Southampton start their competitive season early as they qualified for the Europa League last year with a 7th placed finish. Southampton have enjoyed a very successful pre-season as with 2 friendly games remaining. They started with a 2-2 draw against Danish side Silkborg IF with goals from Emmanuel Mayuka and Lloyd Isgrove to young players given starts by Moore as he attempts to find the next youth academy star. In their second game Southampton beat Ipswich 3-2 in a thrilling match with goals from Maya Yoshida and a brace from Sadio Mané giving them the victory. Then an easy victory away at Dorchester 3-0 with goals coming through Graziano Pellè and Gastón Ramírez before Chris Dillon suffered the misfortune of scoring an own goal. The final friendly before the home leg against Neman Grodno was a 2-0 victory against League 2 Leyton Orient were a younger rotated Southampton side showed their class by dominating with goals coming through young center-back Oskar Cvjetičanin and Charlie Austin.
Europa League Fixtures
IFK Göteborg – Luzern
Atromitos – GA Eagles
Asteras Tripolis – Aberdeen
Petrolul – Rio Ave
Haugesund – Dortmund
CFR Cluj – Basaksehir
Rijeka – Ermis Aradippou
Hapoel Be’er Sheva – Metalist Kharkiv
Bordeaux – KV Mechelen
AaB – Trnava
AIK – Hajduk
Shakhter – Trabzonspor
Southampton – Neman Grodno
Athletic – Györ
Vitesse – Koper
Flamurtari – Vorskla
VPS – West Ham
Rubin – Botev
Dinamo Moscow – Trencin
Slovan Liberec – Inter Baki
Irony Kiryat-Shmona – CSKA Sofia
FC Gronigen – AFC Astra
Mladá Boleslav – Thun
Torino – Inverness CT
Rosenburg – Randers FC
Neftçi – Lech
Ferencvaros – Litex
Viktoria Plzeñ – Dinamo Minsk
SV Grödig – Jagodina
New manager Terry Moore has announced his first competitive senior squad giving a glimpse of the players and tactics that he may use during his time at the club. He has given competitive debuts to 3 players Claudio Yacob, Nicolas Nkoulou and Charlie Austin. On the bench Moore has named: Kevin Davis, Maya Yoshida, Victor Wanyama, Graziano Pellè, Matthew Targett, Steven Davis and Pablo Osvaldo.
The Neman Grodno starting line-up is Oleg Kurganskly(GK)(C),Boris Slvakov(RB), Dzmitry Milash(CB), Eugenity Kovalev(CB), Igor Tarlovskly(LB), Khalid But’ko(CDM), Alexey Aliev(CM), Alexander Bordak(CM), Robert Barabanov(RAM), Igor Dyatiov(LAM), Artem Kovalevskly(ST).
Welcome to St Mary’s where a star studded Southampton come up against the hard working Neman Grodno on a warm 13°C evening. The official attendance is 21,870 in the 32,000 capacity stadium.
(00) Neman Grodno get us underway as Mr Orsato blows his whistle.
(02) An early chance as Ward-Prowse sends in the corner but Fonte can only head into the arms of Kurganskly.
(04) Fonte heads inches wide from another good corner by Ward-Prowse. A quick start by Southampton here Neman Grodno need to get tighter or they run the risk of conceding an early goal.
(06) GOAL!! And it is Southampton who draw first blood as Charlie Austin finds himself free on the penalty spot to put the ball past the keeper after some great work by Tadic and Mane down the left. You can’t say that Neman Grodno didn’t have the warning signs in the opening exchanges but they just didn’t learn from them and have been punished. Tadic with the assist.
(10) A testing free-kick from Aliev is well dealt with by Forster as he easily holds.
(18) On the counter Southampton nearly double their lead as Tadic finds Ward-Prowse with a delicious chip over the Neman Grodno defence but Ward-Prowse can’t find a way to get past Kurganskly who is keeping his team in the game at the moment.
(27) Penalty!! A well worked move down the left ends in a penalty as Mane is brought down by Milash.
(28) GOAL!! Charlie Austin doubles Southampton’s lead with an excellent penalty placed in the left hand corner. The keeper went the right way but couldn’t get his hand to it. Assist from Mane.
(42) Austin nearly completes his hat-trick as his header from 6-yards goes agonizingly over the bar after a great run and cross from Mane. All he had to do was direct it.
(45) Tadic has a half chance on the edge of the box but can only direct it into the keepers grateful arms.
(HT) A dominant first-half performance from the Saints as they go in at the break with a 2-0 lead but they could have easily had 3 or 4. Mane down the left has been lively with some nice play between him and Tadic.
One change at half time for Neman Grodno as Igor Dyatiov is substituted and Filipp Gurinovich enters the field.
(45) Southampton get us underway again for this second half.
(53) Kurganskly has to be at full stretch again to keep out a shot on the turn from Austin. That was another really good chance for the new man on his debut.
(61) Substitution: Eugenly Kovalev is being replaced by Yurly Vysotskly
(72) Substitution: Claudio Yacob isn’t going to make the distance as Victor Wanyama comes on as the holding midfielder.
(75) RED CARD!! That is another stupid challenge by Aliev and he has paid the price as he is sent from the pitch by the referee. He has already been given numerous warnings by the referee. The second yellow card came because of a silly challenge on Wanyama even though he was not going anywhere. Wanyama just shielded the ball and took the foul.
(80) Substitution: Yurly Stankevich will replace Robert Barabanov
(90) And we have 3 minutes added time here
(FT) A very good attacking display from Southampton has given Terry Moore a first win in charge of the first team thanks to 2 goals from Charlie Austin with assists from Mane and Tadic.
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