sport
  • English Barclays Premier League
  • 22 December 2012, 3:00pm
  • The Friends Provident St Mary's Stadium
  • Attendance: 31,275
SouthamptonSouthamptonvSunderlandSunderland
01
  • Fletcher, 42

live commentary

90 mins:FULL TIME: SOUTHAMPTON 0-1 SUNDERLAND.

90 mins:Kelvin Davis launches a long free-kick into the Sunderland box and the ball ricochets around dangerously. It eventually drops to Ramirez whose shot towards the far corner comes off the arm of Campbell, but Howard Webb waves away the penalty appeals!

89 mins:David Vaughan comes on for Sessegnon.

88 mins:Sunderland try to catch Southampton on the break but McClean slips down the right flank and the move comes to a halt.

85 mins:Southampton need to find something soon if they are going to take anything away from the game. At the moment it is a little flat from their point of view and they need to step things up a gear.

83 mins:Sunderland look very organised and are seeing this game out well. Aside from Fonte's header off the line, Southampton have created very little in this second-half.

81 mins:Final change from Saints as Puncheon makes way for Guilherme Do Prado.

79 mins:Bardsley brings down De Ridder on the break and picks up a booking.

77 mins:Gardner drives a free-kick straight at Kelvin Davis from 35-yards. The keeper spills the ball between his legs but manages to stop the ball rolling over the line with his heels! Close shave for Davis, it would have been a howler!

75 mins:Fraizer Campbell, who scored against Manchester United lat weekend, comes on for the injured Adam Johnson.

73 mins:The game is being battled out in the midfield area at the moment. Johnson meanwhile has picked up a knock and is going to be brought off.

71 mins:Phil Bardsley makes his first appearance of the season. He comes on for Larsson.

69 mins:Rodriguez's corner finds Lambert at the far end of the box. He cushions a header down into a crowd of bodies but the knock-down is not attacked by one of his team-mates.

68 mins:Johnson is booked for a foul on De Ridder.

67 mins:De Ridder has looked impressive since coming on. He is giving the Sunderland defence one or two things to think about, but his latest cross after a surging run down the left is cleared.

65 mins:That chance seems to have spurred Southampton on and they have regained a foothold in the game.

62 mins:Chance for an equaliser! De Ridder floats in a corner and finds Jose Fonte who powers a header at goal but it is cleared off the line by Colback!

61 mins:Southampton throw men forward for a free-kick but Puncheon wastes the opportunity as his cross from the set-piece fails to beat the first man.

59 mins:Second change for Southampton. Morgan Schneiderlin makes way for Steven Davis.

57 mins:Southampton are very sloppy in possession and the home crowd are getting restless. They need to up their game before Sunderland score again.

55 mins:Steve De Ridder makes his Premier League debut. He comes on for Mayuka.

53 mins:Adam Johnson cuts inside from the right and works his way into the box before blazing a left-footed shot over the bar.

51 mins:Sunderland have started well in this second-half and are passing the ball around nicely. Martin O'Neil will be pleased with the way his side are playing.

48 mins:The Southampton defence backs off Gardner who decides to shoot from 25-yards. He drags his shot through the box and the ball skims off the wet surface, but Fletcher can't quite turn the ball in.

46 mins:Lambert gets the first shot away in the second-half but his 35-yard strike dips harmlessly over the bar.

46 mins:The second-half is underway.

45 mins:HALF TIME: SOUTHAMPTON 0-1 SUNDERLAND.

45 mins:Larsson picks up the first booking of the game for arguing with the linesman.

42 mins:GOAL! SOUTHAMPTON 0-1 SUNDERLAND: Sessegnon whips a cross into the box and finds FLETCHER who finishes past Davis with an instinctive first-time shot. Typical goal and that injury doesn't seem to be bothering him now!

41 mins:The ball breaks to Puncheon down the right and he has some space as he bursts into the box, but the Sunderland defence recovers quickly and in the end the move comes to nothing.

38 mins:Sebastian Larsson lines up a free-kick from way out and hits it straight into the wall. He would have been better just putting the ball into the box for one of his team-mates to attack.

36 mins:Gardner curls a low cross into the box and Maya Yoshida does well to cut it out with an outstretched leg before it reaches Fletcher in a goalscoring position.

34 mins:No chances for a while in this one but the visitors will be pleased to see Fletcher back on his feet and moving a little more naturally.

31 mins:This does not look good for Sunderland - Steven Fletcher is not moving comfortably and appears to be struggling.

29 mins:Sunderland are doing their best to try and cope with Ramirez, who looks dangerous. Craig Gardner goes in very strongly on the Uruguayan and is penalised for a foul.

27 mins:Nigel Adkins comes out to the edge of his technical area after talking through some tactics with assistant Andy Crosby. It really is pouring down at St Mary's.

25 mins:All the football is being played in Sunderland's half at the moment but Southampton need to turn this possession into goals!

22 mins:Another attempt from Ramirez but this time he scoops his long range effort over the bar.

20 mins:Gaston Ramirez shoots from 25-yards and the ball swerves in the air, but Mignolet watches it all the way and gets his body behind the shot.

18 mins:All of the shots have been from long distance so far. James McClean is the latest player to have a go and his shot dips dangerously in front of Davis, but it is no real problem for the Saints keeper.

17 mins:Mayuka tries his luck from 25-yards but his shot lacks enough power to trouble Simon Mignolet who makes a comfortable save.

15 mins:Southampton knock the ball around in the final third but can't find a way through Sunderland's defence. In the end Emmanuel Mayuka's attempted pass to Lambert is intercepted.

12 mins:Sunderland welcome Danny Rose back into the squad today. He tries to burst down the left for Sunderland but is stopped in his tracks by Nathaniel Clyne.

10 mins:Both sides are showing real energy but it is the home side who are having the better of the game in these opening stages.

8 mins:Southampton win a free-kick on the corner of the box and Ricky Lambert's low shot takes a deflection before bending just wide of the far post.

6 mins:Only Manchester United, Tottenham and Wigan have won here this season. It will be a big ask for Sunderland to take three points this afternoon - they have won just one of their last 16 Premier League games away from the Stadium of Light.

4 mins:It is very wet on the South coast and this won't help Southampton's passing game, although the game is being played at a good tempo so far.

2 mins:Bright start from Sunderland and Kelvin Davis is forced into an early save to deny Stephane Sessegnon's shot from 30-yards! John O'Shea gets on the end of the resulting corner but heads over the bar.

1 mins:Howard Webb gets the game underway at St Mary's.

  • English Barclays Premier League
  • 22 December 2012, 3:00pm
  • The Friends Provident St Mary's Stadium
  • Attendance: 31,275
SouthamptonSouthamptonvSunderlandSunderland
01
  • Fletcher, 42

match report

Sunderland moved further away from the relegation zone after a 1-0 victory over Southampton, a Steven Fletcher goal five minutes before the break proving the difference in a match often lacking in quality due to the wet conditions.

The first half was dominated by Southampton but the home side failed to create any clear-cut chances. They were made to pay five minutes before the break, when Fletcher converted his first opportunity of the match. Stephane Sessegnon's shot was mis-hit and fell to the Scottish striker, who converted in a fashion which has become customary this season.

The second half was just as frustrating, Sunderland nullifying any threat from the home team, who were particularly disappointing with their set-piece and crossing delivery. Time after time the first man was hit.

Southampton did create occasional chances in the last 10 minutes, but could not break down a resolute defence that gave the visitors only their second away league win since February.

The game pitched together the two sides directly above the relegation zone, and was billed pre-match as a relegation six-pointer. Nigel Adkins had Adam Lallana out with a knee injury, whilst his opposite number Martin O'Neill welcomed Danny Rose back after a lay-off.

Sunderland almost took the lead after less than thirty seconds, with a Sessegnon shot fabulously tipped wide by Kelvin Davis, but Southampton were soon into their stride. Lambert had a free-kick deflected just wide and Gaston Ramirez tried on multiple occasions from outside the box, but there were no clear-cut chances.

With the game meandering towards the break, Sunderland scored against the run of play. A ball was played to Sessegnon in the area, and the forward scuffed a shot straight to the feet of Fletcher. Fletcher had been holding his back throughout the first period, but finished beautifully past the helpless Davis from fifteen yards.

Southampton made early changes during the second half, but they struggled to find their rhythm as the crowd began to groan at the lack of quality from both teams. Jose Fonte had a header cleared from near the line, but the Saints struggled to get support for Rickie Lambert up front.

The home side's set-piece delivery was particularly disappointing, and opportunities to threaten were consistently wasted by hitting the first man. The game reached the last fifteen minutes without Simon Mignolet being tested sufficiently.

Southampton did have occasional late chances, but Sunderland defended immensely in order to hold out for a well-earned victory, and the 2,000 travelling supporters were rewarded for their 300-mile journey.

team line-up

1Kelvin Davis
2Nathaniel Clyne
6Jose Fonte
23Luke Shaw
3Maya Yoshida
42Jason Puncheon80
10Gastón Ramírez
4Morgan Schneiderlin60
18Jack Cork
7Rickie Lambert
24Emmanuel Mayuka55

substitutes

5Jos Hooiveld
31Artur Boruc
9Jay Rodriguez
8Steven Davis60
33Steve De Ridder55
22Frazer Richardson
21Guly80

referee

Howard Webb

team line-up

22Simon Mignolet
24Carlos Cuéllar
3Danny Rose
16John O'Shea
14Jack Colback
21Adam Johnson75
23James McClean
8Craig Gardner
7Sebastian Larsson70
28Stéphane Sessegnon89
26Steven Fletcher

substitutes

2Phillip Bardsley70
20Keiren Westwood
10Connor Wickham
15David Vaughan89
11James McFadden
9Fraizer Campbell75
19Titus Bramble

referee

Howard Webb

match stats

possession %5742
shots on target25
shots off target53
corners85
tackles won612
offsides22