Southampton 4-0 PEC Zwolle: Saints continue their fine pre-season form

Claude Puel kept his 100% record as Southampton manager in his second friendly fixture.

Southampton 4-0 PEC Zwolle: Saints continue their fine pre-season form
Photo source: PECZwolle
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PEC Zwolle
Southampton: Southampton first half: Paulo Gazzaniga, Cuco Martina, Maya Yoshida, Virgil van Dijk (c), Matt Targett, Oriol Romeu, Jordy Clasie, James Ward-Prowse, Jay Rodriguez, Nathan Redmond, Charlie Austin. Second half: Paulo Gazzaniga, Yan Valery, Jack Stephens, Alfie Jones, Sam McQueen, Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, Harrison Reed, Jake Hesketh (Jordan Turnbull 71), Lloyd Isgrove, Sam Gallagher, Olufela Olomola.
PEC Zwolle: Kevin Begois (Mickey van der Hart 46), Bram van Polen (c) (Bart Schenkeveld 68), Ted van de Pavert, Phillippe Sandler (Sander van Looy 63), Wout Brama, Youness Mokhtar (Kingsley Ehizibue 46), Anass Achahbar (Stefan Nijland 46), Queensy Menig (Ryan Jared Thomas 75), Mastour Hachim, Django Warmerdam (Tarik Evre 68), Mustafa Saymak (Athanasios Karagkounis 63).
SCORE: 1-0, 14' Austin. 2-0, 42' Redmond. 3-0, 45' Redmond. 4-0,

Southampton got their trip to Holland off to a perfect start, as they sailed past Eredivisie outfit PEC Zwolle by four goals to nil.

The South Coast side are to play FC Twente and FC Gronigen before returning to England for the start of the new season.

Number of absentees

Southampton were unable to put out their strongest line up due to some key squad players lacking in match fitness.

Steven Davis, Fraser Forster, Ryan Bertrand and Dusan Tadic all missed out on the game, as well as Shane Long, who has just signed a new contract earlier this week. 

New signing Nathan Redmond started his second game of the summer, whilst defender Maya Yoshida made his first appearance in a pre-season game.

First half action

James Ward-Prowse went close to opening the scoring after only three minutes but his free-kick was smartly saved by the opposition goalkeeper.

However, it only took Puel's men 14 minutes to get off the mark, as Charlie Austin got on the end of a Oriol Romeu through ball and made no mistake with the finish.

Austin scores the first goal of the game early in the first half. Photo source:Destentor

The next goal for Southampton wouldn't come until just before the break, despite spells of dominance from the Saints. Redmond finished off an excellent passing move to double the advantage.

Redmond netted once more just two minutes later after a fantastic solo run, in which he beat two players and slotted the ball neatly into the corner.

Second half incidents

Puel made ten changes at the interval and goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga was the only player to remain on the pitch from the first half.

This affected the rhythm of Southampton and they were unable to dominate as regularly as the first 45. PEC Zwolle had a handful of chances to pull a goal back.

The first chance came when the ball was played into an unmarked Ted van der Pavert, who couldn't hit the target. Ryan Thomas then nearly made the most of a Southampton defensive error but Gazzaniga was able to keep it out. 

New addition Pierre Emile Hojbjerg sealed the game by converting a spot kick with ten minutes remaining, his first goal for his new club. 

The win will be a big confidence boost before the game against FC Twente, who will provide a tougher task than PEC. Puel has his team playing good football as the new season approaches.