Sport Soccer

Saturday 19 October 2019

Practice makes perfect for Gunn

The Southampton goalkeeper saved Theo Walcott’s penalty.

Southampton’s Cedric Soares and goalkeeper Angus Gunn celebrate after beating Everton on penalties (Peter Byrne/PA)
Southampton’s Cedric Soares and goalkeeper Angus Gunn celebrate after beating Everton on penalties (Peter Byrne/PA)

By Press Association Sport staff

Southampton goalkeeper Angus Gunn has revealed his preparation paid off as he helped his side defeat Everton 4-3 on penalties in Tuesday’s Carabao Cup tie at Goodison Park.

Following a 1-1 draw over 90 minutes, the resulting shoot-out saw Gunn deny Theo Walcott before Cedric Soares’ success from 12 yards sealed victory and a fourth-round trip to Leicester for the Saints.

Gunn, quoted on Southampton’s official website, said of the spot-kicks: “I was prepared, I knew everything I was going to do.

“I think that’s just part of the game now – you’ve got to do your homework.

“You’ve got to know what people have done in the past and I took that into the game.

“Most of them I knew before they were taking it where they were going to go. I was pretty confident and I was disappointed not to save more in the end.

“The fifth penalty (which Walcott’s was for Everton) is always a big one because if you save it you’ve got one penalty to win it, and Cedric put it away.

“I would’ve preferred a clean sheet but I’ll take it all day and I’m glad we’ve come away with a win.

“All credit to the lads for putting the penalties away. We’re just happy we’re in the next round now.”

The 22-year-old thwarted substitute Walcott after Richarlison, who had also come off the bench, put his penalty over the Southampton bar and Matt Targett had seen his saved by Everton goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg.

Gunn also made saves to keep out efforts from Bernard and Ademola Lookman during the 90 minutes, in which Danny Ings’ 44th-minute opener was cancelled out by Walcott’s 85th-minute equaliser.

Gunn, described afterwards as “an outstanding young goalkeeper” by his boss Mark Hughes, was making his second appearance for the club he joined from Manchester City over the summer – he also played in the previous round when Southampton won 1-0 at Brighton.

In the Premier League this season he has been on the bench as back-up to Alex McCarthy, a member of the most recent England squad.

“I just want to keep progressing in training and take every opportunity I get,” added Gunn, who was part of England’s pre-World Cup training camp over the summer, having been in the squad for the first time last November.

“You never know when an opportunity in the Premier League is going to come along, so I just want to be ready and that’s what I’ll keep trying to do.”

While Hughes made six changes to his starting line-up for the tie, Everton counterpart Marco Silva made seven, with Lookman, Bernard and Kieran Dowell, who was substituted at half-time, among those coming in.

Three of the four-man defence – Jonjoe Kenny, Michael Keane and Kurt Zouma – had been retained from Saturday’s 3-0 league win over Fulham.

Silva said in quotes on Everton’s official website: “We had two players who were playing their first match in the starting XI (this season) in Ademola Lookman and Bernard. They did well.

“They played with Kieran Dowell behind the striker (Cenk Tosun) and he had some good moments and some not so good. But that is normal. We always expect things from him with the quality he has in his left foot.

“It is important for me that our defenders know our expectations. It is important for us to be compact and to not give easy chances for our opponents. To be clear with you, with their goal we have to be more aggressive.”

PA Media

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