Player Ratings: Southampton 1-0 Stoke City

Sports Mole looks at who impressed during Southampton's 1-0 victory over Stoke City at St Mary's Stadium.

Southampton have climbed up to second place in the Premier League table courtesy of a slender 1-0 victory over Stoke City this afternoon.

Sadio Mane deservedly put the Saints ahead with his close-range strike in the first half, although for all their hard work the hosts were unable to double their advantage.

Stoke grew into the game following the interval, pushing for an equaliser which never materialised despite their efforts.

Here, Sports Mole takes a look at who impressed during the 90 minutes of action at St Mary's.


Sadio Mane of Southampton celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and Stoke City at St Mary's Stadium on October 25, 2014© Getty Images

SOUTHAMPTON

Goal

Fraser Forster: Had just one save to make across the 90 minutes, although nonetheless helped guide his side to an impressive fifth clean sheet of the season. (6/10)

Defence

Nathaniel Clyne: Surged forward throughout the match, causing Stoke's backline numerous problems. Linked up well with his more advanced teammates to aid his team in an attacking sense. (8/10)

Jose Fonte: Quiet afternoon for the Saints captain, who was a spectator for large parts of the first half. Was asked more questions defensively following the restart, but stood firm. (7/10)

Toby Alderweireld: Likewise, the Belgian international enjoyed a sombre 90 minutes this afternoon, ensuring that Southampton's record remains at just five goals conceded all season. (7/10)

Ryan Bertrand: A fine performance from Bertrand, but he was afforded far too much space to break into by the hosts. Easy to see why Ronald Koeman wants to turn his loan into a permanent stay. (7/10)

Midfield

Steven Davis: Did well both in a defensive and attacking sense, thwarting Stoke's rare chances in advanced areas, and also creating a couple of openings for the South-Coast outfit. (7/10)

Morgan Schneiderlin: Produced an exquisite ball for Clyne to latch on to in the first half, while he has also added a goalscoring threat to his game this campaign. Could not find a way through this afternoon, though, striking the bar with his 30th-minute strike. (7/10)

Jack Cork: He did well to help keep the ball ticking over, although lost possession a couple of times which could have proved costly, before being replaced for fresh legs on the hour. (6/10)

Attack

Dusan Tadic: Another hugely impressive showing from the summer signing, yet he was unable to add to his seven assists this term. Showed desire to help his team out late on by closing down Assaidi's attempted cross into the box, highlighting just what an asset he is to this side. (8/10)

Graziano Pelle: Deserved a goal having struck the post on two occasions, causing the Potters all sorts of problems in the first 45 minutes in particular. Not quite as lively in front of goal following the break, but linked up well with his teammates nonetheless. (8/10)

Sadio Mane: Just about wins the man of the match accolade due to his winning strike when he reacted quickest inside the box to fire home. He will be glad to get off the mark for his new club after seeing his 'goal' ruled out for offside against Sunderland last weekend. (8/10)

Substitutes

Florin Gardos: A rare appearance for the Romanian, who was afforded just a couple of minutes this afternoon. (5/10)

Victor Wanyama: Brought on with 30 minutes remaining to thwart the danger of Diouf who had been brought on just a few minutes prior. Did well in his position just in front of the defence, although wasted a glorious chance right at the end. (7/10)


Mark Hughes, manager of Stoke City looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Queens Park Rangers and Stoke City at Loftus Road on September 20, 2014© Getty Images

STOKE CITY

Goal

Asmir Begovic: There is no question who was the busier of the two keepers this afternoon. Begovic may only have been tested on a couple of occasions, but all the chances fell to one side. Did well to capture crosses into the box which relieved some pressure on his side. (7/10)

Defence

Phil Bardsley: Was given a torrid time in the first half by Southampton's attacking trio, but his fantastic tackle on Mane early on set the tone. Grew into the game and almost picked out Diouf with a lofted ball on 78 minutes. (7/10)

Ryan Shawcross: He certainly did not help himself by picking up a needless booking in the opening 45 minutes, being punished for tying up his laces on the field. Had to be on guard to clear a bombardment of Saints crosses. (7/10)

Marc Wilson: Stoke were put under plenty of pressure, but unlike Sunderland seven days ago, their centre-backs remained solid to keep the scoreline down. (7/10)

Erik Pieters: Was turned inside out by Tadic down left-hand side in the early stages, and needlessly gave away the ball on the hour mark which allowed Southampton to stage another attack. (6/10)

Midfield

Geoff Cameron: The visitors made it difficult for their opponents following the interval, yet it was a different story beforehand when they were completely outplayed. Could not make the same sort of impact as he did from the bench against Swansea City last time out. (6/10)

Steven N'Zonzi: Created arguably his side's best chance of the game with early cross to Crouch, but that was pretty much as good as it got for the wideman. (6/10)

Jonathan Walters: Was rewarded for his match-winning goal against Swansea with a start at St Mary's, but did little to impress before being replaced 20 minutes from time. (5/10)

Charlie Adam: Could not do anything to assert his authority on proceedings, eventually being hauled off shortly after the restart as Mark Hughes looked to change things up. (5/10)

Victor Moses: Did brilliantly to get in-between Tadic and Clyne which led to a rare opening for the Potters. Was clipped slightly as he charged through, but unlike against the Swans he made sure to stay on his feet, firing away a rather weak effort. (6/10)

Attack

Peter Crouch: Was not given the service that he would have wanted. That said, when picked out he failed to test Forster, instead heading wide. (5/10)

Substitutes

Marko Arnautovic: Could not really grow into the contest when being introduced, wasting a chance late on to rescue a point for his side. (6/10)

Mame Biram Diouf: Looked to have been fielded in a more central position behind Crouch. Looked dangerous in spells, and came close to tapping home Bardsley's back-post cross late on. (7/10)

Oussama Assaidi: Was only given 10 minutes to make an impact, which was not enough time to change the result. (6/10)


Sadio Mane of Southampton celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and Stoke City at St Mary's Stadium on October 25, 2014
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