Oct 29, 2014 at 7.45pm UK at ​bet365 Stadium
StokeStoke City
2-3
Southampton
N'Zonzi (48'), Biram Diouf (82')
Bardsley (64'), Wilson (65'), Adam (76'), Crouch (87')
Crouch (88')
FT(HT: 0-2)
Pelle (6', 88'), Long (30')
Fonte (87'), Pelle (90')

Ronald Koeman praises talismanic Graziano Pelle

Graziano Pelle of Southampton celebrates as he scores their first goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and Newcastle United at St Mary's Stadium on September 13, 2014
© Getty Images
Southampton manager Ronald Koeman pays tribute to Graziano Pelle after the striker continued his fine scoring form in Wednesday's 3-2 League Cup win away to Stoke City.

Southampton manager Ronald Koeman has heaped praise on striker Graziano Pelle for his decisive performance in tonight's 3-2 League Cup win away to Stoke City.

Having already opened the scoring, the Italian then netted an 88th-minute winner at the Britannia Stadium to bring his total haul for the season to nine in all competitions.

The 29-year-old joined the Saints for a reported £8m from Feyenoord in July, and Koeman says that his talisman is proving money well spent.

"Pelle is a great player and showed his qualities, not only scoring, but as a target man," he told reporters.

"Little by little the players are learning how to play with Pelle. He's been a great signing for us."

Shane Long had added to his strike partner's opening goal as Koeman's side took a 2-0 half-time lead and looked well on their way to the quarter-final of the competition.

However, Steven N'Zonzi struck shortly after the break, before Mame Biram Diouf completed the comeback with an 82nd-minute equaliser.

Peter Crouch was sent off for a second yellow card minutes later, and Pelle struck directly from that free kick to send Southampton into the last eight.

Graziano Pelle of Southampton celebrates with team mates as he scores their second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and Sunderland at St Mary's Stadium on October 18, 2014
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