Southampton 3-0 Leicester City: Saints pile pressure on champions
By Richard Morgan
Last Updated: 22/01/17 5:14pm
Southampton increased the pressure on Leicester City by inflicting a second straight 3-0 defeat on the champions at St Mary's on Sunday afternoon.
The hosts led 2-0 at the break after strikes by James Ward-Prowse, his first goal since September, and Jay Rodriguez.
Dusan Tadic's late penalty ensured the Foxes, who are still waiting for their first away win in the Premier League this season, remain deep in trouble in 15th place, five points above the relegation zone. The 37 goals they have now conceded is more than they shipped throughout the whole of last season.
The result moves Claude Puel's side up to 11th, although the victory was soured by captain Virgil van Dijk going off with an ankle injury early in the second half.
Southampton made one change from their loss to Burnley in their last league game, with Rodriguez replacing Shane Long in attack.
Meanwhile, the visitors made three alterations from their 3-0 home defeat to leaders Chelsea with Danny Simpson, Shinji Okazaki and Demarai Gray replacing Marc Albrighton, Ben Chilwell and Ahmed Musa.
Southampton showed no signs of having one eye on their midweek EFL Cup semi-final second leg at Liverpool, with the Saints just one game away from Wembley, as they were on the front foot from the off.
Puel's men had lost their last four games but Leicester No 1 Kasper Schmeichel was forced to turn a Nathan Redmond shot behind for a corner in the early exchanges.
However, midway through the first half Southampton broke the deadlock after a flowing move down their right flank involving Redmond and full-back Cedric Soares, whose clever pull back found Ward-Prowse. And the midfielder swept home despite Schmeichel getting a hand to his effort.
With six minutes remaining in the first half, Southampton doubled their lead, although Leicester will not be happy with how they defended Ward-Prowse's inswinging free kick.
The normally imperious Robert Huth inadvertently headed the Englishman's delivery straight into the path of the unmarked Rodriguez, who beat Schmeichel with a low drive at his near post.
Incredibly, that was the first time the Saints had scored more than one first-half goal in the league this season, and despite the hosts losing influential captain Van Dijk 10 minutes after the interval, their defence was rarely threatened.
The closest the Foxes came to getting back into the game was when Huth headed a cross from the right into the path of centre-back partner Wes Morgan, who somehow side-footed over the target from three yards out.
Leicester were made to pay for that miss when substitute Long raced through on goal, only to be upended by Morgan's clumsy challenge. Tadic making no mistake from the spot to record just his second top-flight goal of the campaign, and his first since September.
Southampton: Forster (6), Cedric (8), Yoshida (6), van Dijk (7), Bertrand (7), Hojbjerg (7), Romeu (7), Ward-Prowse, (9), Redmond (8), Rodriguez (8), Tadic (7)
Used subs: Clasie (6), Long (7), Stephens (6)
Leicester: Schmeichel (7), Simpson (6), Morgan (5), Huth (6), Fuchs (5), Mendy (5), Ndidi (6), Drinkwater (7), Okazaki (6), Vardy (6), Gray (8)
Used subs: Musa (6), Albrighton (7)
Man of the Match: James Ward-Prowse