Premier League
SouthamptonSouthampton4Crystal PalaceCrystal Palace1

Southampton 4-1 Crystal Palace

By Tim OscroftBBC Sport
Southampton celebrate
Southampton celebrate their second goal with veteran goalkeeper Kelvin Davies

Southampton qualified for the Europa League and ended the season with their highest Premier League points total with victory over Crystal Palace.

Sadio Mane opened the scoring late in the first half following a mistake by Palace keeper Julian Speroni.

Saints doubled the lead through substitute Graziano Pelle, but Jason Puncheon pulled one back for Palace.

Ryan Bertrand scored a penalty, before Steve Davis sealed the win with an emphatic late goal.

Koeman delight at 'incredible' season

West Ham's defeat at Stoke meant they could not overhaul Southampton, who would remain in fifth place in the table if Manchester United lose to Bournemouth when their match, called off because of a security alert, is eventually played.

FA Cup finalists Palace would finish in 16th place if Bournemouth beat United.

Follow all the Premier League news and reaction

Relive all the action from St Mary's

That end-of-season feeling

The match had an end-of-term feel, with neither side having many chances to score until an error by Speroni, one of five changes to the Palace line-up from their last outing.

Opta Southampton stats
Southampton, on the right, attempted 18 shots while Palace had 16, eight of which were blocked as shown by the circles with a yellow border.

The goalkeeper, making only his second appearance of the season in place of Wayne Hennessey, could only push a cross as far as Mane.

The Saints forward calmly hooked the ball home to hand the impetus to the home side, who mostly controlled the rest of the match.

Only after Puncheon's fiercely hit shot flew into the top corner of the net did Palace look like they might come away from the south coast with something.

Jason Puncheon
Jason Puncheon scored against the club where he played for four years

Contrasting fortunes

Saints have ended their season in a fine vein of form, with only one defeat in their final 10 outings.

Ronald Koeman's side have also netted 14 times in their past four games, including consecutive four-goal scorelines at home.

Palace, by contrast, slipped to a third straight defeat on the road, and will likely prefer to forget about a lacklustre second half of the season when preparing for the FA Cup final against Manchester United.

Sixth in the table in December, the Eagles fell away badly to finish just five points above relegated Newcastle.

Saints stock continues to rise

Even with their final place still not confirmed, Southampton have improved on last season's showing.

Their total of 63 points is three more than last season and similarly they improved their goal tally, scoring 59 times compared to 54 in 2014-15.

It concludes another good campaign for Saints manager Ronald Koeman, who had been linked with the vacant position at Everton before the match.

Man of the match - Sadio Mane

Sadio Mane
Mane was a constant menace and could have had more than the one goal against Palace, to finish with 11 for the season

What the managers said

Southampton manager Ronald Koeman: "A difficult game, Palace played well but we were very clinical. It was not our best game, but the belief and the fight till the last seconds brought the three points.

"Last season was a very special one, but I don't know what I have to say about this season. 63 points and fifth in the table, it is incredible.

"I am very happy in the club, and if we have a talk next week and both the board and I have the same ambition, and everybody has that ambition, we know it is difficult to keep improving on the last few years is difficult. Everybody likes to make the next step, including myself."

Pardew bemoans 'shocking decisions'

Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew: "I thought our performance was good, actually. I think there two shocking decisions gifted them two goals, I don't think its a penalty, contact outside, and I think it is a blatant push for the second goal.

"We obviously protected a few, but they (Southampton) are in good form and deserved to win.

"The first priority was to get a result, we lost but the second was to come through unscathed. We have no injuries, and no-one sent off so we should be OK."

The stats you may have missed

  • Sadio Mane has scored eight goals in his past eight Premier League games.
  • Saints have scored a joint league-high 15 headed goals this season (level with West Ham) - having scored the fewest in the top flight last season with three.
  • Palace's last victory away from home in the Premier League was at Stoke in December, meaning they ended the season with a run of 11 without a win on the road.
  • Crystal Palace have won none of their five final-day Premier League games away from home (D2 L3).

Line-ups

Southampton

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 44Forster
  • 15Martina
  • 6José Fonte
  • 17van Dijk
  • 21Bertrand
  • 14RomeuSubstituted forPellèat 45'minutesBooked at 72mins
  • 12Wanyama
  • 10Mané
  • 8Davis
  • 11TadicSubstituted forWard-Prowseat 72'minutes
  • 7LongSubstituted forAustinat 83'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Cédric Soares
  • 3Yoshida
  • 16Ward-Prowse
  • 18Reed
  • 19Pellè
  • 22Stekelenburg
  • 28Austin

Crystal Palace

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Speroni
  • 2WardBooked at 54minsSubstituted forKellyat 82'minutes
  • 3Mariappa
  • 27Delaney
  • 23Souaré
  • 42Puncheon
  • 18McArthurBooked at 59minsSubstituted forLeeat 78'minutes
  • 15Jedinak
  • 22MutchSubstituted forKaikaiat 45'minutes
  • 16Gayle
  • 25Adebayor

Substitutes

  • 6Dann
  • 9Campbell
  • 12McCarthy
  • 14Lee
  • 34Kelly
  • 41Gray
  • 43Kaikai
Referee:
Michael Oliver
Attendance:
31,313

Match Stats

Home TeamSouthamptonAway TeamCrystal Palace
Possession
Home50%
Away50%
Shots
Home19
Away16
Shots on Target
Home5
Away4
Corners
Home2
Away5
Fouls
Home7
Away14

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Southampton 4, Crystal Palace 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Southampton 4, Crystal Palace 1.

  3. Post update

    Steven Davis (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Jason Puncheon (Crystal Palace).

  5. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Jason Puncheon (Crystal Palace) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  6. Post update

    Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Virgil van Dijk.

  7. Post update

    Attempt missed. Dwight Gayle (Crystal Palace) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Sullay Kaikai with a cross following a corner.

  8. Post update

    Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Cuco Martina.

  9. Goal!

    Goal! Southampton 4, Crystal Palace 1. Steven Davis (Southampton) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Graziano Pellè.

  10. Post update

    Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Mile Jedinak.

  11. Post update

    Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Damien Delaney.

  12. Post update

    Offside, Southampton. Fraser Forster tries a through ball, but Graziano Pellè is caught offside.

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, Southampton. Charlie Austin replaces Shane Long.

  14. Post update

    Offside, Crystal Palace. Jason Puncheon tries a through ball, but Emmanuel Adebayor is caught offside.

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Crystal Palace. Martin Kelly replaces Joel Ward.

  16. Post update

    Attempt missed. Steven Davis (Southampton) left footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Graziano Pellè.

  17. Post update

    Attempt missed. Sadio Mané (Southampton) left footed shot from the right side of the box is too high.

  18. Post update

    Attempt missed. Sadio Mané (Southampton) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by James Ward-Prowse.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Crystal Palace. Lee Chung-yong replaces James McArthur.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Graziano Pellè (Southampton).

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Leicester382312368363281
2Arsenal382011765362971
3Tottenham381913669353470
4Man City381991071413066
5Southampton381891159411863
6Man Utd371891046341263
7West Ham381614865511462
8Liverpool3816121063501360
9Stoke38149154155-1451
10Chelsea381214125953650
11Everton381114135955447
12Swansea381211154252-1047
13Watford38129174050-1045
14West Brom381013153448-1443
15Crystal Palace38119183951-1242
16Bournemouth37119174464-2042
17Sunderland38912174862-1439
18Newcastle38910194465-2137
19Norwich3897223967-2834
20Aston Villa3838272776-4917
View full Premier League table

Top Stories

Explore the BBC