Premier League
SouthamptonSouthampton0StokeStoke City1

Southampton 0-1 Stoke City

By James GheerbrantBBC Sport
Bojan beats Maarten Stekelenburg with a clever flicked finish
Bojan scored his third goal of the season with a clever flicked finish

Stoke continued their impressive run as Bojan's brilliant finish earned a hard-fought win over Southampton.

The Spaniard beat Maarten Stekelenburg with an impudent flick from Erik Pieters' searching left-wing cross.

Dusan Tadic fired narrowly over for Southampton, who created few clear chances, before Stoke saw Ibrahim Afellay's shot cleared off the line.

The Potters climb into the top half after their fifth win in seven league matches.

Southampton, meanwhile, drop to eighth after they saw their own six-match unbeaten run end with a curiously ineffective performance.

Ronald Koeman's side enjoyed long periods of dominance but only tested Jack Butland with one of their 16 efforts.

Stoke trio subdue Saints

Stoke performance 'delights' Hughes

The hosts started brightly, with Tadic, arguably their brightest performer, fizzing an angled drive wide after just six minutes.

But they never recovered from conceding their first first-half goal in five matches, as Virgil van Dijk failed to track Bojan's run.

Defensive solidity had been at the heart of Saints' recent good form but they struggled to deal with the threat posed by Stoke's attacking midfield trio of Bojan, Marko Arnautovic and Xherdan Shaqiri, who had nine shots between them.

Shaqiri had an effort well blocked by Maarten Stekelenburg after neat interplay with Bojan, then fired wastefully over after excellent play from Arnautovic.

The Austrian, playing on the left wing, had the better of Southampton right-back Cedric throughout and also set up Afellay's late chance after bulldozing his way into the area.

Potters continue miserly away run

Own-half pitch maps for Southampton (left) and Stoke (right)
Stoke's win was built on a disciplined defensive display, with defensive midfielders Glenn Whelan (6, right) and Charlie Adam (16, right) at times playing as auxiliary defenders, sitting as deep as Southampton's centre-backs (left)

After a poor start to the season, Stoke's gradual climb up the table has been built on defensive solidity and excellent away form.

Once famed for their reliance on results at the Britannia, the Potters have turned themselves into a formidable force on the road under Mark Hughes, with this win taking their tally from their last four home games to 10 points.

They produced a classic away performance in the second half, absorbing wave after wave of Southampton pressure and threatening sporadically on the break.

Stoke had one moment of good fortune, when Philipp Wollscheid felled Graziano Pelle in the area and was lucky to see Lee Mason wave away Southampton's claims for a penalty.

But that aside, they never looked like conceding their first away goal since September 12, and fully deserved to record their first win at Southampton for 35 years.

Man of the match - Marko Arnautovic

Marko Arnautovic gets a shot away under pressure from Cedric Soares
Stoke's Austrian winger was a constant threat, dominating full-back Cedric and cutting inside to shoot at goal or set up team-mates

What they said

Saints display not good - Koeman

Southampton manager Ronald Koeman: "It was not good enough in the first half. I think it was partly because of the minute's silence for what happened last week. The atmosphere in the stadium was not normal.

"In the second half, we played better, it was a good reaction, but I have to recognise that best chances in the game fell to Stoke."

Stoke manager Mark Hughes: "We're delighted - it's an important win for us. We could have finished off more of our chances but overall it was a good performance from us.

"I think in terms of clear-cut chances we were miles ahead of Southampton. I don't think Jack Butland had a save to make and that's illustrative of how well we played - and we broke with real purpose too."

The stats you need to know

  • Stoke have kept five clean sheets in their last six Premier League matches - after conceding in each of their eight league games prior to this run
  • Their run of four successive clean sheets away from home is their best in the top flight since February 1970
  • There have been just 23 goals scored in Premier League games involving Stoke this season; fewer than any other side
  • Southampton's defeat was only their second in their last 11 Premier League games (W5 D4)

What's next?

Stoke visit Sunderland next Saturday, while Southampton face a trip to Manchester City - without striker Pelle, who picked up his fifth booking of this season in this match and will serve a one-match suspension.

Line-ups

Southampton

  • 22Stekelenburg
  • 2Cédric SoaresSubstituted forJuanmiat 85'minutes
  • 6José Fonte
  • 17van Dijk
  • 21Bertrand
  • 12Wanyama
  • 4ClasieSubstituted forManéat 64'minutes
  • 7Long
  • 8DavisSubstituted forWard-Prowseat 72'minutesBooked at 77mins
  • 11Tadic
  • 19PellèBooked at 90mins

Substitutes

  • 1Davis
  • 3Yoshida
  • 10Mané
  • 14Romeu
  • 16Ward-Prowse
  • 20Juanmi
  • 26Caulker

Stoke

  • 1Butland
  • 8Johnson
  • 17Shawcross
  • 26Wollscheid
  • 3Pieters
  • 6Whelan
  • 16Adam
  • 22ShaqiriSubstituted forAfellayat 65'minutes
  • 27BojanSubstituted forCameronat 71'minutes
  • 10Arnautovic
  • 19WaltersSubstituted forDioufat 87'minutes

Substitutes

  • 7Ireland
  • 12Wilson
  • 14Afellay
  • 18Diouf
  • 20Cameron
  • 25Crouch
  • 29Haugaard
Referee:
Lee Mason
Attendance:
30,039

Match Stats

Home TeamSouthamptonAway TeamStoke
Possession
Home58%
Away42%
Shots
Home15
Away16
Shots on Target
Home1
Away4
Corners
Home7
Away3
Fouls
Home8
Away8

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Southampton 0, Stoke City 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Southampton 0, Stoke City 1.

  3. Booking

    Graziano Pellè (Southampton) is shown the yellow card.

  4. Post update

    Hand ball by Graziano Pellè (Southampton).

  5. Post update

    Attempt missed. Ibrahim Afellay (Stoke City) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Mame Biram Diouf.

  6. Post update

    Sadio Mané (Southampton) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Erik Pieters (Stoke City).

  8. Post update

    Attempt missed. Victor Wanyama (Southampton) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Graziano Pellè.

  9. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Ibrahim Afellay (Stoke City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Marko Arnautovic.

  10. Post update

    Attempt missed. Graziano Pellè (Southampton) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is close, but misses the top right corner. Assisted by Sadio Mané.

  11. Substitution

    Substitution, Stoke City. Mame Biram Diouf replaces Jonathan Walters.

  12. Post update

    Attempt missed. Jonathan Walters (Stoke City) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Marko Arnautovic with a cross.

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, Southampton. Juanmi replaces Cédric Soares.

  14. Post update

    Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Erik Pieters.

  15. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Shane Long (Southampton) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Graziano Pellè.

  16. Post update

    Attempt missed. Ibrahim Afellay (Stoke City) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Marko Arnautovic.

  17. Post update

    Attempt missed. Charlie Adam (Stoke City) left footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Marko Arnautovic.

  18. Post update

    Attempt missed. Jose Fonte (Southampton) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by James Ward-Prowse with a cross following a set piece situation.

  19. Post update

    Cédric Soares (Southampton) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Charlie Adam (Stoke City).

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Leicester138412820828
2Man Utd138321991027
3Man City1382327131426
4Arsenal1382323111226
5Tottenham1256120101021
6West Ham126332316721
7Everton135532416820
8Southampton135531914520
9Liverpool135531715220
10Crystal Palace126151412219
11Stoke135441112-119
12West Brom135261217-517
13Watford134451214-216
14Swansea133551418-414
15Chelsea134271723-614
16Norwich133371624-812
17Newcastle132471325-1210
18Bournemouth132381427-139
19Sunderland121381326-136
20Aston Villa1312101024-145
View full Premier League table

Top Stories