Emery, Arsenal Players Booed Despite Late Draw Against Southampton

Arsenal’s French striker Alexandre Lacazette (C) shoots to score their first goal during the English Premier League football match against Southampton at the Emirates Stadium in London on November 23, 2019. Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP

 

 

Arsenal manager Unai Emery and his players were booed off despite Alexandre Lacazette’s 96th-minute equaliser denying Southampton a first win at the Gunners since 1987 in a pulsating 2-2 draw at the Emirates on Saturday.

Emery’s chances of remaining in charge fade with every passing week as a point at home to a side languishing in the relegation zone does little to further his side’s chances of achieving a top-four finish.

The Spaniard has received a vote of confidence from the board of a club that does not often fire managers, but many fans had already lost faith in him before this setback.

Lacazette’s goal, his second of the match, at least avoided an embarrassing defeat, but Arsenal have won just two of their last 11 Premier League games and slip down to seventh in the table behind Wolves and Burnley.

Despite their lowly status, Southampton were the better side and peppered the Arsenal goal with 21 shots to the home side’s 12.

Stuart Armstrong flashed an early Southampton opportunity narrowly wide but Arsenal didn’t heed the warning and were caught out by a ninth-minute free-kick.

Nathan Redmond, the man fouled, was still on the ground when Ryan Bertrand played it quickly to Danny Ings, who strode into space on the left before unleashing a low drive that went past goalkeeper Bernd Leno and in off a post.

That prompted boos from some home fans but the mood was in no way lightened by Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse firing the game’s next chance straight at Leno.

Lacazette changed the narrative with an equaliser in the 18th minute. Mesut Ozil’s cross from the left found Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in space in the box and although Bertrand blocked his shot the rebound fell to the France striker to fire home on the turn.

The second half was frantic from the start as Leno had to make a save from team-mate Lucas Torreira, who poked the ball towards his own goal in the act of dispossessing the lively Michael Obafemi.

Southampton then survived a VAR check for a penalty when Armstrong stuck up a hand to stop the ball smashing him in the face.

Arsenal’s club-record signing Nicolas Pepe started on the bench for the third straight game, but looked lively after being introduced at half-time and hit the bar with an acrobatic back-post effort that reared up off the turf.

But it was the visitors who continued to pose the greater threat and they were awarded a penalty when Kieran Tierney pushed Ings over to stop him reaching a dangerous Obafemi cross. Ward-Prowse’s first effort was saved by Leno, but he made it 2-1 on the rebound.

Joe Willock then prevented Saints replacement Moussa Djenepo from wrapping up victory with a block of a goalbound shot, with Djenepo firing wide from just seven yards out during seven minutes of added time.

Those misses proved to be costly as Arsenal substitute Gabriel Martinelli found Lacazette unmarked at the back post for a smart finish and an undeserved equaliser with virtually the last kick of the game.

Tottenham Sack Mauricio Pochettino

(FILES) In this file photo taken on November 09, 2019, Tottenham Hotspur’s Argentinian head coach Mauricio Pochettino reacts during the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Sheffield United at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London.
Ian KINGTON / AFP

 

Tottenham Hotspur sacked manager Mauricio Pochettino on Tuesday just five months after reaching the Champions League final following a poor start to the Premier League season.

“The club can today announce that Mauricio Pochettino and his coaching staff Jesus Perez, Miguel D’Agostino and Antoni Jimenez have been relieved of their duties,” Tottenham, who sit 14th in the Premier League, said in a statement.

Pochettino, 47, joined Spurs from Southampton in 2014 and has been instrumental in turning Tottenham into Champions League regulars over the past four seasons.

READ ALSO: Luis Enrique Returns As Spain Coach After Daughter’s Death

That culminated in a dramatic run to the club’s first-ever European Cup final in June, which they lost 2-0 to Liverpool in Madrid.

However, domestically results have been on the decline since February.

Spurs had the faltering fortunes of Arsenal and Manchester United to thank for them clinging onto a top-four finish last season as they won just three of their final 12 league games.

That form has continued at the start of this season with just three wins from their opening 12 games leaving Tottenham already 11 points outside the top four and 20 behind leaders Liverpool.

“We were extremely reluctant to make this change and it is not a decision the board has taken lightly, nor in haste,” said Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy.

“Regrettably domestic results at the end of last season and beginning of this season have been extremely disappointing.

“It falls to the board to make the difficult decisions — this one made more so given the many memorable moments we have had with Mauricio and his coaching staff — but we do so in the club’s best interests.”

AFP

Southampton Players, Coaching Staff To Donate Wages After 9-0 Defeat To Leicester

 

 

Southampton’s players and coaching staff are to donate their wages from last Friday to the Saints Foundation in a first step towards redeeming themselves following the 9-0 thrashing by Leicester City.

Friday’s rout equalled Manchester United’s 9-0 demolition of Ipswich at Old Trafford in March 1995 for the biggest win in Premier League history.

Saints manager Ralph Hassenhuttl — who accepted the blame for the humiliation — has the daunting task of rebuilding his players morale ahead of two trips to Manchester City this week.

Southampton play League Cup holders City in the fourth round of the competition on Tuesday and are back there on Saturday for a Premier League clash.

“Southampton Football Club’s first-team players and coaching staff have announced they will be donating their wages from last Friday to Saints Foundation,” the club said in a statement.

“The squad has been in at Staplewood Campus throughout the weekend, working on putting things right for the club’s supporters.

“As the first step towards that, the group has decided that they wish to donate their wages from the day of the Leicester game to Saints Foundation, in order to help the vital work that is conducted by the charity.”

The foundation helps children, young people and troubled adults in the Southampton area.

Leicester Beat 10-Man Southampton 9:0

 

Leicester City on Friday equalled the biggest ever win in Premier League history with an 9-0 hammering of Southampton.

Ayoze Perez and Jamie Vardy both hit hat-tricks as Brendan Rodgers’ side moved second with the biggest ever away win in the history of the league.

They are five points behind unbeaten leaders Liverpool after the landmark win but will drop back to third on Saturday if Manchester City beat Aston Villa.

Abraham, Mount Fire Chelsea To Victory At Southampton

 

Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount celebrated their England call-ups by firing Chelsea to a 4-1 rout of struggling Southampton on Sunday.

Abraham, Mount and their Blues team-mate Fikayo Tomori were all named by England manager Gareth Southgate in the squad for the forthcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers in the Czech Republic and Bulgaria.

The promising young trio hogged the spotlight once again at St Mary’s as Abraham and Mount netted to maintain their superb starts to the season.

Abraham has nine goals in all competitions for Chelsea this term, underlining why Southgate is keen to get him action in a competitive match to ensure he commits to England.

READ ALSO: Man City’s Title Defence Rocked By Defeat Against Wolves

The 22-year-old striker has won two caps for England in friendlies against Brazil and Germany in 2017, but he had flirted with switching his international allegiance to Nigeria, who he qualifies for through his father.

Tomori, 21, is also eligible to represent Nigeria, but the centre-back showed his England credentials with another composed display to keep Southampton largely at bay.

Mount, 20, bagged Chelsea’s second goal to once again showcase the predatory instincts that have helped the midfielder make a smooth transition to the Premier League following last season’s loan alongside Tomori at Derby.

Danny Ings got one back for Southampton, but N’Golo Kante and Michy Batshuayi struck to make it four successive wins in all competitions for Chelsea, who are beginning to thrive in Frank Lampard’s first season in charge.

Chelsea are up to fifth in the Premier League heading into what promises to be a memorable international break for the club’s three young talents.

Southampton have won just two of their last 13 league games and are winless in their last six home matches.

Southampton threatened in the opening minutes when Nathan Redmond hit a swerving strike that flashed just over from long-range.

Chelsea warning

Callum Hudson-Odoi was starting for Chelsea for the first time in the league this season and the England winger created their first chance with a burst that ended with Abraham shooting straight at Angus Gunn.

It was a warning that Southampton failed to heed as Chelsea took the lead in the 17th minute.

Hudson-Odoi floated a long pass towards Abraham and he nipped ahead of Saints defender Maya Yoshida to reach it on the edge of the area.

With Gunn having sprinted off his line, Abraham lofted his shot high over the keeper and the ball crossed the line despite Yoshida’s despairing attempt to clear with a bicycle kick.

Southampton’s creaky defence imploded again in the 24th minute as Jan Bednarek carelessly surrendered possession to Willian.

Jorginho played a return pass to Willian who slipped the ball through to Mount. The youngster glided into the area and slotted past Gunn.

Mount should have scored again when he drove wastefully wide from Abraham’s pass.

Chelsea had kept only one league clean-sheet in seven games under Lampard and they were breached easily in the 30th minute.

Yan Valery was allowed to drift past four Chelsea defenders without a single challenge and he whipped a cross to Ings, who got across Kurt Zouma to poke his shot past Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Valery had played a key role in Southampton’s goal but he was guilty of deserting his post in the 40th minute and Marcos Alonso moved into the space vacated by the defender.

Alonso’s pass found Kante on the edge of the area and the France midfielder unloaded a shot that took a big deflection of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg on its way past the wrong-footed Gunn.

Batshuayi came off the bench to wrap up Chelsea’s stroll on the south-coast with a clinical finish in the 89th minute.

Struggling United Drop Point At Southampton

Southampton’s midfielder Stuart Armstrong (R) vies with Manchester United’s midfielder Scott McTominay (L) during a Premier League football at St Mary’s Stadium in Southern England on August 31, 2019. Glyn KIRK / AFP

 

 

Manchester United dropped points for the third time in the first four Premier League games of the season as they were held 1-1 by 10-man Southampton at St. Mary’s.

Daniel James’s fine form since a £15 million move from Swansea continued as he fired United into the lead on 10 minutes.

But the defensive problems that blighted the end of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first season in charge are still to be resolved by the Norwegian and Jannik Vestergaard headed home Southampton’s equaliser after half-time.

Southampton’s Kevin Danso was then sent-off for a second bookable offence, but United could not make the extra man count despite relentless late pressure.

United have just five points from their opening four games after being held 1-1 at Wolves and suffering a shock 2-1 home loss to Crystal Palace last weekend.

The visitors were penned into their own half for the first 10 minutes, but with practically their first attack went in front, thanks to the in-form James.

The Welsh winger is sure to get plenty of minutes in his first season in the English top-flight thanks to the departure of Alexis Sanchez on loan to Inter Milan this week. James has already scored as many Premier League goals for United in four games as the Chilean did in 18 months at Old Trafford.

James was allowed room by the Saints defence to cut inside onto his favoured right foot and rifle his third goal in four appearances into the top corner.

The visitors seemed liberated by going in front and could have built on their advantage as Marcus Rashford headed horribly wide and James just failed to reach a dangerous cross from the England international.

United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insisted on Friday that he is happy for Rashford and Anthony Martial, who missed the trip to St. Mary’s with a thigh injury, to carry the goalscoring burden this season with no replacement signed for the departed Romelu Lukaku or Sanchez.

However, Rashford failed to find the finishing touch to an otherwise purposeful performance. He again could not squeeze the ball beyond Angus Gunn early in the second half.

United have invested heavily to improve a defence that conceded 54 Premier League goals last season with the signings of Aaron Wan-Bissaka and the world’s most expensive defender Harry Maguire.

Yet, Solskjaer’s men remain vulnerable at the back and were exposed in the air twice in quick succession as Southampton levelled just before the hour mark.

David de Gea made a brilliant save to prevent Danny Ings’s header finding the far corner, but Danso was first to the rebound and from his cross Vestergaard towered above Victor Lindelof to head home.

Danso almost undid his good work, 17 minutes from time recklessly diving in on Scott McTominay to earn a second yellow card and give United the upper hand in the closing stages.

Rashford’s weak near-post effort was kicked to safety by Gunn before Solskjaer turned to 17-year-old Mason Greenwood from the bench in search of a winner.

United laid siege to the Southampton goal with Gunn flying to his right to save from Greenwood, while Ashley Young curled inches wide from outside the box, but Southampton held on.

Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuettl punched the air in celebration at full-time.

AFP

Lukaku Strikes As United Beat Southampton

Manchester United’s Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku (R) celebrates after scoring their third goal during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Southampton at Old Trafford in Manchester, northwest England, on March 2, 2019. Oli SCARFF / AFP

 

Romelu Lukaku struck a dramatic 89th-minute winner as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United beat Southampton 3-2 at Old Trafford on Saturday to leapfrog Arsenal into fourth place in the Premier League.

United appeared to be heading towards a disappointing home draw when substitute Fred exchanged passes with Luke Shaw and found the in-form Belgian on the edge of the area before Lukaku did the rest with a pinpoint 18-yard finish into the bottom corner.

Solskjaer could even enjoy the luxury of a 95th-minute penalty miss when Paul Pogba’s effort was well saved by Angus Gunn following Stuart Armstrong’s trip on Marcus Rashford.

The win, which extended caretaker manager Solskjaer’s unbeaten run in domestic football to 15 games, was much-needed after it appeared United would drop two potentially crucial points in the chase for a top-four finish and Champions League qualification.

In a game of spectacular goals, Saints midfielder James Ward-Prowse struck a superb 25-yard free-kick, awarded for an Ashley Young foul on Armstrong, into the top left-hand corner of the goal after 74 minutes to make the score 2-2.

Andreas Pereira had himself equalised for United in the 53rd minute as substitute Diogo Dalot combined with Lukaku, forcing the ball through to the young Brazilian who took a touch before curling a magnificent finish into the Southampton goal.

After a lacklustre first-half display, United were now in an irrepressible mood and took the lead just six minutes later through Lukaku although Pereira was again instrumental in the goal.

The midfielder showed his strength to hold off challengers in midfield before slipping through an excellently-timed pass for the striker who finished clinically, into the far corner, from 15 yards.

Saints stunner 

It was an impressive turnaround from Solskjaer’s team who had been stunned by an incredible 26th-minute strike by Southampton wing-back Yan Valery, the young Frenchman’s first goal in professional football and one he will long remember.

But there were question marks over David De Gea as Nathan Redmond won the ball in midfield, Charlie Austin passed wide to the overlapping 20-year-old and his immaculate 30-yard effort beat the United keeper at his near post.

It was a stunning goal and one which the Saints had been building towards after surviving a strong opening from the hosts who should have taken the lead inside the opening five minutes.

Twice Gunn was required to save from Lukaku from chances which really should have been converted by the United striker.

But Southampton clearly grew in belief after that shaky start and, by the 11th minute, were creating chances of their own as the unmarked Jannik Vestergaard rose to meet a Ward-Prowse corner with a header he planted well off target.

The procession of wasted opportunities continued for United before the interval although Chris Smalling came close, with a header from a Young corner which flew just wide.

United had won just one of their last five home games against the Saints since Alex Ferguson’s retirement and when Solskjaer’s already injury-ravaged squad suffered the loss of Alexis Sanchez, hurt in a challenge with Jan Bednarek after 51 minutes, the hopes of improving that record looked distant.

But the forced introduction of Dalot proved significant with the young Portuguese defender, forced into midfield, sending over a right-wing cross with his very first touch which Rashford headed just wide.

Two United goals soon followed, as did a couple of long-range attempts from Dalot, although it was Ward-Prowse’s superb set-piece and Lukaku’s winner that would provide the final words.

AFP

Southampton Defender Soares Joins Inter Milan On Loan

Southampton Defender Soares Joins Inter Milan On Loan
Derby County’s English defender Jayden Bogle vies with Southampton’s German-born Portuguese defender Cedric Soares (R) during the English FA Cup third round replay football match between Southampton and Derby County at St Mary’s Stadium in Southampton, southern England on January 16, 2019. Glyn KIRK / AFP

 

Southampton defender Cedric Soares has joined Italian side Inter Milan on loan with an option to buy, both clubs confirmed on Saturday.

The 27-year-old Portuguese international has played more than 100 games and scored twice since joining the Premier League side in 2015.

“Cedric Soares is a new Inter player. The 27-year-old defender joins the Nerazzurri on loan from Southampton FC with the option to make the deal permanent,” Inter said in a statement.

Southampton said the “move further helps to achieve Ralph Hasenhuttl’s desire for a leaner squad, with the manager having also overseen the emergence of young right-back Yan Valery, as well as Kayne Ramsay, since his arrival at the club.”

Inter Milan are third in Serie A — 16 points behind leaders Juventus.

AFP

Southampton’s Austin Banned For Two Games

Derby County’s English midfielder George Evans (R) vies with Southampton’s English striker Charlie Austin (L) during the English FA Cup third round football match between Derby County and Southampton at Pride Park Stadium in Derby, central England on January 5, 2019.
Lindsey PARNABY / AFP

 

Southampton striker Charlie Austin has been suspended for two matches after making an offensive gesture towards Manchester City fans.

Austin admitted making the two-fingered action as he was substituted in the second half of Southampton’s 3-1 defeat against City at St Mary’s in December.

“The striker admitted his gesture in or around the 68th minute of the game against Manchester City on 30 December 2018 was abusive and/or insulting,” a FA statement read.

Austin’s absence will be a blow to struggling Southampton as they battle to avoid relegation.

In 2013, Jack Wilshere, then playing for Arsenal, showed the middle finger to Manchester City fans in a 4-2 defeat at the Etihad Stadium, resulting in a two-game ban.

AFP

Frustrating Night For Sarri As Southampton Hold Chelsea

 

 

Chelsea wasted a chance to cement their place in the Premier League’s top four as a superb display from Southampton goalkeeper Angus Gunn gave his struggling side a 0-0 draw on Wednesday.

Maurizio Sarri’s team remain in fourth place, but they are now just three points ahead of fifth placed Arsenal in the race to qualify for next season’s Champions League.

It was a frustrating evening for Chelsea, who dominated possession but lacked any cutting edge, maintaining a worrying sequence for Sarri.

His side failed to score for the third time in their last five Premier League games at Stamford Bridge, raising more questions about Chelsea’s need for a top-class striker in the January transfer window.

With Olivier Giroud sidelined after suffering an ankle injury in Sunday’s win at Crystal Palace, Sarri opted to recall misfiring striker Alvaro Morata.

READ ALSO: Guardiola Hopeful De Bruyne Fit For Crucial Liverpool Clash

Morata has played so badly this season that Sarri had used Belgian winger Eden Hazard in the central forward’s role recently rather than turn to the Spaniard, who had managed only seven goals this term and none in the league since November 4.

But, once again, former Real Madrid star Morata looked completely bereft of touch and confidence.

It was no surprise Morata wasted a golden opportunity to open the scoring when he met Cesar Azpilicueta’s long pass with a tame header straight at 22-year-old Gunn — the son of ex-Norwich stopper Bryan Gunn.

Southampton avoided a third consecutive defeat with a well-drilled performance, but they still dropped into the relegation zone.

Having announced the signing of Borussia Dortmund midfielder Christian Pulisic earlier in the day, Chelsea are planning ahead following a season of inconsistent displays from Willian and Pedro on the right flank.

United States international Pulisic will return to Dortmund on loan before completing his move to Chelsea in the close-season.

For the moment, Sarri continues to use Willian, but the Brazilian’s bid to prove his worth was ruined when he was forced off with an injury late in the first half.

– Mounting frustration –
Hazard hinted several times that he preferred to play wide rather than up front during Sarri’s experiment with the Belgian as a ‘false nine’.

Looking more vibrant back in his favoured role, Hazard made a fine run that opened up the Southampton defence, yet his fierce drive was well saved by Gunn, making his Premier League debut after his close-season move from Manchester City.

But Hazard couldn’t do it all on his own and, while successive away wins at Watford and Palace made it a happy Christmas for Chelsea, their first home game of the new year was a lot like their last in 2018.

Despite dominating against Leicester, Sarri’s team were beaten 1-0 as they paid the price for lacking the incisive passing and movement needed to break down the visitors’ obdurate defence.

It was exactly the same story against Southampton.

The Blues monopolised the ball but Morata squandered another opportunity when Yan Valery blocked his shot.

Chelsea’s frustration grew at the start of the second half when Stuart Armstrong’s curling effort forced Kepa Arrizabalaga into action for the first time.

Although they controlled the game, chances were few and far between for Chelsea until Hazard burst down the left for a shot that Gunn beat away at his near post.

Morata’s luck was out when he slotted home from a Cesc Fabregas pass, only to see a tight offside decision deny him a goal.

And the hapless Spaniard endured more misery when his took Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s pass and shot straight at Gunn to groans from the crowd.

Capping a forgettable game for Chelsea, Marcos Alonso had a strong penalty appeal turned down in the closing moments.

-English Premier League results on Wednesday-

Bournemouth 3 (Ake 34, Wilson 37, Fraser 40) Watford 3 (Deeney 14, 27, Sema 38)

Chelsea 0 Southampton 0

Huddersfield 1 (Mounie 33) Burnley 2 (Wood 40, Barnes 74)

Newcastle 0 Manchester United 2 (Lukaku 64, Rashford 80)

West Ham 2 (Arnautovic 66, 68) Brighton 2 (Stephens 56, Duffy 58)

Wolverhampton 0 Crystal Palace 2 (Ayew 83, Milivojevic 90+5-pen)

Played Tuesday

Everton 0 Leicester 1 (Vardy 58)

Arsenal 4 (Xhaka 25, Lacazette 55, Ramsey 79, Aubameyang 83) Fulham 1 (Kamara 69)

Cardiff 0 Tottenham 3 (Kane 3, Eriksen 12, Son 26)

Playing Thursday (2000 GMT)

Manchester City v Liverpool

Austin Punishes Leno Blunder As Saints Stun Arsenal

Southampton’s English striker Charlie Austin (R) vies with Arsenal’s French defender Laurent Koscielny (L) during the English Premier League football match between Southampton and Arsenal at St Mary’s Stadium in Southampton, southern England on December 16, 2018. Southampton won the game 3-2. Adrian DENNIS / AFP

 

Charlie Austin shattered Arsenal’s 22-game unbeaten run as the Southampton striker punished a howler from Gunners goalkeeper Bernd Leno to seal a shock 3-2 win on Sunday.

Austin settled a thrilling Premier League clash at St Mary’s when he headed home with just five minutes left after Leno misjudged Shane Long’s cross.

Southampton had twice taken the lead through Danny Ings, only for Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s brace to draw Arsenal level on each occasion.

Leno’s mistake and Austin’s predatory finish handed Arsenal their first defeat in 15 league games and brought a stunning halt to their longest unbeaten run in all competitions since 2007.

Unai Emery’s fifth-placed team hadn’t lost since a 3-2 defeat at Chelsea in August and the north Londoners’ first setback since the summer leaves them two points behind the fourth-placed Blues, who won at Brighton on Sunday.

While it was a bitter afternoon for Arsenal, Southampton’s first win in 15 matches in all competitions was cause for much celebration.

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl, taking charge of his first home game, danced a jubilant jig on the pitch at full-time after securing the maiden victory of his reign.

Hasenhuttl watched Southampton lose 1-0 at Cardiff in his first match and, in a PR stunt this week, he sent free drinks vouchers to Saints season ticket holders.

The Austrian, who left his role as Leipzig boss in May, was the toast of St Mary’s after Southampton won at home in the league for the first time since April to climb out of the relegation zone on goal difference above Burnley.

Laurent Koscielny was making his first Premier League start since April after recovering from an Achilles injury, but Arsenal’s French center-back looked rusty when Southampton took a surprise lead in the 20th minute.

Matt Targett whipped over a superb cross and Koscielny was caught by Ings’ perfectly-timed run, completely missing his attempted clearance as the on-loan Liverpool striker powered his header past Leno.

Ings’ sixth goal of the season reflected well on Hasenhuttl, who had recalled him in place of Austin on his return from a hamstring injury.

It took Arsenal just eight minutes to equalise with a flowing move that saw Alex Iwobi pick out Nacho Monreal’s run before the Spaniard chipped a cross for the unmarked Mkhitaryan to head home.

Ings’ movement was causing Arsenal problems and he struck again to restore Southampton’s lead in the 44th minute.

Nathan Redmond’s cross unhinged Emery’s creaky back-three and this time Ings got in between Koscielny and Stephan Lichtsteiner to loop a fine header over the stranded Leno.

Ings hadn’t scored with a header in the league for three years, but now he had two in just one half.

For the 17th time this season, Arsenal had failed to secure half-time lead in the league and Emery responded by sending on Alexandre Lacazette.

The Gunners have been far more dangerous after the interval this season and once again they hit back to equalise in the 53rd minute.

Allowed too much space on the edge of the area, Mkhitaryan collected Lacazette’s pass and drilled a low strike that took a crucial deflection off Jannik Vestergaard as it flashed past the wrong-footed McCarthy.

Southampton thought they had taken the lead in the closing stages when Long stabbed in after Maya Yoshida’s header was clawed out by Leno, but the goal was ruled out for offside.

Hasenhuttl cursed in frustration on the touchline, but the Austrian was celebrating soon after as Southampton punished Leno’s blunder to snatch the points in the 85th minute.

Long’s cross floated across the penalty area, tempting Leno off his line, but the German missed with his attempt to punch clear and Austin was on hand to head into the empty net.

AFP

Southampton Appoint Hasenhuttl As Manager

Southampton has confirmed on December 5, 2018, that they have appointed Ralph Hasenhuttl as manager. Photo: Valery HACHE / AFP

Ralph Hasenhuttl has been tasked in reviving Premier League strugglers Southampton’s fortunes after being named their new manager on Wednesday.

The 51-year-old Austrian — who comes into the role on the back of Mark Hughes being sacked on Monday — has signed a two-and-a-half-year contract with the club.

Hasenhuttl attracted Saints’ interest through his success at his previous club, RB Leipzig, guiding them to second in the Bundesliga in the 2016/17 season and the Europa League quarter-finals last term.

He left Leipzig after they finished sixth in the 2017/18 Bundesliga campaign.

“The urgency to find a path back to our potential and to the results that we expect cannot be underestimated,” said Southampton chairman Ralph Krueger in a statement.

“For that reason, we are extremely pleased that Ralph Hasenhuttl has agreed to become our new manager and do all he can to help guide us back on that path.”

Hasenhuttl takes over a side that did show some improvement in a 2-2 draw at home to Manchester United last Saturday — although it was too late to save Hughes’s job.

Southampton, who parted ways with a long-serving head of football development Les Reed earlier in the season, are third from bottom of the Premier League ahead of a tough match away to Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday.

Krueger said the qualities Hasenhuttl displayed in taking unheralded German side Ingolstadt from the foot of the second tier to promotion to the elite augured well for Saints’ future.

“We have been aware of Ralph since his days at FC Ingolstadt, where he showed the qualities that we believe we need at the club,” said Krueger.

“He has since gone on to develop those attributes with a track record of success in the Bundesliga and with a progressive and ambitious club in RB Leipzig,” added the 59-year-old Canadian, a former coach of the Swiss ice hockey team.

Krueger said Hasenhuttl represented an ideal match for the club.

“As soon as we met, Ralph’s enthusiasm for football was contagious and his hunger to take on a new and challenging job in the Premier League was evident,” said Krueger.

“In our discussions, he very quickly aligned himself with the values and the vision of the club.”

AFP