Ndidi’s Goal Not Enough As Leicester Slump To 10-man Southampton

Ndidi’s Goal Not Enough As Leicester Slump To 10-man Southampton

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl said Shane Long “deserved” his first goal in nine months as the Saints won at Leicester despite spending the entire second half with 10 men.

Long scored Southampton’s crucial second goal in first-half stoppage time at the King Power Stadium, his first in 22 appearances, as the Saints moved out of the Premier League relegation zone.

“I said to Shane, ‘You deserve to score today because you worked so hard in the week’,” Hasenhuttl told BBC Sport. “He is quick and has good headers. It was a really good game for him.

“I know he hasn’t got the best finishing record but I know previously he scored 10 to 12 times. I want to bring him back into this shape.”

James Ward-Prowse gave Southampton an early lead from the penalty spot after Long was bundled over in the area by Nampalys Mendy.

Saints defender Yan Valery was then shown a second yellow card for a foul on Marc Albrighton before Long doubled their lead shortly before the break.

Wilfred Ndidi scrambled home Ricardo Pereira’s cross to bring Leicester back into the game at the start of the second half, but Southampton held on for a priceless victory.

The three points lift Southampton above Newcastle and Cardiff into 16th place. Leicester drop one to eighth.

It is a third win in seven Premier League games for new Saints manager Hasenhuttl, who punched the air with delight at the final whistle.

His side were forced to defend on the edge of their own penalty area for the entirety of the second half, but the Southampton backline was superbly marshalled by Jannik Vestergaard, Jan Bednarek and Jack Stephens.

“I’m unbelievably proud of my players,” added Hasenhuttl.

“To be manager of this team, it’s a fantastic job. Today they showed their quality. To go 2-0 in the lead at Leicester is not easy and we defended with fantastic commitment.”

The boos at the final whistle are unlikely to ease the pressure on Leicester boss Claude Puel, who had demanded a response from his side following last weekend’s FA Cup defeat at League Two Newport.

Instead his team were timid from the outset and despite dominating possession in the second half, rarely looked like threatening Alex McCarthy in the Southampton goal.

Long would probably not have started this game were it not for injuries to fellow strikers Danny Ings, Charlie Austin and Michael Obafemi.

The 31-year-old had failed to hit the back of the net for Southampton since a 3-2 defeat by Chelsea at the start of April and has largely been consigned to the bench this season.

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