Saints ease to victory at Cardiff

By SFC Media time Tue 27 Jul Cardiff vs Saints
Photo by Matt Watson
Tue 27 Jul 7PM
Friendlies
Cardiff City
0
Southampton
4
goal
Walcott [38'] Djenepo [66'] Adams [73' 84']
Venue: Cardiff City Stadium | Attendance: 0

Southampton chalked up their first win of pre-season with a comprehensive 4-0 victory at Cardiff City Stadium.

Theo Walcott steered in the opener towards the end of a first half that started slowly, before Saints really clicked into the gear after the interval.

Substitutes Moussa Djenepo and Ché Adams added further goals around the three-quarter mark with a pair of eye-catching finishes that underlined Saints’ Premier League class.

Adams then struck again to complete the rout six minutes from time, rounding goalkeeper Dillon Phillips at the end of a rapid breakaway led by the fleet-footed Nathan Tella.

Ralph Hasenhüttl was without influential duo James Ward-Prowse and Stuart Armstrong, who both missed the friendly through injury.

Saints enjoyed some comfortable early possession, with Oriol Romeu and Ibrahima Diallo patrolling the midfield, mopping up loose balls and drawing fouls.

Fraser Forster, given the nod to start in goal, was aggressive with his starting position and not shy in racing from his area to intercept anything in behind the defence.

Penetration was a problem for both sides, with neither goalkeeper called upon to make a save until the 35th minute.

Forster was the first to be tested, as Joel Bagan stung his palms from a rasping drive on the angle from 10 yards, but the keeper comfortably beat the ball back out.

That was the cue for Saints to take the lead seven minutes before the interval, as Michael Obafemi’s pressing won the ball deep in Cardiff territory, before the youngster lifted his head to pick out fellow Academy graduate Walcott, who steered in the opening goal with a calm, first-time finish.

CARDIFF, WALES - JULY 27: Theo Walcott of Southampton scores the opening goal during the Pre-Season Friendly match between Cardiff City and Southampton at Cardiff City Stadium on July 27, 2021 in Cardiff, Wales. Photo by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images
Theo Walcott calmly slots the ball into the bottom corner to make the breakthrough

All of the action came at the end of a first half that took a while to kick into gear, as Ryan Giles soon stole the ball from Mohammed Salisu and went eye to eye with Forster, but the giant keeper stuck out a leg to spare his defender’s blushes.

Salisu thought he’d made amends when Walcott turned provider five minutes into the second half, delivering a floated free-kick that was dispatched by a powerful downward header, only for unlikely scorer Salisu to be flagged offside.

The next chance was a Cardiff chance, as Mark Harris’s downward header sent Forster sprawling to his right, but he was there in plenty of time to push the ball behind.

Hasenhüttl waited 62 minutes to change things up, making seven changes, with Romeu and Diallo among the survivors.

The substitutes added fresh impetus to Saints’ attack, and Djenepo needed only four minutes to make his mark, jinking inside and curling a delightful shot into the top corner with a finish reminiscent of his goal at Brighton two years ago.

New-look strike force Adams and Shane Long both tested home keeper Dillon Phillips with low shots soon after entering the fray, before Cardiff made wholesale changes of their own 20 minutes from time.

Saints kept pushing and made their dominance count with a third goal when Tella slipped a pass in behind for Adams, who finished with admirable composure, cleverly lifting the ball over the advancing Phillips.

Tella might have added a fourth himself from Nathan Redmond’s cutback, but his shot was too close to Phillips, who parried the ball to safety.

Instead the promising attacker turned provider again, sprinting at the Cardiff defence and timing his pass just right for Adams, who rounded Phillips and rolled the ball home left-footed to complete a job well done for the visitors.

Cardiff City

1
Dillon Phillips (GK)
38
Perry Ng
replace Taylor Jones (70′)
2
Mark McGuinness
16
Curtis Nelson
30
Ciaron Brown
3
Joel Bagan
replace Tom Davies (70′)
37
Sam Bowen
replace Will Vaulks (81′)
21
Marlon Pack (C)
replace Joe Ralls (81′)
29
Mark Harris
replace Josh Murphy (70′)
26
Ryan Giles
replace Lee Tomlin (70′)
24
Trialist
replace James Collins (57′)
25
Alex Smithies
31
George Ratcliffe
5
Aden Flint
6
Will Vaulks
7
Taylor Jones
8
Joe Ralls
11
Josh Murphy
14
Chanka Zimba
17
Lee Tomlin
20
Gavin Whyte
27
James Connolly
28
Tom Davies
19
James Collins
36
Tavio D'Almeida
39
Oliver Denham

Southampton

44
Fraser Forster (GK)
18
Yan Valery
replace Kyle Walker-Peters (62′)
5
Jack Stephens
22
Mohammed Salisu
replace Jan Bednarek (62′)
15
Romain Perraud
replace Moussa Djenepo (62′) goal
6
Oriol Romeu (C)
27
Ibrahima Diallo
32
Theo Walcott goal
replace Nathan Tella (62′)
24
Mohamed Elyounoussi
replace Nathan Redmond (62′)
9
Danny Ings
replace Ché Adams (62′) goal goal
14
Michael Obafemi
replace Shane Long (62′)
1
Alex McCarthy
41
Harry Lewis
2
Kyle Walker-Peters
7
Shane Long
10
Ché Adams
11
Nathan Redmond
19
Moussa Djenepo
23
Nathan Tella
35
Jan Bednarek
42
Oludare Olufunwa
50
Ryan Finnigan
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