Southampton managed to pick up their first win under Mauricio Pellegrino with a comfortable 3-0 win over French opponents, Saint Étienne.
The game started off very cagey and Southampton struggled to get a grip on the match. There were a few chances for saints in the opening 45 minutes but nothing to write home about. As the second half kicked off, Southampton looked very different and Pellegrino’s half time team talk obviously worked.
It wasn’t an easy game to say the least, Saint Étienne are a noteable French side and managed to progress to the Europa League Round Of 16 last year after falling to a 4-0 defeat on aggeragate to Manchester United. They caused Southampton’s back four problems all afternoon and the saints struggled to deal with the French attackers at times. Fellow Frenchmen Jeremy Pied looked very uncomfortable in the first half and the Saint Étienne forwards were running rings around him.
The final score defiantly flatters Southampton in my opinion, we were all over them for the majority of the second half, but we were lucky not to concede a goal. Personally I was unsure when I saw Gabbiadini and Austin in the starting lineup together, but they sort of worked, the players had space to roam and the formation wasn’t clear at times, which is beneficial for us because it makes us harder to defend against.
Goals from Gabbiadini, Ward-Prowse and Maya Yoshida cemented a comfortable victory for Southampton, but as we all know it’s only pre-season so you can’t take too much from it, but it’s defiantly a step in the right direction, onwards and upwards!