Monday 19 March 2018

Southampton v Everton - Story of the match

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg impressed against Everton
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg impressed against Everton

Ronald Koeman suffered defeat on his return to Southampton as the Saints comfortably outplayed Everton to secure a deserved 1-0 Premier League victory.

The occasion was another on which the hosts should have scored more than they did but a first win in four - courtesy of another goal from Charlie Austin, Koeman's last signing on the south coast - proved enough to take them back up to 10th.

Defeat means Everton have won only one of their past nine fixtures, further highlighting the improvements required and threatening to undermine their fine start to the season.


"Well played Josh Sims. An excellent performance from yet another exciting prospect from the Southampton academy." - Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) was impressed by the Saints' latest starlet.


Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.

Southampton were so impressive that Hojbjerg was one of at least three who were in contention, but the midfielder's most convincing display since his arrival at the club ensured he was the most influential.

He contributed much to the Saints' ability to spread possession, provided creativity and tempo and also helped protect his defence. On this evidence, Hojbjerg can prove one of Southampton's finest signings in recent years.


On Thursday at Sparta Prague, Southampton produced a poor performance that deserved the 1-0 defeat that came.

There was therefore no predicting the intense, cultured performance they produced to outplay Everton.

Unusually for manager Claude Puel, he also made fewer changes to his team, meaning so many of those involved in the Europa League improved for the visit of Everton.

There was little logic to their transformation.


The opening 41 seconds, that concluded with Charlie Austin's goal, featured some of the finest football produced by any Premier League team so far this season.

Southampton have been good to watch before now but had rarely threatened the type of classy, one-touch football that both Manchester City and Arsenal would have been proud of. Confident passing and movement outplayed Everton and made them look far worse than they really are.



Fraser Forster: 8 (out of 10)

Cedric Soares: 8

Jose Fonte: 7

Virgil van Dijk: 8

Ryan Bertrand: 7

Oriol Romeu: 7

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg: 9

James Ward-Prowse: 8

Nathan Redmond: 7

Josh Sims: 8

Charlie Austin: 8


Jordy Clasie (for Redmond, 79): 6

Sam McQueen (for Sims, 84): 5

Shane Long (for Austin, 89): 5


Maarten Stekelenburg: 8

Seamus Coleman: 6

Ashley Williams: 6

Phil Jagielka: 6

Leighton Baines: 6

Gareth Barry: 5

Idrissa Gueye: 5

Ross Barkley: 6

Aaron Lennon: 5

Yannick Bolasie: 7

Romelu Lukaku: 6


Gerard Deulofeu: (for Lennon, 65): 5

Kevin Mirallas (for Barkley, 71): 6

Enner Valencia (for Baines, 83): 5


Everton v Manchester United (Premier League, December 4)

Arsenal v Southampton (EFL Cup, November 30)

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