Monday 29 May 2017

Saints go marching on

Southampton 2 Inter Milan 1

Southampton's Virgil van Dijk
Southampton's Virgil van Dijk

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Southampton edged closer to the Europa League knockout stages with an historic victory despite going behind and missing a penalty.

Mauro Icardi had put caretaker manager Stefano Vecchi's Inter Milan in front but the 805 away supporters went home disappointed after Claude Puel's side deservedly reversed their fortunes with a goal from man of the match Virgil van Dijk and an own goal from Yuto Nagatomo.

Charlie Austin has a shot saved. Photo: Reuters / John Sibley
Charlie Austin has a shot saved. Photo: Reuters / John Sibley

After the visitors had taken the lead against the run of play, Southampton should have been level as the first half ended shrouded in controversy.

Firstly, they were awarded a fortuitous penalty when the ball struck Ivan Perisic's arm at point-blank range. Saints had to wait several minutes to take the spot-kick as Inter protested and Antonio Candreva appeared to elbow Sam McQueen.

Dusan Tadic finally stepped up only to see his tame effort kept out by Samir Handanovic, who has saved all three penalties he has faced in the competition for Inter.

The winner came on 69 minutes. Tadic's low cross went in off the knee of the luckless Nagatomo.

Southampton's Oriol Romeu puts pressure on Inter Milan's golakeeper Samir Handanovic. Photo: Reuters / Eddie Keogh
Southampton's Oriol Romeu puts pressure on Inter Milan's golakeeper Samir Handanovic. Photo: Reuters / Eddie Keogh
Samir Handanovic saves a penalty taken by Southampton's Dusan Tadic. Photo: Reuters / John Sibley
Samir Handanovic saves a penalty taken by Southampton's Dusan Tadic. Photo: Reuters / John Sibley
Jay Rodriguez heads towards the Milan goal during the UEFA Europa League match at St Mary's. Photo: Nick Potts/PA Wire
Jay Rodriguez heads towards the Milan goal during the UEFA Europa League match at St Mary's. Photo: Nick Potts/PA Wire

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