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Southampton 3-1 Swansea: Virgil Van Dijk Scores In St Mary's Win

Source: thewillnigeria.com
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Southampton secured their second win of the season with an impressive 3-1 victory over Swansea at St Mary’s Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Goals from Virgil van Dijk, his first for Southampton, a Ki Sung-Yueng own goal and Sadio Mane put Ronald Koeman’s side three ahead after 61 minutes.

Gylfi Sigurdsson pulled one back for Swansea from the penalty spot with seven minutes to play after Jose Fonte brought down Neil Taylor.

But it was too late for Garry Monk’s side to mount a comeback, and Southampton now leapfrog their opponents in the Premier League table, climbing to ninth, while Swansea fall to 11th.

Saints settled the quicker and took the lead through Van Dijk on 11 minutes – the Dutchman towered over former-Saints man Jack Cork to head past Lukasz Fabianski.

Before that, Sadio Mane had wasted a good chance for Southampton, and Swans midfielder Ki Sung-Yueng smashed over the bar when well-placed following a long-range effort from Jonjo Shelvey.

Following Van Dijk’s opener, Southampton sat back, allowing Swansea, and Shelvey in particular, plenty of time to pick passes from midfield.

Gylfi Sigurdsson failed to capitalise on a free-kick in excellent position mid-way through the first half, but as the two sides approached the interval, the chances dried up.

With his side 1-0 down, Garry Monk took action at the break, bringing on Eder and Jefferson Montero for Bafetimbi Gomis and Cork.

But before either had the chance to make an impression, Southampton had doubled their lead. The impressive Pelle was causing Ashley Williams and Federico Fernandez problems, and the Italian played Tadic into the left channel on 54 minutes. The Serb crossed towards the waiting Mane, only for Ki Sung-Yueng to divert past his own goalkeeper.

Just past the hour mark Southampton made it three, Mane expertly finding the bottom corner of Fabianski’s net after good build-up from Pelle and Bertrand.

The left-back, returning to make his first start of the Premier League season after a knee injury, was an attacking threat throughout.

Swansea rallied in the closing stages and Shelvey had a goal-bound effort blocked by Fonte, before Southampton’s Portugal international clumsily tripped Taylor in the box, gifting the Swans a route back into the match with seven minutes to play.

Sigurdsson dispatched the spot-kick and there was a brief rally from Garry Monk’s side as Andre Ayew forced Martin Stekelenburg into a save after good work from the substitute Montero.

After last week’s disappointment at home to Manchester United, it was a strong performance from the Saints and they will go to Chelsea next week full of confidence.

As for Swansea, their indifferent start to the campaign continues and they face a tough fixture next week as a Tottenham side resurgent following their 4-1 victory over Manchester City travels to the Liberty Stadium.

Player ratings:
Southampton: Stekelenburg (6), Cedric (6), Fonte (6), van Dijk (8), Bertrand (7), Wanyama (6), Ward-Prowse (6), S. Davis (6), Mane (7), Tadic (7), Pelle (8)

Subs used: Rodriguez (6), Juanmi (6), Romeu (6)
Swansea: Fabiankski (6), Naughton (6), Williams (6), Fernandez (6), Taylor (7), Cork (5), Ki Sung-Yueng (6), Shelvey (6), Sigurdsson (6), Ayew (6), Gomis (5)

Subs used: Eder (6), Montero (6), Britton (6)
Man of the match: Virgil van Dijk
SKYSPORTS