Europa League - Group K
Sparta Prague1Southampton0

Sparta Prague 1-0 Southampton

Sparta Prague v Southampton
Southampton have scored in only one of their last nine games on the road in Europe

Southampton's Europa League fate will go down to the final group game after losing away to Sparta Prague.

Costa Nhamoinesu's early close-range volley from a tight angle after Borek Dockal's free-kick sealed a deserved win for the hosts.

Southampton, who made seven changes to the side that started the goalless draw with Liverpool last weekend, were lacklustre throughout and it required two fine saves from Fraser Forster to deny Dockal.

Saints skipper Virgil van Dijk headed a great chance to equalise over the bar in the closing stages as Sparta advanced as group winners to the last 32 with one game to spare.

Southampton will join Sparta if they manage a goalless draw or a win against Hapoel Be'er Sheva in their final group game at St Mary's on 8 December.

Saints pay the price for toothless display

Southampton have not scored in any of their three away games in the group, and rarely looked like doing so in the Czech Republic.

Despite the changes, Saints manager Claude Puel named an attacking line-up, with Jay Rodriguez, Nathan Redmond and Shane Long all starting.

Though their presence provided plenty of pace, there was little cutting edge and the Premier League club's build-up play was too slow.

Southampton defender Sam McQueen reacts during the Europa League game with Sparta Prague
Southampton's Sam McQueen reacts after missing a chance against Sparta Prague

Southampton had 71% possession - their highest figure in a game in any competition this season - and 12 attempts on goal but had nothing to show for it.

There will also be questions asked after defender Costa scored Sparta's winner unchallenged.

It came after a well-worked set-piece but Saints players Cuco Martina and Jordy Clasie both failed to react when the ball was delivered into the area.

What Southampton need to advance

Southampton's final group game is against Israeli side Hapoel Be'er-Sheva, who came from 2-0 down to win 3-2 against Inter Milan, a result which sends the three-time European champions out.

The Saints and Hapoel are tied on seven points meaning whoever wins will take them through.

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Head-to-head is used to decide which side advances when teams are on the same number of points.

Southampton managed a goalless draw when the teams met in Israel on 29 September so goal difference will be used if there is a repeat of that result in two weeks.

Puel's side have a superior goal difference over Hapoel so will advance if it ends 0-0.

However, if Hapoel manage a score draw at St Mary's then they will progress due to the fact they managed to score away from home against their opponents.

Man of the Match - Fraser Forster (Southampton)

Southampton goalkeeper Fraser Forster makes a save during his side's Europa League game away to Sparta Prague
There were plenty of man of the match contenders for Sparta but for Southampton there was just one. The Saints have Fraser Forster to thank for avoiding a heavier defeat in the Czech Republic. Forster was exposed by his defence time and again yet produced several fine saves to keep the score down.

'Hard to accept'

Southampton boss Claude Puel: "It's a bad result. We made a good start in the game, but then on the first free-kick we take a goal against us and this is hard to accept.

"I think we played a good first half without a clinical edge, but after we lost the structure in the second half to keep our calm. It was not enough to win this game.

"Now it's important to keep our concentration. It's a final game in front of our fans. We have to play a very good game for the next game at home to make sure we qualify, for the players and fans."

Defensive problems?

  • Southampton are the first English side to lose away to Sparta Prague in the last eight attempts (since Watford lost 4-0 in 1983).
  • The Saints have conceded in each of their last four games on the road (in all competitions), after keeping three clean sheets in a row before that.
  • Sparta Prague have scored in each of their last 13 home games in Europe.
  • Claude Puel's side have now failed to score in eight of their last nine European away games.

What's next?

Southampton entertain former boss Ronald Koeman and his Everton team at St Mary's Stadium on Sunday (16:30 GMT).

Reaction

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Around 2,000 Southampton fans were in Prague
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Line-ups

Sparta Prague

  • 33Koubek
  • 4Karavayev
  • 2Mazuch
  • 3Kadlec
  • 26Nhamoinesu
  • 30JulisSubstituted forKöstlat 90+3'minutes
  • 25HolekBooked at 32mins
  • 11Marecek
  • 22HolzerSubstituted forDudlat 90+1'minutes
  • 9Dockal
  • 21LafataSubstituted forHavelkaat 88'minutes

Substitutes

  • 27Miller
  • 43Dudl
  • 45Havelka
  • 46Kadlec
  • 47Köstl
  • 48Majka
  • 50Novotny

Southampton

  • 1Forster
  • 15Martina
  • 3Yoshida
  • 17van Dijk
  • 38McQueen
  • 4ClasieSubstituted forAustinat 72'minutes
  • 23HøjbjergSubstituted forRomeuat 55'minutes
  • 16Ward-Prowse
  • 9RodriguezSubstituted forBoufalat 55'minutes
  • 7Long
  • 22Redmond

Substitutes

  • 8Davis
  • 10Austin
  • 14Romeu
  • 19Boufal
  • 21Bertrand
  • 24Stephens
  • 41Lewis
Referee:
Jesús Gil Manzano
Attendance:
17,429

Match Stats

Home TeamSparta PragueAway TeamSouthampton
Possession
Home30%
Away70%
Shots
Home6
Away12
Shots on Target
Home4
Away3
Corners
Home0
Away5
Fouls
Home12
Away16

Live Text

Match ends, Sparta Prague 1, Southampton 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Sparta Prague 1, Southampton 0.

Foul by Shane Long (Southampton).

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

Attempt blocked. Charlie Austin (Southampton) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Shane Long with a headed pass.

Sam McQueen (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Filip Havelka (Sparta Prague).

Foul by Cuco Martina (Southampton).

Costa Nhamoinesu (Sparta Prague) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Sparta Prague. Daniel Köstl replaces Lukas Julis.

Offside, Southampton. James Ward-Prowse tries a through ball, but Maya Yoshida is caught offside.

Charlie Austin (Southampton) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Filip Havelka (Sparta Prague).

Substitution

Substitution, Sparta Prague. Vaclav Dudl replaces Daniel Holzer.

Foul by Sofiane Boufal (Southampton).

Borek Dockal (Sparta Prague) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Sparta Prague. Filip Havelka replaces David Lafata.

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

Foul by David Lafata (Sparta Prague).

Foul by Maya Yoshida (Southampton).

David Lafata (Sparta Prague) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Shane Long (Southampton).

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

Foul by Cuco Martina (Southampton).

Costa Nhamoinesu (Sparta Prague) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Offside, Southampton. Maya Yoshida tries a through ball, but Charlie Austin is caught offside.

Attempt missed. Virgil van Dijk (Southampton) header from the right side of the six yard box is too high. Assisted by James Ward-Prowse with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Ondrej Mazuch.

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

Hand ball by Charlie Austin (Southampton).

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Tomas Koubek (Sparta Prague) because of an injury.

Foul by Shane Long (Southampton).

Tomas Koubek (Sparta Prague) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Shane Long (Southampton) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Ondrej Mazuch (Sparta Prague).

Substitution

Substitution, Southampton. Charlie Austin replaces Jordy Clasie.

Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Mario Holek.

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

Foul by Borek Dockal (Sparta Prague).

goal

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Thursday 24th November 2016

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Fenerbahçe531176110
2Man Utd530210469
3Feyenoord521236-37
4Zorya Luhansk502326-42

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Apoel Nicosia53026609
2Olympiakos52217438
3BSC Young Boys51224405
4FC Astana512258-35

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Anderlecht5320145911
2Saint-Étienne52305329
3Mainz5131610-46
4FK Qabala5005512-70

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Zenit St Petersburg55001551015
2AZ Alkmaar512238-55
3Dundalk511346-24
4Maccabi Tel-Aviv511358-34

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Roma5320167911
2Astra Giurgiu5212710-37
3Austria Vienna5122911-25
4Viktoria Plzen503248-43

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1KRC Genk530211929
2Ath Bilbao5302910-19
3Rapid Vienna512267-15
4Sassuolo51229905

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Ajax5410105513
2Standard Liege51317526
3Celta Vigo51318716
4Panathinaikos5014311-81

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Shakhtar Donetsk55001731415
2Sporting Braga51317706
3KAA Gent5122813-55
4Konyaspor5014211-91

I

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Schalke550091815
2FK Krasnodar52127617
3RB Salzburg511346-24
4Nice5104310-73

J

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Fiorentina5311135810
2FK Qarabag5212610-47
3PAOK Salonika521256-17
4Slovan Liberec5113710-34

K

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Sparta Prague540174312
2Southampton52125327
3Hapoel Be'er Sheva52125507
4Inter Milan5104510-53

L

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Osmanlispor52128717
2Villarreal51317706
3Steaua Bucharest513145-16
4FC Zürich51315506
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