Southampton 0-1 Burnley: Late Sam Vokes header gives Clarets narrow victory
By James Kilpatrick
Last Updated: 04/11/17 7:33pm
A dramatic late header from substitute Sam Vokes handed Burnley a 1-0 victory over Southampton.
Nathan Redmond and Sofiane Boufal came closest to scoring for the hosts in the opening 45 minutes. But an uninspiring second-half performance from Mauricio Pellegrino's men allowed Burnley in as Vokes came off the bench to seal the winner 10 minutes from time.
Southampton pushed for an equaliser, but Burnley held strong to keep a clean sheet and continue their fine season, while putting further pressure on manager Pellegrino.
Burnley's second win this week, following their victory over Newcastle on Monday, means Sean Dyche's men remain in seventh, while Southampton drop down to 13th.
Southampton: Forster (5), Cedric (6), Yoshida (6), Van Dijk (6), Bertrand (6), Romeu (6), Davis (6), Boufal (6), Redmond (7), Tadic (6), Gabbiadini (5)
Subs: Long (5), Austin (5), Ward-Prowse (N/A)
Burnley: Pope (9), Lowton (7), Tarkowski (7), Mee (8), Ward (7), Cork (6), Hendrick (6), Defour (7), Brady (6), Gudmundsson (7), Wood (6)
Subs: Barnes (7), Vokes (8)
Man of the match: Nick Pope
Johann Gudmundsson fired an early warning shot over the bar for the visitors which proved to be their closest scoring chance in a drab opening 45 minutes.
Southampton took the initiative for the rest of the half as Redmond asserted himself on the game. First, he fired his shot on-the-run over the bar on the half-hour mark, shortly before crossing in for Boufal's half-volley, which forced Burnley's goalkeeper Nick Pope into making a reflex save.
Pope was called into action again two minutes from half-time as Redmond burst down the flank and cut in onto his left foot, but the 25-year-old former Charlton 'keeper got down low to palm away the vicious effort from range.
Just the one change for Burnley as Chris Wood returned from a hamstring injury. He took Ashley Barnes’ spot up front. Steven Defour recovered in time after coming off against Newcastle on Monday night.
For Southampton they have made two changes. Wesley Hoedt made way for Maya Yoshida while James Ward-Prowse dropped to the bench with Nathan Redmond taking his place.
Southampton started the second-half intent on breaking the deadlock and they came close through Maya Yoshida, whose fierce shot on the turn was tipped over the bar by Pope, after Gudmundsson's crucially blocked Redmond's close-range shot.
Captain Ben Mee encapsulated a solid Burnley defensive performance by getting in the way to block Dusan Tadic's point-blank strike that looked destined for goal in the 61st minute. It was at that point Dyche elected to go more attacking; he brought strikers Ashley Barnes and Vokes onto the pitch and the decision paid off.
In the 80th minute, Vokes rose highest to meet Gudmundsson's looping cross from the right flank and placed his header into the bottom corner, beyond a forlorn Fraser Forster. Southampton failed to find a reply as Burnley held on for yet another significant victory.
- Southampton have failed to score in nine of their last 12 Premier League home games (W2 D4 L6).
- In contrast, Burnley have kept clean sheets in five of their last eight top-flight matches, including each of the last two.
- Burnley have picked 19 points after their first 11 games this season - their best record at this stage of a top-flight campaign since 1973-73 (24 points - assuming three points for a win).
- The Clarets had picked up just one point after their first six away Premier League games last season, they've already picked up 11 this season - more than they collected in the whole of last season on the road (7).
Man of the Match - Nick Pope
The Burnley goalkeeper kept his side in the game when they were most under pressure and pulled off a string of fine saves to deny Redmond, Boufal and Yoshida throughout the game.
The 25-year-old, who was nominated for October's Premier League Player of the Month award, will continue to draw praise after yet another fine performance filling in for the injured Tom Heaton.
Mauricio Pellegrino: "If you watched the game we were better than them in all different areas, every aspect and every moment. But not in converting chances.
"They had this cross, the only one on target, and they converted that was for me was too much [to take]. But football can be about efficiency and we had to leave with this pain but it's part of our job."
Sean Dyche: "When you try and plan a game out as you hope it will go then that is as close as we've been to making it work in our favour. Our shape was very good in the first half against a very good, technical side.
"We had to be diligent with all the details and defensive responsibilities. We looked to counter and we didn't do it as well today. The depth of the squad and belief was evident. The two lads coming on up front in Barnesy and Vokes changed the game. They were terrific in turning the game in our favour."
After the international break, Southampton travel up north to face Liverpool on Saturday, November 18. Burnley, meanwhile, will host Swansea on the same day.