Saints beaten in Cardiff

By SFC Media Sat 08 Dec Cardiff v Saints
Photo by Matt Watson | Mario Lemina
Sat 08 Dec 3PM
Premier League
Cardiff City
Paterson [74']
Morrison (19') Bennett (66')
Valery (28') Romeu (74')
Referee: Jonathan Moss | Venue: Cardiff City Stadium | Attendance: 30,067

Southampton fell to a 1-0 defeat away to Cardiff City in Ralph Hasenhüttl’s first game in charge.

Callum Paterson’s late goal, after Jannik Vestergaard’s misjudged back pass, gave the hosts the full complement of points and left Saints still in the bottom three of the Premier League.

Hasenhüttl made six changes to the side he had watched fall to a 3-1 defeat at Tottenham in midweek, wanting to go with a number of players who he had spent two training sessions with.

The Saints boss was straight out into his technical area as the game started, and he would have been encouraged by the opening few minutes.

Saints created the first chance of the game inside two minutes, as Matt Targett sent in a low cross from the left that Charlie Austin flicked with the outside of his right foot, with the ball going just wide.

Austin again went close in the sixth minute, getting a touch on Vestergaard’s low free-kick from distance, with the ball looping just past the top corner.

Ralph Hasenhüttl ahead of kick-off at Cardiff (Photo: Matt Watson)

The early pressure quickly turned, though, as Cardiff then went very much on the front foot.

They came close to opening the scoring in the tenth minute, as a deep cross was knocked back across goal by Nathaniel Mendez-Laing and into the path of Harry Arter a few yards out, but he couldn’t get enough on his shot to beat Alex McCarthy.

Moments after that, Neil Warnock’s side again threatened, as Arter slipped a pass into Sean Morrison, who got to the byline and produced a drag-back to beat Vestergaard. However, his subsequent low pass took a deflection, meaning Paterson could only skew it wide from a great position.

Cardiff were sensing an opener by this point, and they had another good chance to get it on 14 minutes, as Mendez-Laing dispossessed Targett on the halfway line and raced forward into space. As he drove into the area, he tried to pick out the run of Arter through the middle, but Jan Bednarek managed to slide in and turn the ball behind.

After McCarthy saved well at the near post from Josh Murphy, Austin tested Neil Etheridge with a header from Targett’s deep free-kick at the other end.

But that was rare respite for Saints by this stage, and they probably should have succumbed to the pressure in the 25th minute, as Bednarek miscontrolled a long ball, allowing Murphy to nick it off him and power into the area, only for McCarthy to get out and save brilliantly at his feet.

Yan Valery, making his second Premier League start, was then the first Saints player into the book, as he received a yellow for bringing down Murphy.

Despite Cardiff looking the most likely, a stroke of great fortune gifted Saints a wonderful chance to break the deadlock in the 34th minute, as a corner was flicked into the air, looping onto the top of the bar and rebounding into the path of Mario Lemina in a central position about 15 yards out, but he volleyed a yard over.

The game then settled a bit, although only a fine McCarthy save in added time at the end of the half kept the score at 0-0, as he topped over Mendez-Laing’s fierce strike.

Captain Pierre-Emile Højbjerg on the ball for Saints (Photo: Matt Watson)

Hasenhüttl made one change at the break, as Valery was withdrawn in favour of Jack Stephens.

The flow of the game was still largely the same, though, Mendez-Laing again going close with a curling effort from the corner of the box that went just wide of the far post on 50 minutes.

But Saints then began to gain a bit more control.

They had a big shout for a penalty on the hour mark, as Stuart Armstrong and Nathan Redmond exchanged passes, with Armstrong cutting back past Victor Camarasa inside the corner of the box and being caught by the Cardiff player’s outstretched leg, but referee Jon Moss rejected his appeal as he went to ground.

Saints then had a decent sight of goal on 66 minutes, as Redmond was fouled by Joe Bennett 25 yards out, resulting in a booking for the defender, but Targett curled the free-kick a yard over.

Stuart Armstrong was harshly denied a penalty in the second half (Photo: Matt Watson)

It had looked as though Hasenhüttl’s side were finally getting on top, but they then gifted the hosts a goal.

Vestergaard was well-positioned to sweep up a low ball through the middle, but he messed up his back pass to McCarthy, allowing Paterson to pounce on the error, hold off the Dane, and slot home for the opener.

Hasenhüttl immediately responded by sending on Manolo Gabbiadini, Saints’ hero on their last visit to Wales, in place of Austin.

His final change came soon after too, as Oriol Romeu left the field to be replaced by James Ward-Prowse.

But Cardiff were still looking the more likely, and captain Sean Morrison could have sealed the game eight minutes from time, after being picked out by a superb After cross, but he headed wide from six yards.

It didn't matter, though, with Saints unable to find an equaliser. A first full week on the training ground now lies ahead for Hasenhüttl, who will no doubt be looking forward to getting stuck in with his players.

Cardiff City

Head to Head Stats

  • Possession (%)
  • Shots
  • Shots on target
  • Corners
  • Passes Complete

Cardiff City

Neil Etheridge (GK)
Bruno Ecuele Manga
Joe Bennett
Sean Morrison (C)
Sol Bamba
Víctor Camarasa
Harry Arter
Joe Ralls (91′)
Josh Murphy
Kadeem Harris (85′)
Nathaniel Mendez-Laing
David Junior Hoilett (67′)
Aron Gunnarsson
Callum Paterson
Alex Smithies
David Junior Hoilett
Bobby Reid
Joe Ralls
Lee Peltier
Kadeem Harris
Gary Madine


Alex McCarthy (GK)
Yan Valery
Jack Stephens (45′)
Jan Bednarek
Matt Targett
Jannik Vestergaard
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (C)
Mario Lemina
Stuart Armstrong
Oriol Romeu
James Ward-Prowse (80′)
Nathan Redmond
Charlie Austin
Manolo Gabbiadini (75′)
Mohamed Elyounoussi
James Ward-Prowse
Manolo Gabbiadini
Jack Stephens
Angus Gunn
Maya Yoshida
Wesley Hoedt
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