Aug 24, 2013, 12:29 PM EST
Southampton snatched a dramatic late draw at St. Mary’s, denying Sunderland their first win of the Premier League season in the process.
Paolo Di Canio was incensed with this teams late defensive mishap, but over the course of the 90 minutes a draw was the least Southampton deserved after having 67 percent of the possession.
Emanuele Giaccherini scored the opener with an opportunistic header after just two minutes at St. Mary’s Stadium to grab the lead for Sunderland.
But after that the Black Cats sat back and allowed the home side to put them under pressure. The Saints came close on several occasions but is seemed as though it was going to be one of those days.
Until Portuguese defender Fonte popped up late on to grab a draw.
For much of the game the Black Cats were under the cosh, as the home side pressed for an equalizer. But it was a dream start for Di Canio on the South Coast.
Just two minutes had been played when Sebastian Larsson‘s corner had been whipped into the box and diminutive Italian international Giaccherini rose highest to head home. Giaccherini is only 5 foot 6, so how he managed to head home will certainly upset Southampton.
It was also the 28-year-old Italian internationals first goal since joining this summer from Juventus and Di Canio’s team protected their 1-0 lead with their life.
But the linesman had his flag up and Saints were denied an equalizer, it was certainly a tight decision but the assistant referee may have just got the call correct.
Then a flurry of chances came for the Saints as Ward-Prowse whipped in a great ball that Lambert headed towards the bottom corner but Keiren Westwood saved well down to this right.
Rodriguez and Lallana continued to play direct soccer but Sunderland weren’t in too much trouble. However they could have been on 35 minutes when Fonte appeared to be brought down by Sunderland captain John O’Shea in the box.
Ward-Prowse’s free kick found Fonte and O’Shea was lucky that a penalty wasn’t awarded as he jumped all over Saints’ Portuguese defender. USMNT forward Jozy Alitdore cut a forlorn figure up front for most of the game, as their was a severe lack of creativity from Sunderland.
But they just sat back and let Southampton attack them after scoring so early.
Just before half time O’Shea again was lucky to not conceded a penalty as he brought down Lallana in the box when he was about to get a strike in on goal, the Sunderland skipper was living a charmed life.
At the break Sunderland went in ahead but they’d hardly had a shot apart from Giaccherini‘s early goal. Pochettino brought on new signing Pablo Osvaldo and defender Nathaniel Clyne at half time, replacing Luke Shaw and Morgan Schneiderlin.
Southampton again spurned more chances, but looked livelier after Osvaldo arrived and in the 56th minute he set up Rodriguez perfectly with a chipped cross, but the Englishman headed straight at Westwood.
And less than a minute later, Altidore had his best chance of the game to score his first Premier League goal of the season.
The 23-year-old striker US national team forward was put clean through but Southampton ‘keeper Artur Boruc came off his line to smother Altidore’s shot at close range.
Southampton piled on the pressure as the final minutes ticked and Fonte’s header sent the sellout crowd wild at St. Mary’s Stadium.
The Saints are unbeaten after two games, sitting in third spot with four points. While Sunderland will take heart from a dogged defensive display but they have just one point from their first two games, leaving the Mackems in 15th place.
It’s early days for both of these teams.
Southampton: Boruc, Chambers, Fonte, Lovren, Shaw (Clyne 45), Wanyama, Schneiderlin (Osvaldo 45), Ward-Prowse, Lallana (Ramírez 69), Rodriguez, Lambert. Subs not used: K. Davis,S. Davis, Cork, Hooiveld.
Sunderland: Westwood, Celustka, O’Shea, Diakite, Colback (Vaughan 54), Johnson, Larsson, Gardner, Giaccherini (Wickham 82), Sessegnon (Ji 46), Altidore. Subs not used: Mannone, Cabral, Moberg Karlsson, Roberge
Goals: Giaccherini, 2 (Sunderland), Fonte, 88 (Southampton)
Mar 5, 2015, 11:32 PM EST
This one will put a smile on your face and a tear in your eye.
Mar 5, 2015, 10:22 PM EST
Because who doesn’t love to critique and compare every team’s new jerseys?
Mar 5, 2015, 8:53 PM EST
The dribble was a thing of beauty, but he still had to apply the finish. Not a problem for Salah.
Mar 5, 2015, 8:15 PM EST
The season is officially on. Here’s a few reasons to get excited, in case you’re not already. (You should be.)
Mar 5, 2015, 7:00 PM EST
Jeff Cassar impressed in year one, but can he rebuild RSL and make them his own in year two?
Mar 5, 2015, 5:00 PM EST
Bruce’s boys are back, and once again, rebuilt. This changes little for a team with more championship aspirations.
Mar 5, 2015, 4:00 PM EST
Caleb Porter’s final foray in the Rose City? He’ll need the playoffs this year, otherwise…
Mar 5, 2015, 3:19 PM EST
After winning two of three titles last season, can the Sounders finally clinch that pesky MLS Cup?
Mar 5, 2015, 2:45 PM EST
From expansion team finishing first to making the playoffs to finishing in last, our writers have varied opinions on how MLS will unfold in 2015.
Mar 5, 2015, 2:08 PM EST
PST’s Editor and Lead Writer looks back at the midweek madness, and assesses where we are at with 10 games to go.
Mar 5, 2015, 1:20 PM EST
Can the Revs build on a fantastic 2014? Heaps hopes so…
Mar 5, 2015, 12:50 PM EST
In the latest MiB pod, Alexi Lalas stops by to preview the 2015 MLS season.
Mar 5, 2015, 12:20 PM EST
Here’s what the MLS commish had to say about the new CBA, as months of negotiating finally paid off on Wednesday.
Mar 5, 2015, 11:40 AM EST
Who will bounce back or come from nowhere to shine in 2015? Here’s a speculative look.
Mar 5, 2015, 11:00 AM EST
Saints’ players get stuck into some hockey on a break in Switzerland.
Mar 5, 2015, 10:06 AM EST
Evans and Cisse could face six-game ban if found guilty.
Mar 5, 2015, 9:30 AM EST
How will the Red Bulls get on as Marsch ushers in a new era?
Mar 5, 2015, 8:47 AM EST
Should the league or the players feel happier on the eve of the 2015 season after a new CBA was agreed?
Mar 5, 2015, 8:07 AM EST
Reid is going nowhere, as New Zealand international signs new deal at Upton Park.
Mar 4, 2015, 10:51 PM EST
Charlie Austin played well, and the club truly appeared unlucky not to find an equalizer in the 2-1 loss. They were a step off all night.
- Now that it’s happening, MLS’s 20th season is sure to be the best one yet 2
- 2015 MLS season preview: Real Salt Lake 0
- 2015 MLS season preview: LA Galaxy 1
- 2015 MLS season preview: Portland Timbers 0
- PST predicts Major League Soccer’s 2015 standings; Do you agree? 8
- Premier League Playback: With 10 games to go, here’s how things stand 3