Manager Ralph Hasenhuttl was looking for his Southampton side to register back to back victories once again since he walked through the door as we welcomed Everton to St Mary’s Stadium earlier this afternoon for our latest Premier League clash.
After a goalless opening 45 minutes, Saints took advantage in the second period and whatever was said at the halftime break from the gaffer clearly worked as midfielder James Ward-Prowse opened the scoring five minutes in.
Former Barcelona left-back Lucas Digne was credited with an own goal in the 64th minute to give us the two goal advantage and with Everton creating very little on the day, albeit they more bossed possession, we were looking good value for another win and another three points.
Everton set up a tense end to the game as they got a goal back in the first minute of stoppage-time and then for some bizarre reason that matchday referee went on to play nine minutes of extra time, but we held on to take the three points.
Speaking to the BBC following the fulltime whistle in the game, the Austrian said of the 90 minutes.
“The history of the last games where we gave goals away was on my mind, but we played a fantastic game today. It could be four or five – fantastic football and defence. A great win for us. We had two big chances in the first half and were unlucky but the belief and the strength – you could feel it every second today. The guys really showed they are focused and committed and that is the key for the future, 11 players going in the same direction. It was an intense time near Christmas but we have now had a run of games and learn very quickly, looking forward it is really enjoyable to work with this team and the characters in the group. We have built something up here and I hope we can carry on like this. Very important games in January and February, they are the most important months – if you do it well you have a big chance to leave the relegation zone.”
— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) January 19, 2019