Southampton continued their fine start to the season after a 1-0 win over Stoke City that helped them to move into second place. Manchester city’s defeat earlier in the day meant that Southampton came into their home encounter against Stoke with a real possibility to go second in the table. They also had the chance to move within three points of table leaders Chelsea with Jose Mourinho’s men not taking to the field until Sunday. Even with such a pressure on their shoulders, Southampton managed to ride above the expectations and get three points.
The win against Stoke, though, was in sharp contrast to last week’s 8-0 win over Sunderland. Manager Ronald Koeman has said that such huge margins of victory are clearly not possible to achieve every week even when the opposition are not at their best. He said that Southampton were fully deserving of the three points after they created more than five great opportunities during the 90 minutes. The real test for Southampton will come in the next few weeks, as Stoke do not represent the cream of the Premier League. Mark Hughes’ team have been highly inconsistent this campaign, although they have done well enough to keep themselves out of relegation trouble.
“It was difficult because we didn’t kill the game. We created eight good chances and you know if you don’t score the second one it’s difficult. Stoke put everything in, changed the system after an hour and with the physical strength that they have it was difficult. Football is strange because the first half was much better than last week. I think it was one of the best first halves of the season. In the second half we lost sometimes too easy our position,” said the Southampton manager. Southampton are once again up against Stoke in the next match, but this time in the League Cup.