Premier League
StokeStoke City1SouthamptonSouthampton2

Stoke City 1-2 Southampton

By Shamoon HafezBBC Sport
Graziano Pelle
Southampton have scored 12 headed goals this season - more than any other Premier League side

Graziano Pelle scored twice as Southampton held on for victory in the Premier League against Stoke.

Italian Pelle, who had not scored in his previous 12 league games, netted twice in the first half through a flicked header and a low finish.

Stoke got back into the game early in the second half when Marko Arnautovic flicked in from close range.

James Ward-Prowse hit the crossbar for the visitors as substitute Sadio Mane was dismissed for an elbow late on.

The Saints climb above their opponents into seventh place in the table, just five points adrift of West Ham in fifth.

Relive the match from the Britannia Stadium

Ronald Koeman happy with 'huge' three points

Saints relieved questionable refereeing did not cost them

Southampton went into the match on the back of three winless games which had threatened to hurt their ambitions of claiming a Europa League spot.

They grabbed the three points at the Britannia Stadium on the back of a counter-attacking display having managed just 38.6% possession.

Pelle was the match-winner with his two strikes in the opening period, but they will be thankful two refereeing decisions did not cost them.

Southampton second goal
Stoke manager Mark Hughes was not happy with conceding the second goal saying "it was too easy". You can see why: Southampton were able to play a long ball across the box and Graziano Pelle finished the move with a shot which goalkeeper Jack Butland should have saved

Dusan Tadic, who failed to shoot from seven yards out at an open goal in the first half, was clearly tripped in the box by Stoke keeper Jack Butland, but the Serbian's appeal for a penalty was waved away by referee Lee Mason.

And in stoppage time, Mane mistimed a jump for a header having kept his eyes on the ball, catching full-back Erik Pieters, which Mason deemed to be a straight red. They have now had six players sent off this campaign, more than any other side.

Stoke searched for the equaliser but could not find a way past the solid Virgil van Dijk, who made 17 clearances in the match.

Wayward finishing costs Stoke

Stoke had won three and drawn one of their previous four games but came unstuck after failing to keep their composure in the attacking third of the pitch.

Stoke long range efforts
Stoke had five efforts from long range which were no trouble for goalkeeper Fraser Forster

They didn't manage to work goalkeeper Fraser Forster in the first half and although Austrian Arnautovic gave them hope by netting with a neat finish and forcing the big Englishman into a smart save, those efforts were their only two on target.

The Potters failed to do the homework on their opponents, who scored their 12th headed goal this season - more than any other top-flight side.

Although record signing Giannelli Imbula influenced the game, having more touches (114) and more passes (91) than any player on the pitch, it was their profligacy up front which cost them the points.

Stoke have now lost six league games in front of their own crowd this season and their hopes of clinching a Europa League spot now look slim.

Man of the match - Graziano Pelle

Graziano Pelle
Four months without a goal in the league beforehand but the Italian was the match-winner by bagging two against Stoke

What they said:

Stoke boss Mark Hughes: "We have been on a decent run recently. We go into these games full of ambition but you have to be spot on with the details.

"At this level, if you make mistakes, you get punished. It is a harsh lesson. That has almost certainly been the case at home this season."

Mark Hughes 'pulling hair out' after mistakes

Southampton manager Ronald Koeman: "We needed to be calm and the team had a fantastic reaction after 2-1 to get the control back.

"We had the better chances and we were unlucky with two decisions with the referee. One was a penalty and the red card was not a red card. Still, at 2-1, we got the three points in a huge game today and that is very important for our aspirations for the rest of season. "

What next?

Stoke will be looking to get back to winning ways when they travel to Watford next Saturday (kick-off 15:00 GMT), while Southampton host Liverpool on Sunday, 20 March (13:30).

The stats you need to know:

  • Graziano Pelle scored his fifth Premier League brace and his first away from home
  • Pelle scored as many goals against Stoke as he had in his previous 17 Premier League appearances
  • Dusan Tadic provided an assist in back-to-back Premier League games for the first time
  • Marko Arnautovic has scored seven goals and assisted one in his past 10 Premier League games at the Britannia Stadium



Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Butland
  • 20Cameron
  • 17Shawcross
  • 26Wollscheid
  • 3PietersBooked at 55minsSubstituted forWaltersat 90+2'minutes
  • 6WhelanSubstituted forCrouchat 78'minutes
  • 21Imbula
  • 22ShaqiriSubstituted forBojanat 31'minutes
  • 14Afellay
  • 10Arnautovic
  • 18Diouf


  • 5Muniesa
  • 7Ireland
  • 11Joselu
  • 19Walters
  • 25Crouch
  • 27Bojan
  • 29Haugaard


Formation 4-4-2

  • 44Forster
  • 15Martina
  • 17van Dijk
  • 21Bertrand
  • 33TargettSubstituted forYoshidaat 80'minutes
  • 8DavisBooked at 90mins
  • 14Romeu
  • 4ClasieBooked at 47minsSubstituted forWard-Prowseat 69'minutes
  • 11TadicSubstituted forManéat 75'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 7Long
  • 19Pellè


  • 2Cédric Soares
  • 3Yoshida
  • 10Mané
  • 16Ward-Prowse
  • 18Reed
  • 20Juanmi
  • 22Stekelenburg
Lee Mason

Match Stats

Home TeamStokeAway TeamSouthampton
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Stoke City 1, Southampton 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Stoke City 1, Southampton 2.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Marko Arnautovic (Stoke City).

  4. Post update

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

  5. Post update

    Foul by Peter Crouch (Stoke City).

  6. Post update

    Virgil van Dijk (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  7. Booking

    Steven Davis (Southampton) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  8. Post update

    Ibrahim Afellay (Stoke City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Steven Davis (Southampton).

  10. Substitution

    Substitution, Stoke City. Jonathan Walters replaces Erik Pieters because of an injury.

  11. Dismissal

    Sadio Mané (Southampton) is shown the red card.

  12. Post update

    Erik Pieters (Stoke City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Sadio Mané (Southampton).

  14. Post update

    Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Erik Pieters.

  15. Post update

    James Ward-Prowse (Southampton) hits the bar with a right footed shot from outside the box from a direct free kick.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Philipp Wollscheid (Stoke City).

  17. Post update

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

  18. Post update

    Foul by Ryan Shawcross (Stoke City).

  19. Post update

    Graziano Pellè (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  20. Post update

    Philipp Wollscheid (Stoke City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

As It Stood

4Man City29156852312151
5West Ham291310645331249
6Man Utd29138837271047
11West Brom29109103036-639
15Crystal Palace2996143239-733
20Aston Villa2937192255-3316
View full Premier League table

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