzing in a ball for Che Adams to guide in five minutes later.

Saints continued to impress and Everton's afternoon got a whole lot worse on the 72nd minute as Lucas Digne was given his marching orders for tripping up Kyle Walker-Peters from behind, with the result looking to be set with 20 minutes still to play.

Story of the match

The opening ten minutes was a fairly lacklustre affair with the action coming back and forth between the two sides, but with little threat. That was until the eleventh minute when Southampton caught out Everton with their smart passing and Nathan Redmond could only shoot wide as the ball fell to him around the penalty spot, in what was a decent opportunity to break the deadlock.

Five minutes later Everton had a prime opportunity to do just that, with a dangerous free-kick in prime territory for James Rodriguez who shot well, shot with power, but shot straight at Alex McCarthy - who was making his 100th Premier League appearance.

Everton continued to threaten down their left flank as Glyfi Sigurdsson cut in and struck well from outside the box with a curling effort, but could only find the crossbar in what was Everton's most dangerous chance of the half.

With both sides threatening, Oriol Romeu forced a smart save from Jordan Pickford as he shot from distance with Southampton looking to open the scoring. And, that they did only a matter of moments later as Danny Ings found James Ward-Prowse on his overlapping run down the right side of the box, who calmly slotted home on the 27th minute to give his side the inaugural goal at St. Mary's.

That 1-0 lead didn't last long as Che Adams doubled his side's advantage on the 35th minute keeping his cool to slot home from Danny Ings menacing cross, following a superb run down the left-hand channel for Saints.

With Southampton in free-flowing fashion, they thought they had added a third only five minutes later as Che Adams chased a ball over the top and crossed in for Stuart Armstrong to smash it home - unfortunately for him, Adams was judged to be offside in his run.

With the Toffees desperate to make a change in the scoreline Carlo Ancelotti made a change in personnel as he introduced Bernard at halftime.

Just before the hour mark, the Everton boss brought on his final two substitutes Anthony Gordon and Fabian Delph in place of Abdoulaye Doucoure and Gylfi Sigurdsson in an attempt to change his side's fortunes.

However, the desired effect wasn't quite the outcome as Everton not long after gratefully saw a ball fizzed into Danny Ings not end up in the back of the net. Stuart Armstrong had set it up on a plate and it just needed a touch to make it three but Ings failed to capitalise. 

Everton's afternoon got even worse 72 minutes into the affair as Lucas Digne forced Kevin Friend to show him the red card after he tripped an onrushing Kyle Walker-Peters from behind - in the second sending off for Everton in as many matches.

Jannik Vestergaard was the man to score the equaliser in his sides draw at Stamford Bridge last week, and with 77 minutes gone nearly found the back of the net again if it weren't for the hands of Jordan Pickford.

The home side continued to press as they smelt a third goal, but couldn't quite muster one up despite a series of half-chances and five minutes added on.

The result though was already set and had been for some time as Southampton emerged victorious in what was a classy display of high-quality pressing, and passing within the Saints ranks - who rose to fifth in the live standings.

 

Takeaways

Sorry Everton look lost

Despite going into the game as league leaders and unbeaten so far, the Toffee's performance far from reflected that. Carlo Ancelotti had made three changes from his side which drew 2-2 with Liverpool, but the team performance just wasn’t there - certainly not the Everton side we’ve seen in previous games.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin was no doubt a huge factor in that form and against Southampton, he seemed very isolated and caused little threat for the Southcoast side. Which no doubt was a considerable factor in the Toffees mustering only a couple of shots on target in the match.

Southampton coming into from

Where Everton were poor, Southampton certainly were not! They were classy in possession with their elegant passing and their pressing was spot on today to earn them the three points.

If anything based on that performance alone Southampton fans perhaps may feel unlucky that they didn’t add a third, especially with Everton down to ten for the last twenty minutes. 

Nonetheless, it was still an impressive performance from the Saints, and perhaps a sign of things to come as Hasenhuttl’s side begin to build up some form having lost their initial two Premier League matches.

Man of the match

Danny Ings is predominantly the goalscorer but in this affair, the scorer became the provider as he produced two well-timed assists for Southampton’s goals. He ran the show and caused plenty of havoc for Everton’s defence, as did the rest of Saints attacking players in what was a good all-round team performance.

 

 

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