The early kick-off at Selhurst Park was a crucial encounter for Crystal Palace with new manager Roy Hodgson at the helm.
The Ex-England manager would have more than likely appreciated a better start to his first game as manager, as his men found themselves chasing the game just six minutes into the first half.
Davis was the man to deliver the early blow for the Saints, converting a short range effort after Tadic’s cross was blocked, but fell kindly to Davis who made no mistake in finding the back of the net. Following the goal the Saints enjoyed a spell of possession and looked likely to score again.
Christian Benteke had the next great opportunity to level the scores but failed to find the back of the net and arguably should have done better. Palace looked to be sitting too deep and almost welcoming the Saints attack, they looked far more promising when pressing and dangerous when they decided to attack confidently.
Loftus-Cheek was by far the best player for Palace, involved in the majority of their positive movements and constantly troubling the defence and testing the goal keeper. Despite their efforts Palace were unable to respond and went in at the half time whistle 1-0 down.
Palace came out after the half with real intensity, two shots and key opportunities from very close range both blocked. How the ball did not find the back of the net is a mystery, there was a great save from Foster at close range to deny Puncheon from scoring.
Lemina was instrumental in the middle for the Saints all game and dominated the midfield. His defensive team mate Bertrand marshalled the backline effectively holding off Benteke, who had his opportunities but failed to convert. Ben Foster did his job well with some key saves early in the second half to deny the equaliser for the home side.
There were boos by the crowd when one of Palace’s main attacking threats Loftus-Cheek was substituted for Sako. After that in the final stages of the game Palace never looked like finding the back of the net.
Crystal Palace became the first team to play their first five games in a Premier League season without scoring a goal. Their dismal record continues and they still find themselves at the bottom of the table with no points. It’s hard to see their misery ending anytime soon with their next three Premier League fixtures including the likes of Man City, Man United and Chelsea. Southampton increase their points haul for the season to eight, with a clean sheet to go with it.
Final score: Crystal Palace 0-1 Southampton
Man of the Match: Mario Lemina
Written by Cameron Harrison.