Europa League - Group K
Southampton3Sparta Prague0

Southampton 3-0 Sparta Prague

Charlie Austin heads Southampton's second goal against Sparta Prague
Charlie Austin is the first Southampton player to score a brace in the Uefa Cup/Europa League since Steve Moran in 1981

Charlie Austin scored twice as Southampton secured their first win under manager Claude Puel by beating Sparta Prague in the Europa League.

Austin opened the scoring with a controversial penalty after Costa Nhamoinesu was harshly adjudged to have handled while challenging the striker.

Dusan Tadic had to be ushered away after arguing about who should take the penalty but celebrated with Austin.

Austin's header made it 2-0 before Jay Rodriguez added a late third.

Relive Southampton's Europa League victory

Austin makes his point

Puel has endured a frustrating start to his managerial reign at Southampton after two draws and two defeats, including Saturday's last-minute loss at Arsenal.

But this was a highly satisfactory night for the Frenchman as the Saints secured a comfortable Group K win with Austin, who has started just one league game this season, causing chaos with his pace and accurate finishing.

The 27-year-old looked like a player with a point to prove as he scored twice in 22 first-half minutes, the first a controversial penalty awarded after Nhamoinesu was ruled to have handled while challenging Austin on the edge of the area.

German referee Manuel Grafe originally awarded a corner only to change his mind and point to the spot.

More drama was to follow as Austin's team-mate Tadic had to be guided away by captain Virgil van Dijk after arguing over who should take the kick.

Austin duly scored from the spot before the former QPR striker headed his second from the edge of the six-yard area after Cuco Martina's clever cross.

Having scored the winner at Manchester United last January, Austin has now found the net on both his Premier League and Europa League debuts for Southampton.

Dusan Tadic (left) argues with Charlie Austin (right) about who takes Southampton's penalty
Dusan Tadic (left) argued with Charlie Austin (right) about who would take Southampton's penalty

What did Puel learn?

Sparta Prague offered very little threat in a match which at times resembled a training game.

The Czech visitors forced just one save from Fraser Forster, who beat away substitute David Lafata's first-time effort when the score was 2-0.

Puel made seven changes to the side that started against Arsenal yet there was an intensity and a desire as his fringe players left him with plenty to ponder.

Tadic and Austin were lively throughout while Shane Long capped an impressive individual display by setting up substitute Rodriguez to turn home Saints' third from close range.

The win takes Southampton top of the group ahead of their trip to Israel to face Hapoel Be'er Sheva, who won 2-0 away at Inter Milan, on 29 September.

Man of the match - Charlie Austin (Southampton)

Charlie Austin (right) in action against Sparta Prague
Charlie Austin, who missed part of the run-in last season with a damaged hamstring, was rewarded for an energetic performance with two goals in a single game for Southampton for the first time

What they said...

Southampton striker Charlie Austin on taking the penalty: "As a centre-forward I think I should take the penalties. I've come here full of confidence, even though I've not scored.

"I put the ball on the spot and luckily it gave us a 1-0 lead. I think it was a bit silly from me and Dusan, but I'll take the penalties in future."

Southampton boss Claude Puel on the argument over the penalty: "They can discuss together; if all the time you put the ball in the goal it's OK. For me it's not important."

On the performance: "It was a great performance. We played a very good team of technical players. It was difficult but the penalty at the start of the game helped us on to good things."

What's next?

Will this win kick-start Southampton's season? We'll soon find out. They entertain Swansea City at St Mary's on Sunday (14:15 BST).

Line-ups

Southampton

  • 1Forster
  • 15Martina
  • 3Yoshida
  • 17van Dijk
  • 33Targett
  • 14RomeuBooked at 78minsSubstituted forDavisat 83'minutes
  • 23Højbjerg
  • 16Ward-Prowse
  • 11TadicSubstituted forRedmondat 70'minutes
  • 10AustinSubstituted forRodriguezat 77'minutes
  • 7Long

Substitutes

  • 4Clasie
  • 6Fonte
  • 8Davis
  • 9Rodriguez
  • 13McCarthy
  • 21Bertrand
  • 22Redmond

Sparta Prague

  • 33Koubek
  • 25Holek
  • 26Nhamoinesu
  • 3Kadlec
  • 4Karavayev
  • 23SuralSubstituted forPulkrabat 74'minutesBooked at 88mins
  • 6VachaSubstituted forMarecekat 64'minutes
  • 16Sacek
  • 14Frydek
  • 30JulisSubstituted forLafataat 45'minutes
  • 77KadlecBooked at 70mins

Substitutes

  • 2Mazuch
  • 11Marecek
  • 17Cermak
  • 21Lafata
  • 22Holzer
  • 24Pulkrab
  • 35Bicík
Referee:
Manuel Gräfe
Attendance:
25,125

Match Stats

Home TeamSouthamptonAway TeamSparta Prague
Possession
Home54%
Away46%
Shots
Home13
Away6
Shots on Target
Home5
Away2
Corners
Home3
Away2
Fouls
Home15
Away16

Live Text

Match ends, Southampton 3, Sparta Prague 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Southampton 3, Sparta Prague 0.

Goal!

Goal! Southampton 3, Sparta Prague 0. Jay Rodriguez (Southampton) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Shane Long.

Foul by Shane Long (Southampton).

Vaclav Kadlec (Sparta Prague) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Shane Long (Southampton) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Matt Targett.

Booking

Matej Pulkrab (Sparta Prague) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

James Ward-Prowse (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Matej Pulkrab (Sparta Prague).

Offside, Southampton. Virgil van Dijk tries a through ball, but Shane Long is caught offside.

James Ward-Prowse (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Vyacheslav Karavayev (Sparta Prague).

Foul by James Ward-Prowse (Southampton).

Michal Sacek (Sparta Prague) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Virgil van Dijk (Southampton) right footed shot from the left side of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Maya Yoshida with a headed pass following a corner.

Attempt blocked. Jay Rodriguez (Southampton) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by James Ward-Prowse with a cross.

Substitution

Substitution, Southampton. Steven Davis replaces Oriol Romeu.

Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Martin Frydek.

Foul by Oriol Romeu (Southampton).

Matej Pulkrab (Sparta Prague) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Booking

Oriol Romeu (Southampton) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Oriol Romeu (Southampton).

Michal Sacek (Sparta Prague) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Southampton. Jay Rodriguez replaces Charlie Austin.

Shane Long (Southampton) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Costa Nhamoinesu (Sparta Prague).

James Ward-Prowse (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by David Lafata (Sparta Prague).

Substitution

Substitution, Sparta Prague. Matej Pulkrab replaces Josef Sural.

Offside, Southampton. Nathan Redmond tries a through ball, but Shane Long is caught offside.

Attempt missed. Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (Southampton) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Nathan Redmond.

Foul by Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (Southampton).

Michal Sacek (Sparta Prague) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. James Ward-Prowse (Southampton) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Nathan Redmond.

Attempt blocked. James Ward-Prowse (Southampton) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Nathan Redmond.

Substitution

Substitution, Southampton. Nathan Redmond replaces Dusan Tadic.

Booking

Vaclav Kadlec (Sparta Prague) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Matt Targett (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Vaclav Kadlec (Sparta Prague).

Attempt saved. David Lafata (Sparta Prague) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

goal

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Feyenoord11001013
2Fenerbahçe10101101
3Zorya Luhansk10101101
4Man Utd100101-10

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Apoel Nic11002113
2Olympiakos11001013
3FC Astana100112-10
4BSC Young Boys100101-10

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Anderlecht11003123
2Saint-Étienne10101101
3Mainz 0510101101
4FK Qabala100113-20

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Zenit St P11004313
2Dundalk10101101
3AZ Alkmaar10101101
4Maccabi Tel-Aviv100134-10

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Austria Vienna11003213
2Roma10101101
3Viktoria Plzen10101101
4Astra Giurgiu100123-10

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Sassuolo11003033
2Rapid Vienna11003213
3KRC Genk100123-10
4Ath Bilbao100103-30

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Ajax11002113
2Celta Vigo10101101
3Standard Liege10101101
4Panathinaikos100112-10

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Shakt Donsk11001013
2KAA Gent10101101
3Sporting Braga10101101
4Konyaspor100101-10

I

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Schalke11001013
2FK Krasnodar11001013
3FC RB Salzb100101-10
4Nice100101-10

J

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Slovan Liberec10102201
2FK Qarabag10102201
3Fiorentina10100001
4PAOK Salonika10100001

K

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Southampton11003033
2Hapoel Be'er Sheva11002023
3Inter Milan100102-20
4Sparta Prague100103-30

L

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Osmanlispor11002023
2Villarreal11002113
3FC Zürich100112-10
4Steaua Buc100102-20
View full Europa League tables

Top Stories