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Southampton edged out Watford in an incredible high-scoring thriller to emerge out as 4-3 winners at the Vicarage road on Saturday evening.
The Hornets took a very early lead through captain Troy Deeney in the 4th minute, but Southampton came back through Serbian attacker Dusan Tadic in the 28th minute with a low drilled effort. The Saints piled the pressure on Walter Mazzarri’s side and were rewarded for their efforts as Nathan Redmond finished a fine team move, that he initiated, to send his team into the break leading 2-1.
Southampton kept the pressure on after the restart but were thwarted by a resilient Heurelho Gomes in the Watford goal, who made save after save to keep his side in the game. The home team came right back into the game, when Stefano Okaka slotted home in the 73rd minute, after some fine work by substitute Isaac Success down the left-flank.
But Southampton were not to be denied a win this time around, as Manolo Gabbiadini continued his hot streak to put Southampton in the lead once again, capitalizing on a poor error from the brilliant Gomes. Four minutes later, Redmond put the result to bed with a powerful hit into the roof of the net. The home team pulled one back deep into injury time with substitute Abdoulaye Doucoure tapping home from a fine cross by M’Baye Niang, but it was all too late.
It was another excellent performance from Southampton, who displayed great grit and determination to bounce back from their EFL Cup final disappointment last weekend. In what was a classic goal-glut, let’s see which Southampton star shone the brightest:
The Southampton stopper continues to leak goals, but to be honest, there wasn’t much he could do about the first two strikes. He could have shown more command to stop the third but made a few decent stops in the second period.
The Portuguese international was booked very early in the game after a cynical foul on Etienne Capoue. Defended well thereafter by making some vital interventions, but was beaten for pace by Success.
The Japanese international was a rock at the back for the Saints, despite them conceding thrice. Won almost everything in the air, made some important tackles, and almost got himself on the scoresheet in the second half, only to be denied by Gomes.
The 23-year old struggled for long parts of the game to keep the impressive Deeney under wraps. Was beaten in the air time and again by the Watford captain, but did make some crucial clearances. Not his best outing by any means.
The former Chelsea left-back had a relatively quiet night by his standards. Did not venture forward as often as he would have liked to.
Was the link between the defence and the attack, with Southampton often going forward through the Irishman.
The Spaniard shielded his defence admirably. Was a force in the air, winning all his aerial duels in the defensive half and distributed decently when in possession.
He was the architect-in-chief for Southampton as he weaved the attacking moves one after the other. Scored the leveller with a low driven effort, before setting up both the goals for Redmond. Excellent display by the Serbian.
A silent night for the promising Englishman. Wasn’t involved heavily apart from the build-up to the second goal. Taken off for Sofiane Boufal.
The summer arrival continued his great run of form for Southampton as he tore apart the Watford defence with his pace and skills. Started the move for the second goal with a fine dribble from the halfway mark, before applying the finishing touches himself. He then sealed three points with a vicious effort late in the game.
The Italian continues to raise eyebrows with his excellent showings. Was booked early in the game, but did not let it affect him and added the all-important third goal to put his team ahead. His sixth goal in four games for Southampton.
Came on for Ward-Prowse in the 78th minute. His tame effort from distance led to Saints’ third strike.
Replaced Gabbiadini for the last five minutes. Didn’t do enough to be rated.
Came on to replace Tadic in the 87th minute as Puel looked to shore up the defence.
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