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August 24, 2013
• St. Mary's Stadium, Southampton, Hampshire
Referee: L. Mason
• Attendance: 29596
José Fonte 88'
E. Giaccherini 3'
Thank you for joining me today. I hope you enjoyed the action in what was a fairly entertaining encounter. Feel free to find me on Twitter @RyanRyanBenson. Farewell!
90' + 4'
FULL-TIME! Southampton and Sunderland share the spoils as they draw 1-1 at St. Mary's. The home side dominated the match and generally played well, but their visitors defended excellently and will be pleased with a point, even if they were within grasping distance of the win.
90' + 3'
Southampton desperately pressing for a late winner now. They've less than two minutes to get it!
90' + 1'
Four minutes of stoppage time added.
Assist James Ward-Prowse
Goal José Fonte
GOAL!!! Southampton equalise!! Saints win a free kick just inside their opponents' half and it is fired into the box by Ward-Prowse and Jose Fonte to guides it past Westwood with a glancing header.
There were big expectations as Larsson stepped up to take that, but the Swede could only hit his effort into the wall.
Excellent play by Johnson as he skips past Chambers and then draws a foul from Ramirez. Sunderland now have a free kick just outside the Saints area.
Osvaldo is walking a fine line now. The forward fouls Johnson this time and the referee has another word with him.
Yellow Card D. Osvaldo
Yellow card for debutant Osvaldo as he inexplicably kicks and trips Diakite on the edge of the Sunderland area.
Well-worked move by Southampton. Ramirez plays a diagonal ball high into the far side of the area. Lambert heads it back across the box for Osvaldo, but he can only head wide via a big bounce off the floor. Osvaldo was not pleased about O'Shea's attentions.
All-out attack from Saints now. The final 10 minutes approach and they still seek an equaliser. Sunderland have everyone apart from Altidore in defence at the moment.
Southampton fans enraged as Ramirez skips past Gardner and his knocked over, the referee fails to give the free kick. Bizarre decision.
Sunderland are afforded a few moments of possession but they completely waste it and invite pressure on to themselves again as Larsson hammers a long diagonal ball out of play.
The referee seemed to take a long time before allowing that free kick to be played, but eventually Lambert runs up to the ball and smacks it over the wall... And well over the goal too.
Free kick in an excellent position for the hosts as Ramirez drifts across the Sunderland defence and on to his left foot before getting pushed over by O'Shea.
We have a pause in play now as Altidore seeks medical attention after banging his head during that corner.
Ramirez is now on for Saints as Lallana comes off. That is a bizarre change in all honesty. Lallana had looked the most likely player to create something.
THe corner is delivered into the area, but Westwood finds himself with the ball again as Lambert gets another header on goal.
Clyne has done far more attacking than defending since he came on and he is at it again. He produces a stepover and beats Celustka, runs along the byline before seeing his delivery put behind for a corner.
Sunderland can hardly get out of their own penalty area at the moment. Southampton's pressure is intense and determined, but they still cannot get that elusive goal.
This is all Southampton now. Chambers gets forward down the right and produces an excellent curling cross, but Lambert heads at Westwood again.
Yellow Card Sebastian Larsson
The corner is played into the area and a melee ensues as no one can get the ball under control and Sunderland manage to get it away in scrappy fashion.
This time it's Lambert who tests Westwood. The forward fell back into the midfield and fired a powerful shot at goal from 20 yards, but the goalkeeper palmed it around the post.
Sunderland go straight down the other end of the pitch and almost get a second goal. Gardner feeds Altidore into the box and he gets a left-footed shot away, but Boruc came out and met the effort well.
What a chance for Saints! The elegant Osvaldo comes in from the left-hand side and crosses brilliantly for Rodriguez, but the English forward heads straight at Westwood from five yards out.
Osvaldo comes deep again and tries to pick out Lambert with a lofted pass with the outside of his foot, but Diakite intercepts.
Altidore is the latest to try his luck from range, but again the ball soars into the crowd.
Saints substitution now as Vaughan comes on for Colback.
Lallana impresses again as he comes in from the left, skips past one challenge and then holds off O'Shea before laying the ball off for Ward-Prowse. The youngster shoots over with a first-time shot.
Throw-in for Saints in the final third. Clyne finds Osvaldo who heads towards the area for Lallana to volley at goal, but his effort goes wide of the far post.
Lallana drifts over to the right and combines well with Chambers before getting trapped in the corner. He tries to trick his way out of the situation and wins a corner.
First involvement for Osvaldo as he comes deep to collect the ball before chipping a pass out wide for Chambers, but he puts the ball straight out of play.
Three changes have been made as Clyne and Osvaldo replace Shaw and Schneiderlin for Saints, while Ji replaces Sessegnon for the visitors.
Here we go. Can Southampton rescue a result from this?
The players are back out for the second half.
45' + 1'
HALF-TIME! The referee blows his whistle for half-time and Sunderland take a well-earned lead into the break. Saints produced plenty of attacks but they did not test Westwood enough in the Sunderland goal.
Penalty shout again for Saints! This time Lallana holds the ball up in the area and tries to partially turn O'Shea only to be brought down by the Irishman. The referee refuses to give the penalty, however.
Southampton doing plenty of attacking as they look to equalise before the break, but their play has been far too narrow for the most part. They are offering very little down the flanks.
Wanyama has looked excellent on the ball at times in this, but a lot of his passing has been off target.
Ward-Prowse causes havoc again. This time he crosses from the right with his left foot, but Lambert can only head it over at the back post.
In that passage of play Southampton should probably have been given a penalty. O'Shea held on to Fonte and brought him down in the area, stopping him from connecting with Ward-Prowse's free kick, but the referee failed to spot the foul.
Ward-Prowse curls in a brilliant delivery and it appears to be heading straight in at the far post. Luckily for Sunderland it evades everyone and Rodriguez's header at the far post is too late as he is already off the pitch.
However, the hosts now have a free kick on the left as Rodriguez is brought down. Ward-Prowse stands over it.
Sunderland will be very happy at the moment. Defensively they have been fantastic and very solid until now.
Yellow Card Craig Gardner
Gardner now finds himself in the referee's little black book as he clatters into Shaw. It was not particularly dangerous as he did not go to ground, but the 18-year-old certainly felt that.
Sunderland are unable to create anything from the resulting free kick and Saints are back in possession.
Sunderland win themselves a free kick just inside the Southampton half as Lambert is adjudged to have fouled Diakite.
Eye-catching play at the back by Southampton as they play their way out of a stick situation. Altidore took up possession in the area and tried to lift the ball over defenders for Sessegnon, but Lovren is there to clear up.
Yellow Card James Ward-Prowse
And there is the first yellow card of the afternoon. Colback bursts in front of Ward-Prowse who trips the Sunderland man and gets booked.
Southampton are generally controlling this but they are struggling to create clear-cut chances, while their visitors look solid at the back and dangerous on the rare occasions that they get forward.
Unfortunately for Saints the following corner comes to little and Sunderland hack it away.
Southampton's pressure continues. Ward-Prowse manages to get through several challenges in the right side of the area thanks to ricochets. Eventually the ball drops to Rodriguez, but O'Shea deflects it just wide of the goal.
Westwood makes a good save as he gets down to his right and palms Lambert's header around the post.
Fierce delivery from Larsson again as he gets devastating whip on the ball and Boruc has to dive across his goal and punch it away just before it can get inside the post.
Encouraging play from Sunderland as they advance down the left. Colback plays Altidore down the line before receiving the ball back again and winning a corner.
Saints get themselves a free kick 30 yards from goal but it is wasted as Lambert hammers it into the wall and then Wanyama is forced to pass all the way back to Boruc.
Southampton can't quite get their moves and passes to connect at the moment. Lambert brings the ball down well inside Sunderland's area, but Celustka is there to put his foot in again.
Lambert searches for Lallana on the left flank. He outmuscles Celustka and then turns the full-back, but he gets back and produces a very important tackle before taking the ball away.
Wanyama's pass inside from the right is a little slack and Giaccherini manages to catch Schneiderlin in possession straight after receiving the ball, but the covering Fonte is able to bail his teammate out.
Chambers is involved again, but this time his clearance is blocked by Giaccherini and it almost drops to Altidore in the area, but luckily for the young Saints man Boruc is quick off his line.
Chambers gives away a free kick for an unfair tackle on Colback, but the hosts' intensity has been very good until now.
The hosts are really pressing for an equaliser now. Schneiderlin almost gets a cross in from the right, but Sunderland defending well so far.
Replays show the offside decision again and it was incredibly close, but the officials appear to have made the correct call. Excellent start to proceedings here.
Southampton thought they had pulled level, but their celebrations are painfully cut short. Lambert played a through-ball behind the visitors' defence for Rodriguez to stroke home, but the young English forward was slightly offside.
Sunderland's impressive start continues as Colback attacks down the left, but Fonte is alert to the danger and he allows the ball to run out of play for a goal kick.
Assist Sebastian Larsson
Goal Emanuele Giaccherini
GOAL!!! Sunderland take the lead at St. Mary's! After a brilliant free kick delivery, Larsson betters himself with an exquisite corner and Emanuele Giaccherini heads it past Boruc!
Positive start for the visitors. They win a free kick on the left and Seb Larsson delivers excellently, but Southampton put it behind for a corner.
Off we go! Southampton get the match started.
The teams are out and almost ready to go.
And the Sunderland team is: Westwood; Celustka, O’Shea, Diakite, Colback; Johnson, Larsson, Gardner, Giaccherini; Sessegnon, Altidore. Subs: Mannone, Cabral, Wickham, Vaughan, Ji, Moberg Karlsson, Roberge.
The Southampton team is: Boruc; Chambers, Fonte, Lovren, Shaw; Wanyama, Schneiderlin, Ward-Prowse; Lallana, Rodriguez, Lambert. Subs: K. Davis, Clyne, S. Davis, Ramírez, Cork, Osvaldo, Hooiveld.
Good afternoon and welcome to Goal.com's live text commentary for Southampton-Sunderland in the Premier League. My name is Ryan Benson and I will be describing the action for you.
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