Saints Go Marching In: Redmond Brace Buries Wolves

Apr 13 - by Southampton FC for SportPesa News

The travelling supporters were buoyant, but not for long, as Saints fought back in a breathless first half

Nathan Redmond of Southampton celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the Premier League match between Southampton FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers at St Mary's Stadium on April 13, 2019 in Southampton, United Kingdom. PHOTO/ GETTY IMAGES

  • Southampton moved a commanding eight points clear of relegation with five games to go, edging a frantic first half and a more controlled second to see off Wolves at St Mary’s
  • The visitors were less threatening after the break, and any hopes of a Wolves comeback from a boisterous away following were extinguished when substitute Shane Long prodded home the killer third. 

  • Wolves were coming into this game on the back of their most gut-wrenching result of the season – perhaps several seasons – against Watford and Wembley, and the instant opener will have done nothing to improve their morale.

ENGLAND, United Kingdom- Southampton moved a commanding eight points clear of relegation with five games to go, edging a frantic first half and a more controlled second to see off Wolves at St Mary’s.

Nathan Redmond’s second-minute opener set the tone, as the winger charged into the box to meet a low cross from opposite wide man Josh Sims.

Back came Wolves, drawing level through Willy Boly’s thumping header, but Saints created a flurry of chances before the interval, one of which was coolly finished by Redmond for his second of the day. 

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The visitors were less threatening after the break, and any hopes of a Wolves comeback from a boisterous away following were extinguished when substitute Shane Long prodded home the killer third. 

Ralph Hasenhüttl made two changes to his side who threatened to derail Liverpool’s title challenge last time out, as Danny Ings was recalled having been ineligible to face his parent club, while Sims was handed a first Premier League start in over a year.

Dropping to the bench were Long, Saints’ goalscorer against the Reds, and Oriol Romeu, whose absence meant a more defensive role for James Ward-Prowse.

Sims’s impact would be immediate. When Boly towered over the diminutive winger, the Wolves man could only head the ball as far as Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, who immediately fed the ball to Sims with space to run into.

That’s when the 22-year-old excels. Bringing back memories of a certain League Cup semi-final at Anfield, he left Boly in his wake before sliding the ball across goal, where Redmond did exceptionally well to get beyond Romain Saïss at the near post and find the roof of the net from six yards.

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It was just the sort of sharp counter-attacking fast becoming Saints’ trademark under Hasenhüttl.

Wolves were coming into this game on the back of their most gut-wrenching result of the season – perhaps several seasons – against Watford and Wembley, and the instant opener will have done nothing to improve their morale.

But to their credit the visitors responded brightly. Rúben Neves blasted a half-volley that was only diverted away from goal by the bravery of Jannik Vestergaard, before Leander Dendoncker headed only fractionally wide from João Moutinho’s inviting free-kick.

Wolves’ front two of Diogo Jota and Raúl Jiménez, the club-record signing, have been responsible for most of their goals of late and were starting to worry Saints.

Jota surged into the box, where his shot deflected behind for a corner, leaving Jiménez frustrated he wasn’t spotted having been left unattended at the far post.

Then Jiménez himself went alone as he waited patiently to negotiate a shooting position and forced a first save from Angus Gunn, diving low to his left in the 20th minute.

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Eight minutes later, Wolves had the equaliser their positive response to falling behind merited.

Saints will have been frustrated by its simplicity, though the desire with which Boly powered Moutinho’s corner into the net deserves a mention. It was an unstoppable header.

The travelling supporters were buoyant, but not for long, as Saints fought back in a breathless first half.

Redmond, earlier denied by goalkeeper Rui Patrício, was clearly full of confidence having ended a run of seven games without a goal.

That confidence was there for all to see when put through by Ings, sitting Patrício on his backside as he scooped the ball over him for number two.