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May 19, 2013
• St. Mary's Stadium, Southampton, Hampshire
Referee: L. Probert
• Attendance: 31539
R. Lambert 57'
P. Crouch 47'
John Stammers at St Mary's Stadium: "It ends Southampton 1-1 Stoke at St Mary's with Rickie Lambert's finish cancelling out ex-Saint Peter Crouch's opener. There were a few nervy moments at the end, mostly for the visiting supporters, but in truth both sides looked happy with the draw with their Premier League survival already secured. The Saints players are due to return to the pitch for a lap of honour shortly, with the home crowd, and even some away fans, soaking up the celebratory atmosphere."
Michael Owen makes an emotional farewell to the crowd at the St Mary's Stadium, his brief final appearance having been the most noteworthy point of the two sides' final match of the season. Southampton had a Rickie Lambert goal ruled out for offside almost straight after the kick-off, and the Saints went on to have the Lion's share of possession throughout the match. Stoke however had set out to defend with a five-man midfield, and did so well before taking the lead against the run of play after Peter Crouch's excellent header from Geoff Cameron's cross. The Saints equalised after Rickie Lambert was on-hand to tap in a cross-shot from Steven Davis that appeared to have been created after Jose Fonte put his hand to an Adam Lallana cross, and forced keeper Asmir Begovic into action again later in the second half, but the two sides appeared to settle for a draw despite Owen's late appearance, and Southampton and Stoke finish in 14th and 13th place respectively in the Premier League's final table.
90' + 3'
Stoke win a free kick on the left flank and the Potters throw all Pulis' men into the box ahead of Whitehead's delivery. The Potters win the initial header on the edge of the box but are unable to deliver another cross from the right flank, and the referee blows the final whistle.
Mayuka picks up the ball on the left flank and cuts inside before shooting powerfully into the side netting. From some angles it looks as though he has nestled the ball into the bottom left corner of the net prompting brief cheers from the home crowd.
Stoke win a free kick in the centre of the Southampton half after a hand ball from Ward-Prowse, but Whitehead's delivery fails to beat the first man. Puncheon attempts to attack down the right flank and lays the ball off to Lambert, but the strikers chipped ball into the box for substitute Mayuka is intercepted.
Stoke counter and Michael Owen has two opportunities to snatch a late winner in his last match. He narrowly fails to get a foot to Shotton's cross from the right flank and then shortly afterwards lacks power on his second attempt from the six-yard box and it is blocked.
Lambert does well to hold onto the ball amid heavy pressure and lays the ball off to Puncheon outside the edge of the Stoke box The substitute's powerful shot is saved however.
Southampton have maintained their momentum going into the final ten minutes and Stoke appear resigned to defending their 1-1 draw going into the final ten minutes.
Southampton attack down the left flank and Huth heads the ball out for a throw-in. Pochettino takes the opportunity to bring off midfielder Jack Cork and replace him with pacey striker Emmanuel Mayuka, who was at the heart of the Zambia side that famously won the Africa Cup of Nations.
Shaw picks up the ball outside the left edge of the box and shoots, but his effort flies over the bar allowing Begovic to clear with a goal kick.
The Saints win throw-ins on each half of the pitch having pinned Stoke into their own half.
Southampton are controlling possession as Stoke's team is massed in their own half to defend.
Rodriguez receives an accurate pass out of defence from Fonte inside the right edge of the box, and after his first attempt to shoot at goal is thwarted he shifts the ball onto his left foot before his attempt is saved by Begovic.
Former England international Michael Owen appears from the bench in place of Jon Walters, while Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino, from whom Owen won the penalty from which England took the lead over Argentina in World Cup 2002, takes off the hard-working playmaker Steven Davis and replaces him with youngster James Ward-Prowse.
Southampton neatly exchange passes across midfield before Luke Shaw advances from left-back to receive the ball in space. His cross is intercepted and Stoke have the opportunity to counter however, but when Walters meets a right wing cross at the back post, his header back across goal is unable to reach a teammate and Southampton again have possession.
John Stammers at St Mary's Stadium: "'There's only one Michael Owen' echoes from the Stoke end. They clearly want to see the former England striker given a substantial amount of time on his final day as a player. We'll have to wait and see."
Substitute Cameron Jerome comes on in place of left-winger Etherington, and will likely take his place up front with Walters moving out to the flank. Jerome has struggled for playing time but in his last game against Southampton scored a spectacular late volley to earn his side a 3-3 draw.
Peter Crouch attempts to control a long pass aimed in his direction, but is pressured off the ball by Schneiderlin.
Southampton calmly exchange possession before aiming a long ball to substitute Jason Puncheon down the right flank, and after Shawcross nervily stretches to block the pass with keeper Begovic also advancing towards the ball, the ball loops high and ominously into the box prompting the crowd to anticipate a surprising goal, but Huth is in position to cover and heads the ball out of play.
Tony Pulis is visibly angry after referee puts a halt to Shotton's attempt to take a quick throw-in under his manager's instruction.
Dean Whitehead takes a corner from the left flank and when the ball is headed away, Shotton blasts the ball disappointingly high and over the bar.
Stoke win a corner on the right flank and Robert Huth wins the header at the back post, but his attempt flies into the arms of keeper Kelvin Davis and the score stays at 1-1.
John Stammers at St Mary's Stadium: "It's been coming and finally it's here, Southampton are level through top goalscorer Rickie Lambert. Asmir Begovic saved well from Steven Davis' initial effort but he couldn't hold onto the ball, leaving the Saints forward to pass it into the empty net."
Goal Rickie Lambert
Rickie Lambert equalises for Southampton! The Saints win a free kick on the right flank but Lallana's delivery fails to beat the first man. The attack countinues however and Lallana gets a second attempt to cross the ball from the right by-line. Stoke fail to clear and replays suggest Fonte puts his hand to the ball, but Hooiveld is able to roll the ball to Steven Davis on the left edge of the box. Davis' cross shot then runs through to Rickie Lambert who puts his side at 1-1 with a simple finish.
John Stammers at St Mary's Stadium: "Another top, top save from Asmir Begovic denies Southampton here at St Mary's! Adam Lallana and Jay Rodriguez link up fantastically well before the latter lays it off for Rickie Lambert who strikes the ball at goal. It looks destined for the back of the net but the Stoke keeper adjusts his feet and flicks it over the bar."
Rodriguez receives the ball on the right flank and passes across the box to Lallana who lays the ball off to Lambert. The striker shoots powerfully towards the left side of the goal and Begovic saves the shot with his legs. It was an excellent move by Southampton who have not been demoralised by Stoke's unexpected goal.
The Potters work the ball out to the right flank but are forced back into their own half after heavy Southampton pressure.
Stoke win a free kick in the centre of the Southampton half.
Lambert picks out Clyne as he runs into the right edge of the box. The right-back looks up and rolls the ball back towards the penalty spot but Steven Davis' low shot is saved well by Begovic as he dives to his right to parry the ball.
Assist Geoff Cameron
Goal Peter Crouch
Peter Crouch heads Stoke in front! The Potters get the second half off to a perfect start after Geoff Cameron runs into space on the right flank before receiving the ball and advancing up the wing. The US international delivers an excellent outswinging cross towards Peter Crouch, who darts in front of his marker and heads the ball deftly into the bottom left corner to score against his former club.
Stoke get the second half underway at St Mary's Stadium.
Southampton have had the greater share of possession in the first half and constructed some impressive moves down either flank, but Stoke have been organised without the ball, having started the match with regular defender Geoff Cameron added to midfield to form a three-man screen in the middle of the park. Keeper Asmir Begovic's distribution has been impressive as has Peter Crouch's aerial prowess, and the Potters look capable of creating opportunities should the Saints let their guard down in the second half.
John Stammers at St Mary's Stadium: "After such an entertaining and fast-paced opening five minutes or so, it' a little disappointing that we are yet to see a goal here at St Mary's. Rickie Lambert had one ruled out for offside very early on, with Adam Lallana and Nathaniel Clyne impressing throughout for Southampton without really creating too much. The hosts have had a lot of the ball, but they just don't look like they quite know what to do with it in the final third. Stoke, on the other hand, are yet to really test Saints defence, though Matthew Etherington went close and Jonathan Walters called Kelvin Davis into action."
45' + 1'
Goalkeeper Kelvin Davis unsuccessfully attempts to claim the corner but his teammate Jay Rodriguez powerfully heads clear, however the Potters quickly get back into their defensive positions before the referee blows the half-time whistle.
Lallana takes the left-wing delivery but the ball is headed clear and Stoke in turn look to launch a counter attack, and Etherington manages to get clear to take on Clyne, who concedes a corner with a sliding challenge.
Southampton counter attack quickly and Adam Lallana wins a corner after taking on his opponent on the left edge of the box.
Cameron picks up the ball on the right flank and instigates a nead move across midfield before attempting to receive a pass from Etherington inside the left edge of the box. Schneiderlin concedes a free kick but the Potters are unable to capitalise on the opportunity.
John Stammers at St Mary's Stadium: "Jonathan Walters tests Kelvin Davis with a rare Stoke opening at St Mary's, however his low shot is pretty tame and the Southampton keeper claims it with ease."
Stoke retain possession before picking out Crouch with a well-aimed long ball. The striker knocks the ball down and the Potters pass the ball back to defence, before Geoff Cameron is picked out with a long ball towards the right flank. The US international heads the ball into the path of Walters, and the striker cuts inside from the right flank into the box before shooting at goal, but his shot is saved.
Stoke attempt to build an attack from their own half but Adam Lallana dispossesses the casual Huth in possession, and the centre-back does well to win the ball back before the playmaker picks out striker Lambert in the box.
Stoke attempt to counter attack down the left flank but Southampton win the ball back almost immediately and look to attack down the left flank, before Stoke win possession and look for Jon Walters, who concedes a free kick for a foul on centre-back Jose Fonte.
Rodriguez picks up the ball on the left edge of the box and jinks past his marker before looking for Steven Davis at the near post, but his effort is cleared before Southampton resume possession.
John Stammers at St Mary's Stadium: "Former Southampton man Peter Crouch is proving to be a tricky customer for Saints' centre-back pairing of Jos Hooiveld and Jose Fonte this afternoon. He is winning absolutely everything Stoke kick, throw or whatever else at him - which is a lot - and the hosts need to be careful they track runners for the second ball."
Hooiveld fouls Crouch after climbing over the striker in an attempt to head away a long ball. Dean Whitehead takes the resulting free kick from the right flank and aims for Shawcross at the back post, and when Cork heads the ball away Matthew Etherington is on-hand to volley the ball narrowly over the bar from outside the left edge of the box.
Luke Shaw makes another neat interception to win possession and the Saints pass the ball across midfield before attempting to find striker Lambert with a chipped cross. Stoke attempt to find Peter Crouch on winning the ball, and the tall striker wins a free kick.
Shotton takes a long throw-in from the right flank and a teammate soon receives the ball outside the edge of the box but blasts his effort well over the bar.
Southampton attempt to attack through the centre with a neat exchange of possession but Stoke win the ball and immediately put the Saints on the back foot with a long ball, and Schneiderlin is forced to put the ball out for a throw-in after Walters looked to pick out N'Zonzi on the edge of the box.
Yellow Card Steven N'Zonzi
Schneiderlin cleverly intercepts a pass intended for N'Zonzi, who commits a tactical foul to thwart a resulting counter attack and receives a yellow card, joining fellow midfielder Whitehead in the referee's book.
John Stammers at St Mary's Stadium: "It's all gone a bit quiet at St Mary's - all except the travelling Stoke fans. Jack Cork's cross evades Rickie Lambert and Stoke's two centre-backs before floating just past the far post, but apart from that clear-cut chances have been limited since the bright opening. The hosts are certainly on top, though."
Cork picks up the ball in the middle of Stoke's half and picks out Lambert with a chipped through ball, and the striker almost manages to direct the ball towards goal having got between the Stoke centre-backs, but keeper Begovic is able to claim.
Saints' 17-year-old left-back Luke Shaw confidently takes on Cameron but his next pass is wayward, and right-back Clyne is forced to use his pace to win the ball back following the resulting attack.
N'Zonzi is overwhelmed in midfield by the Saints' pressure and loses possession on the half way line. The Southampton midfield have consistently looked to play a high line and press their opponents so far in the first half, but Stoke are now trying to retain the ball for longer periods.
Begovic's drop kick flies nearly the full length of the pitch onto the head of Peter Crouch, whose flick on is picked up neatly by Walters after he rolled his marker Hooiveld leaving him on the floor. Wlaters looks to be through on goal but Saints player of the year Morgan Schneiderlin wins the ball having dropped back from midfield to cover.
Adam Lallana receives the ball on the left edge of the box and floats in a cross, which Begovic claims confidently.
Marc Wilson, who has been out with a broken leg for much of the season, is taken off injured and replaced by full-back Andy Wilkinson.
The corner is fiercely contested but the referee allows play to continue, and when the delivery is cleared Marc Wilson receives the ball on the edge of the box before being overwhelmed by the Saints' pressure. Southampton break quickly and Adam Lallana advances towards the box from the left flank, but his shot is blocked by a Stoke defender who had frantically run back to cover.
Stoke keeper Asmir Begovic finds Matthew Etherington with an accurate goal kick and the winger promptly wins a corner on the left flank.
Rodriguez again impresses from the right flank, receiving the ball from Clyne before darting into the box and beating Robert Huth on the outside, before Ryan Shawcross shepherd's the ball out of play for a goal kick.
John Stammers at St Mary's Stadium: "Another lovely move from Southampton ends with Rickie Lambert heading over the bar. Nathaniel Clyne nutmegged his man on the right flank before carrying on his run and receiving the ball in a great position inside the Stoke box. However his cross was too high for the Saints forward to get any proper connection on and the ball sails over the top."
The Saints attack through Steven Davis but the Potters' Geoff Cameron, in midfield today, wins the ball and clears from the edge of the Stoke box.
Clyne advances forward from right-back and is at the centre of an impressive combination of passes on the right edge of the Stoke box before he floats a neat cross to Lambert at the back post, but the striker heads over the bar.
Luke Shaw attempts to receive a pass from keeper Keivin Davis but is fouled by Stoke right-back Ryan Shotton and wins a free kick.
Lambert takes the ball from Dean Whitehead as the Stoke midfielder looked to receive a wayward pass, but the striker's powerful shot from the right edge of the box is unsuccessful.
Southampton confidently pass the ball across midfield before Jack Cork takes the initiative and runs forward before picking a pass towards the right flank, where Southampton win a throw-in taken by Clyne.
Marc Wilson shoots disappointingly high and over the bar having attempted to curl the ball around the wall from outside the left edge of the box.
Yellow Card Dean Whitehead
Stoke attempt to counter attack through Jon Walters down the left flank, but the Republic of Ireland international is fouled by Saints centre-back Jos Hooiveld and the Potters win a free kick.
Southampton have enjoyed much of the possession so far at the St Mary's Stadium and Rodriguez ups the tempo with a powerful run down the right flank after combining with Adam Lallana. The forward is fouled by Dean Whitehead who receives a yellow card, but his teammates are unable to capitalise on the opportunity provided by the free kick.
John Stammers at St Mary's Stadium: "What a start at St Mary's, and what an atmosphere! Southampton think they've taken the lead through Rickie Lambert after Adam Lallana's effort comes back off the post and the crowd erupts, however it's chalked off for offside. Then a flare is lobbed into the beautiful-looking turf from the noisy Stoke end. We've got a party atmosphere, and we've had a fantastic start to match, let's hope for more of the same."
Play is delayed as a flare is removed from the pitch in front of the Stoke goal.
Southampton get the game underway and see a Rickie Lambert strike disallowed for offside inside the first minutes. Nathaniel Clyne takes a throw-in from the right flank and after Jay Rodriguez cuts inside he shoots at goal. His effort runs through to Lambert at the back post and he finishes powerfully from an angle, but his shot is ruled out for offside.
John Stammers at St Mary's Stadium: "Warm applause from all corners of St Mary's as the stadium announcer reads out Michael Owen's name and comments that today is his final appearance. Good to see."
John Stammers at St Mary's Stadium: "Southampton fans head into this one on the back of some fantastic news from their chairman Nicola Cortese. Reports had suggested the Italian was worried that the club's owners' ambitions did not match his own, and that he was considering stepping down. Manager Mauricio Pochettino also hinted that he would walk if Cortese did indeed leave, however the Saints chief has now confirmed his commitment and future to the club in a statement. Pochettino also talks of the "excitement" generated by future challenges in his programme notes this afternoon. All is settled, it seems."
John Stammers at St Mary's Stadium: "Stoke have a bit of a dressing room bust-up to put behind them in order to concentrate on this afternoon's clash after Kenwyne Jones smashed the windscreen of teammate Glenn Whelan, following a prank in which a pig's head was left in the forward's locker. Neither player makes the squad at St Mary's and manager Tony Pulis will be therefore hoping the rest of his team can move on so they don't make a pig's ear of the performance..."
John Stammers at St Mary's Stadium: "Michael Owen is one of many big names deciding to hang up their boots at the end of the season. While he is a player that has split opinion by prolonging his career by warming the benches of various sides, there is no doubting the fact that he became a real idol for many youngsters during his Argie-beating prime. It's also interesting to note that his final game -this afternoon against Southampton - comes against a side managed by Mauricio Pochettino, the Argentine that 'fouled' him to concede that famous penalty in the 2002 World Cup. The Saints boss has jokingly said this week he may get his revenge in the tunnel - I'll keep a look out."
John Stammers at St Mary's Stadium: "Michael Owen will start on Stoke's bench for the final game of his career this afternoon, while Geoff Cameron and Dean Whitehead come into the Potters' midfield with Charlie Adam suspended and Glenn Whelan injured. Former Southampton forward Peter Crouch starts against his former club. As for the Saints, Rickie Lambert and Luke Shaw are passed fit and make the startling line-up, while goalkeeper Kelvin Davis replaces Artur Boruc in Mauricio Pochettino's only change."
Stoke: Begovic; Shotton, Shawcross, Huth, Wilson; Walters, Nzonzi, Whitehead, Cameron, Etherington; CrouchSubs: Sorensen, Wilkinson, Palacios, Cuvelier, Kightly, Jerome, Owen
Southampton: K. Davis; Clyne, Fonte, Hooiveld, Shaw; Schneiderlin, Cork; S. Davis, Rodriguez, Lallana; Lambert.Substitutes: Gazzaniga, Yoshida, Ward-Prowse, Mayuka, Chambers, Isgrove, Puncheon
John Stammers LIVE: "Greetings from St Mary's where two sides that still had doubts about their Premier League survival until not so long ago can relax this afternoon. It was not absolutely impossible for Southampton or Stoke City to get relegated in a last day scramble before Wigan's loss to Arsenal, but now both of them have indeed confirmed their top-flight positions for at least another season. It's not all over, though, will both clubs still able to finish as high as 10th with a win today."
Hello and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE coverage as Southampton face Stoke at St Mary's Stadium on the last day of the 2012-13 Premier League season. I'm @arthurvirgo here to talk through the events, and you can get involved on Twitter @GoalUK
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