Live Commentary: Southampton 2-1 Queens Park Rangers - as it happened
Sports Mole brings you live text coverage of the Premier League clash between high-flying Southampton and struggling Queens Park Rangers.
By Joe McPhee Filed: Saturday, September 27, 2014 at 14:00 UK
Last Updated: Sunday, September 28, 2014 at 18:48 UK
Good afternoon and welcome to Sports Mole's live text coverage of the Premier League clash between Southampton and Queens Park Rangers at St Mary's Stadium.
Goals from Ryan Bertrand and Graziano Pelle either side of a Charlie Austin strike sealed the points for Southampton, who bossed proceedings from early on in the game.
You can see how the game played out by reading our minute-by-minute updates below.
2.03pmGood afternoon and welcome to live coverage of the Premier League clash between Southampton and Queens Park Rangers here on Sports Mole.
2.04pmToday's game features two sides that have had extremely mixed starts to the campaign, with the Saints sitting pretty in second spot in the league table, while QPR have just four points from five matches so far.
2.06pmBut it's not just in the league that Southampton have shone already this term, with Ronald Koeman's men coming into this one off the back of an impressive comeback victory over Arsenal in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday night. A penalty from Dusan Tadic cancelled out Alexis Sanchez's stunning opener, before England hopeful Nathaniel Clyne thundered home the winner from long range.
2.07pmHarry Redknapp's team crashed out of the cup a round earlier away at Burton Albion, so they've had a full week's rest since their 2-2 draw with Stoke City at Loftus Road. Niko Kranjcar's expertly taken free kick two minutes from time salvaged a point for the hosts, who had fallen behind twice during the match.
2.10pmOn to today then, and a look at the starting lineups:
2.14pmThe inclusion of Toby Alderweireld at the heart of the Southampton defence means that he's obviously overcome a late fitness test, having missed out last weekend to a hamstring strain. Maya Yoshida - who picked up an ankle complaint in midweek - is replaced by the Belgian.
2.17pmUnfortunately for Koeman, English youngster James Ward-Prowse is now a long-term absentee after suffering a broken foot against Swansea City last Saturday. Reports suggest that the midfielder will be out for 10-12 weeks, which is a blow for his Dutch gaffer. Also out for the Saints is of course Jay Rodriguez, who has been missing ever since suffering ligament damage in a game against Manchester City late last season.
2.19pmFor the visitors, Joey Barton and Jordan Mutch both remain out with hamstring troubles, while Adel Taarabt (ankle) is also unavailable. The good news for Redknapp is that tough-tackling Brazilian Sandro is back from injury already, as reports last week suggested that he could be missing for a while with a knee injury that he suffered whilst celebrating a goal during training!
2.24pmOne player in the Southampton team I am looking forward to seeing today is Sadio Mane, who joined the club at the end of the transfer window from Red Bull Salzburg. The rapid Senegalese winger made his debut on Tuesday night at the Emirates Stadium, impressing with his pace and winning the penalty which led to their equaliser.
2.26pmThe 22-year-old had been waiting ever since the end of August for his work permit to be finalised, so was clearly eager to force his way into Koeman's plans at his first opportunity. He boasted a very decent goal record in Austria, scoring almost a goal ever two matches in the league, so it'll be interesting to see if he can transfer that over now he's moved to England.
2.28pmAs I said previously, QPR haven't started the season particularly well, with just one victory from their five games. However, it is their away form which is as much as a concern, with two outings on the road so far yielding no points and eight goals conceded. 4-0 defeats against both Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United highlighted some big weaknesses in their defence, which is something Redknapp would've been working on in training this week.
2.30pmAs well as not yet scoring an away goal, only Burnley have scored less than QPR in total, so eyes will be on Charlie Austin and Eduardo Vargas today as they attempt to step up now that Loic Remy has gone.
2.35pmThings are far rosier for Southampton, who could actually go top if results go their way this afternoon. Should they win by two or three and Chelsea slump at home to Aston Villa, Koeman's men will sit nicely at the summit. Not a bad start for a team some even dared to tip for relegation in the summer, following the sales of Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana, Luke Shaw and Dejan Lovren.
2.37pmUPDATE: Full time in the Merseyside Derby, and an absolute screamer from Phil Jagielka has salvaged a point for Everton. Liverpool took the lead through Steven Gerrard's free-kick midway through the second half, but the Toffee's defender has just stolen the headlines with a half-volleyed rocket in stoppage time.
2.39pmAnyway, back to the Saints, and the club seem to have done excellently to recover from the losses of so many players that were vital to them last season, and it's a testament to Koeman and the playing staff to respond in the way that they have.
2.45pmAnother aside to today's clash is that the two men in the QPR dugout - Redknapp and his assistant Glenn Hoddle - have both of course managed Southampton. Both men only lasted around a year in the St Mary's hotseat, with Redknapp leaving under a cloud in 2005 to rejoin local rivals Portsmouth.
2.46pmThe lads on the Sports Mole panel previewed this one earlier in the week, all tipping the home side to comfortably claim three points today.
2.52pmPrediction: I have to say, I'm inclined to agree with Pascal, Barney and Matt all calling a Saints victory. Given their respective starts to the season, I think Koeman's men will be too strong for QPR on home soil, and a routine victory to nil is my shout. I would like to be pleasantly surprised by the away side, so some early attacking intent would be good to see in order to make things interesting. If not, 3-0 to the hosts.
2.56pmWe're just a few minutes from kick-off now, with both teams now out on the south-coast turf shaking hands.
2.59pmBoth sides are wearing their home strips, and it looks like it's going to be the visitors to get us underway.
0 minKICK OFF: Here we go then. It's Saints v QPR, live from St Mary's.
0 minMane tries to get his first Premier League touch in early but the balls rolls through to Green, who collects.
1 minAlderweireld is seeing a bit of the ball at the back for Southampton. I imagine he's going to become a key man for this team, stepping into the shoes once occupied by Dejan Lovren.
2 minSaints attack down the right, with Clyne linking with Wanyama. The midfielder threads a ball through to Mane, who fires a cross-come-shot which Green gathers.
3 minSouthampton are controlling possession early on, as expected really. Mane looks keen to get on the ball as often as he can, while Schneiderlin and Wanyama look at ease in the middle.
4 minPelle tees up Wanyama from 25 yards, but his effort is easy for Green. Surely he wouldn't score in two successive games?!
5 minIt's all Southampton, and Green has to charge out to stop Pelle on the right hand side of the box. It's great smothering from the keeper.
6 minBertrand crosses from the left, allowing Green to make the catch easily. I'm not convinced Forster - down the other end - has touched the ball yet!
7 minSandro is down injured and is holding his head. He doesn't look in a good way to be honest. He's being attended to by the medical team.
9 minStill some concern here with the Brazilian down on the turf. The R's have a couple of players warming up, so Sandro's afternoon might be over already.
10 minSUBSTITUTION: Sandro gets to his feet but cannot continue - he's possibly a little concussed - so Karl Henry will replace him.
11 minWe're back underway following that lengthy stoppage. It'll be interesting to see whether QPR can contain Southampton now after the hosts had made a pretty fast start.
13 minSouthampton win a free kick in a dangerous position, after a debatable hand ball against Henry.
14 minTadic whips the ball in with real pace. Green meets it with a punch, and the ball bounces off of Fonte and out for a goal kick.
16 minTadic and Mane link up, but the Serbian has drifted out to the right and strayed offside.
17 minQPR enjoy some of the ball down the Southampton end. They're not creating anything of note, but Redknapp will be pleased to see his side have possession for a while.
18 minPOST: With QPR up the other end, Southampton break. Mane crosses the ball in and Tadic takes a knock-down on his chest, swinging his left boot at it. The ball bobbles goalwards and deflects off of Caulker and off the post to safety.
19 minCHANCE: They're really knocking on the door now, and this time it's Pelle who almost scores. The striker fires his effort - created by Mane - into Green's side netting.
21 minThis Saints front three of Pelle, Mane and Tadic look a real handful today. Their movement and interchanging play is really easy on the eye, and QPR are struggling to keep up.
23 minWanyama puts in a couple of strong tackles - he's bossing that midfield so far.
25 minBOOKING: Nathaniel Clyne goes into the book for a tackle on Traore. The right back attempted to feed Mane, lost the ball, and in his eagerness to win it back, committed a very poor challenge. Definite yellow card.
27 minMatty Phillips tries a run at the Saints back line. He gets past one man, but Alderweireld steps in expertly to nick the ball back.
28 minMane is caught offside for maybe the third time already. With the pace that he has, he doesn't need to be caught like that.
29 minBOOKING: Henry goes into the ball for holding back Mane, who was trying to play a give-and-go with Wanyama over the halfway line.
30 minVargas and Austin link up well, ending with Wanyama tapping the Ecuadorian's heel and conceding a free kick.
31 minQPR seem to have settled here, with much of the play focused around the centre of the park. Southampton are still controlling the game, just to a lesser extent than they were 10-15 minutes ago.
32 minBOOKING: Mane marks his league debut with a booking with an awful 'striker's tackle' on Karl Henry. No complaints with that one either.
33 minPelle holds the ball up well and slips it through to Mane. The Senegal winger looks up and hits a speculative effort towards goal, which Green holds with ease.
34 minSouthampton move the ball from back to front expertly, with Pelle, Mane and Davis all involved. Unfortunately, Tadic wastes possession, crossing towards nobody but Robert Green.
37 minVargas is down after a clash of heads with Wanyama. Hopefully he recovers in a way that Sandro couldn't.
38 minVargas gets patched up on the sidelines. He will now sport stitches and a headband for the remainder of the afternoon. Happily though, he can continue.
39 minPelle scoops a ball over the top to Mane - this time onside. However, the Saints man wastes it, allowing Caulker to clear.
41 minThings have become a tad scrappy here now. I think Southampton's best chance of opening the scoring here could be on the breakaway.
42 minGood pressure from Southampton, with Mane, Tadic, Schneiderlin and Davis all involved. When QPR manage to get it clear, Wanyama wins it straight back. The midfielder feeds Clyne, whose cross is wayward and goes out for a goal kick.
43 minCHANCE: The Saints get through the middle of the defence. Mane produces some nice footwork to play Schneiderlin in, before the Frenchman places his left-footed effort the wrong side of the post. Unlucky.
45 minSHOT! It's taken the whole 45 minutes, but QPR finally have an effort as Kranjcar shoots way wide from distance. Meanwhile, six minutes are to be added here - the head injuries to Sandro and Vargas adding the time to the clock.
45+2 minDavis slips in Bertrand down the left. He crosses, but the final ball lacks quality and Traore can head back to Green comfortably.
45+3 minPhillips tracks back well to see Bertrand out of play. It's not the kind of work the wideman would want to be doing, though he's had little choice today as Southampton have seen so much of the football.
45+5 minSHOT: Isla tries to force QPR into the box. Alderweireld clears twice before it comes back into Vargas' feet. The forward finds his strike partner Austin, who shapes to bend the ball into Forster's top corner. It's not a bad effort, though the keeper probably had it covered.
3.52pmHALF TIME: SOUTHAMPTON 0-0 QUEENS PARK RANGERS
3.53pmNot a terrible half of football, but not the most entertaining either. Southampton definitely looked the more likely of the two sides to open the scoring, with Mane, Tadic, Pelle and Schneiderlin all looking threatening. Tadic of course struck an upright, and Schneiderlin had a great chance when Mane played him in.
3.54pmKoeman will not be worried by the home side's struggle to break the deadlock so far, as they were in control of things from the off.
3.56pmRedknapp will again be concerned by Austin and Vargas having to feed off scraps, and you get the impression that QPR will struggle for creativity away from home all season long, this term. Sandro's head injury also gives the boss a headache, with Barton, Mutch and Faulin already absent from the central midfield.
3.57pmI still fancy Saints to win this one, and I believe it's a matter of time before they find a way past Rob Green.
45 minRight then, back underway with Southampton getting us restarted.
46 minMane is brought down by Isla, giving the home side a free kick in an inviting position for an effort on goal.
46 minDavis runs over the ball, leaving it for Tadic to take aim with his left peg. It's a poor effort though, clearing Green's crossbar by a good couple of feet. Disappointing.
47 minMane twists his ankle and his wrist as he lands, and he trots off the field to be seen to.
48 minTadic's low corner causes problems temporarily, but Kranjcar mops up and fires the ball clear.
51 minPhillips runs at Southampton for the first time all day. As he gets to the edge of the box, Wanyama intercepts - he's been excellent for the home side so far.
52 minMane cuts in from the left and fires an effort goalwards. Again, it isn't clean, deflecting off of Caulker, and Green collects once more.
53 minAnd it's the unlikely figure of Ryan Bertrand who opens the scoring! Rio Ferdinand gives the gal away cheaply and Tadic crosses poorly. However, Mane refuses to give up and plays a delightful back heel into Bertrand's path. He closes in on goal, smashing a powerful effort off of Green and into the net.
55 minCHANCE! Saints nearly make it two straight away. Pelle cuts the ball back but Davis' shot is blocked. It falls to Tadic, who dances around Traore brilliantly, but Green keeps him out with a really good stop.
56 minCLOSE! It's one way traffic now, with Mane meeting a Davis corner with his head. The ball drops to Pelle, but the striker just can't poke it home.
57 minSUBSTITUTION QPR replace Phillips with Hoilett as they search for a leveller.
61 minIt's only 1-0, but Southampton are cruising here. The little that QPR throw at them, they mop up with ease.
63 minJust as I say that, Kranjar tries to thread Austin in for the first time all day. Goalscorer Bertrand just gets there ahead of the forward and the danger is averted.
63 minSouthampton so nearly get away, with Mane right on the shoulder of the last defender. In my opinion, he's onside, but the linesman flags him once again.
64 minReferee Mark Clattenburg talks to Morgan Schneiderlin after a tough challenge. The wide free kick is wasted though, as Kranjcar whips the ball straight into the wall.
65 minWow - incredible goal from Charlie Austin! Vargas chips the ball into his strike partner, who controls it with his left foot and fires it in with his right, leaving Forster stranded. It's a brilliant finish, even if nobody could have seen it coming. Game on!
67 minSUBSTITUTION: Shane Long comes on in place of Mane, who has had an excellent Premier League debut.
67 minAmazing goal from Pelle - who scores acrobatically from inside the box. If Austin's equaliser was good, this one is even better. He takes a touch after Tadic heads it down, and instantly fires it over Green. Superb effort.
69 minSUBSTITUTION: Jack Cork comes on for Wanyama.
70 minPOST! Saints strike the upright again! This time, a loose ball reaches Davis, who rifles an effort beyond Green. It smashes the post and is cleared away. Down the other end, Austin is down and in pain. Looks like it could be a hamstring problem for the goalscorer.
71 minCHANCE! Austin is back up and he gets himself into the box. Fer crosses with his left foot, with Austin meeting it and placing a header just wide. Close.
74 minCork dallies on the ball, allowing Hoilett to counter. As Kranjcar tries to poke the ball through, Fonte shuts him out.
75 minGreat work from Long keeps the ball in play for Southampton. The ball is worked across to Tadic, who fires off of a defender and out for a corner.
75 minSUBSTITUTION: Austin must be ok to last the distance, as Zamora is brought on for Vargas in QPR's final change.
78 minCHANCE! Long should seal the game for Southampton. The striker finds himself one on one with Green but his shot is weak and the keeper comes out on top. Poor finish.
80 minHoilett tries his luck from distance. The ball deflects and rolls into Forster's arms. They'll have to do better than that if they are to take a point today.
82 minLong thinks he's been impeded on the edge of the box. Clattenburg deems Caulker's tackle clean and QPR march up the other end, ending with Zamora winning a corner.
83 minThe ball is cleared away, with Kranjcar collecting the ball. He jinks past Pelle, who then brings him down. Free kick.
84 minCROSSBAR! Inches away from Kranjcar, who beats Forster all ends up with his dipping shot. It cannons back off the bar and Southampton scramble it clear. Unlucky.
85 minShades of last week from Kranjcar. 2-1 down, full time looming, free kick just outside the area, just like his effort against Stoke City. He was nearly the hero again there. Will they get another chance?
86 minSilly foul from Hoilett on Tadic, and now it's the home side's turn to have a crack at goal.
86 minCLOSE! Another decent effort, this time from Davis. It flies just wide of Green's post, though you get the feeling the keeper didn't like how close that was, judging by his dive.
88 minSHOT! The ball falls to Fer outside the box, but he lashes it way wide of the target. Balls towards the head of Zamora have caused some problems for Saints, in the short time he has been on.
90 minCHANCE! Up the other end again, and this time it is Tadic who fires the upright - again! How many times have these two hit the woodwork today?!
90 minSUBSTITUTION: That'll be Tadic's afternoon too, with Targett on to take his place.
90+1 minLong boots it clear after QPR win a corner. Southampton are defending pretty deep now.
90+2 minSniff of a half chance for Kranjcar but he didn't anticipate it reaching him and Forster claims - much to the crowd's delight.
90+2 minThis is the second of five minutes added on by the way.
90+4 minZamora fouls Pelle in midfield and Saints will surely now close this one out.
4.55pmFULL TIME: SOUTHAMPTON 2-1 QUEENS PARK RANGERS
4.57pmAll over and unsurprisingly it's Southampton who take the three points today. They were made to work for it though, as QPR pushed them all the way.
4.58pmWe saw some fantastic goals today, with Austin and Pelle both scoring wonderful efforts. In the end, it was Pelle's which was decisive, and the Saints deserved the win today.
4.59pmThanks for joining us today on Sports Mole, and stick around for reaction from this and all of this afternoon's Premier League matches.