Post by Football News on Jan 22, 2017 14:27:14 GMT
Southampton 3 - 0 Leicester
Rodriguez and Tadic on target as Southampton add to Leicester misery
Home team scorers James Ward-Prowse 26 Jay Rodriguez 39 Dusan Tadic 86 Pen
The inquest into Leicester City’s wretched away form in the Premier League continues after Southampton ended a four-match losing streak to breeze past the reigning champions. James Ward-Prowse created one and scored another, with a sweeping right-footed effort, to push Saints back in the right direction and leave Leicester going the other way.
It was another laborious, inept away display and Leicester’s record on the road in the league this season now reads: eight defeats, three draws, zero wins.
Nobody has been more baffled by Leicester’s dreadful away form than Claudio Ranieri, but the Italian needs to rectify their travel sickness and fast. Leicester remain just three points above Swansea City – seemingly doomed to relegation only a couple of weeks ago – and only five above the drop zone.
Ward-Prowse capped a superb all-round midfield performance with only his fifth league goal for the club, one witnessed by the watching England manager, Gareth Southgate. Ward-Prowse, who made his top-flight debut against Manchester City in 2012, has badly struggled for consistency but shone in an advanced midfield role here. Ward-Prowse is of course no stranger to Southgate, having worked with him in the England Under-21s setup.
Southgate presumably had his eye on current internationals Jamie Vardy, Danny Drinkwater and Ryan Bertrand but it was Ward-Prowse who made the biggest impression.
It was a turgid Leicester performance, with Demarai Gray the Foxes’ only real attacking outlet. Vardy, who scored twice in this fixture last season, was well marshalled by Maya Yoshida and Virgil van Dijk, captain here after José Fonte’s departure.
The opening 10 minutes felt very familiar, with Southampton dominating possession but again wasteful inside the opposition box. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg fired harmlessly over from Bertrand’s low cross and Nathan Redmond should have done far better with a free header after fleeing the attentions of Christian Fuchs to meet Dusan Tadic’s rising cross three minutes later. Wilfred Ndidi then handed the ball to Saints, much to the anger of an animated Ranieri, and the Serbia winger again supplied Redmond but Kasper Schmeichel saved low to his left.
Both teams appeared short of finding an end product until Ward-Prowse’s opener. Cédric Soares burst in behind Fuchs and cut back for the Southampton midfielder, who, first time, curled an effort into the corner of Schmeichel’s goal. The 22-year-old has already equalled last year’s goal tally.
Ward-Prowse then turned provider, whipping in a trademark right-footed free-kick, nodded down by Yoshida before Jay Rodriguez fired low beyond Schmeichel. Ranieri summoned Albrighton at half-time but things did not improve. Even Islam Slimani or Riyad Mahrez, almost 4,000 miles away with Algeria at the Africa Cup of Nations, would have struggled to ease the self-inflicted woundsafter a poor defensive showing typified by Wes Morgan’s clumsy challenge for Tadic’s penalty and Southampton’s third.
The only bum note for Claude Puel, the Southampton manager, could be the injury sustained to Van Dijk 10 minutes into the second half.
Yoshida could have got in on the act too, but his goal was ruled out for offside. While Southampton were already celebrating, it was noticeable that it was Ward-Prowse urging his team-mates to defend against Leicester’s attack, rather than celebrate, should the referee, Michael Oliver, not award a goal. It could prove to be a match Ward-Prowse looks back on with great significance.