Live Commentary: Southampton 1-0 Stoke City - as it happened

Relive Sports Mole's live text coverage of Southampton's 1-0 victory over Stoke City in the Premier League this afternoon.

Southampton edged out Stoke City 1-0 at St Mary's Stadium this afternoon to climb up to second place in the Premier League table.

The hosts were by far the better side in the first half, taking the lead through Sadio Mane's strike shortly after the half-hour mark, before pushing for a second.

They were unable to double their advantage, however, and a much-improved Stoke side looked to hit back following the interval, but they could not find a way through as the Saints held out for all three points.

You can see how the game unfolded with Sports Mole's live text coverage below.

2pmHello and welcome to Sports Mole's live text commentary of the Premier League meeting between Southampton and Stoke City at St Mary's Stadium.

2.02pmThe Saints come into this game looking to maintain their winning home start, which included an emphatic 8-0 victory over Sunderland last time out, while Stoke will be hoping to push on from last weekend's somewhat controversial 2-1 win against Swansea City.

2.03pmThere's plenty to get through between now and kickoff at 3pm, so let's begin by taking a look at some team news...

2.05pmTEAM NEWS!

SOUTHAMPTON STARTING XI: Forster, Clyne, Fonte, Alderweireld, Bertrand, Cork, Schneiderlin, S. Davis, Mané, Tadic, Pelle

STOKE CITY STARTING XI: Begovic, Bardsley, Shawcross, Wilson, Pieters, Cameron, Nzonzi, Walters, Adam, Moses, Crouch

2.07pmJust the one change for Southampton, then, with Sadio Mane coming into the side. Saints manager Ronald Koeman is still without a couple of big names through long-term injury, but 10 of the players who started the 8-0 thrashing of Sunderland feature from the off today.

2.09pmVictor Moses was very much centre of attention in last week's victory over Swansea, and he has shaken off a knock in time to start at St Mary's. Stoke received a blow in the build up to this one when it was announced that Glenn Whelan would miss the next six weeks with a broken leg, joining Peter Odemwingie on the sidelines.


SOUTHAMPTON SUBSTITUTES: K. Davis, Yoshida, Gardos, Long, Wanyama, Mayuka, Reed

STOKE CITY SUBSTITUTES: Sorensen, Huth, Arnautovic, Diouf, Sidwell, Assaidi, Bojan

2.14pmMarko Arnautovic and Robert Huth make welcome returns to the bench for the visitors, alongside former Barcelona star Bojan Bojan Krkic who will be eager to get off the mark for his new club. Oussama Assaidi also offers an attacking option for Mark Hughes to call upon should he need to this afternoon.

2.16pmShane Long is among the Southampton backups, meanwhile, having failed to truly get going on the South Coast. The explosive Victor Wanyama is also part of the match-day squad, being left out of the starting lineup this afternoon in favour of Mane.

2.18pmA little over 40 minutes to go until kickoff at St Mary's...

2.21pmIncidentally, Koeman has spoken to Southampton's official site ahead of today's game, elaborating a little more on the one change to his side.

"We need a fast player and we know Sadio Mane is very good one against one. That's the reason. I think we have to win the battle in the midfield because I think that's the key today. We know their qualities. First of all we must have a better start because we play at home. We like to dominate from the beginning."

2.23pmWell on the topic of Koeman, it has been a near-perfect start to life at the Saints for the Dutchman. This was supposed to be a season of transition for Southampton, remember, coming into the campaign on the back of losing five of their key players as well as the man who led them to their hugely respectable league position last time out.

2.26pmYet here we are eight games in to the new season, and many are tipping Koeman's charges to finish in a European spot. You can't really argue against it on their current form, with just league leaders Chelsea ahead of them in the form table. A win for the Saints this afternoon will see them climb above Manchester City into second place as things stand; the Citizens trailing West Ham United 2-1 in the closing stages of the day's early kickoff.

2.28pmThat 8-0 victory over Sunderland has been talked about all week, and it was simply one of those afternoons which saw everything come together for Southampton. Star man Dusan Tadic recorded another four assists - taking his tally to seven for the season - as well as a goal. His creativity has been one of they key components to this promising early run from the South-Coast club, and he will no doubt be looking to build on his incredible record this afternoon.

2.31pmAs will Graziano Pelle, another of the new signings who has seemingly clicked into place in no time at all, already finding the net on six occasions in the Premier League thus far. In all Southampton have scored 19 goals this term, meaning that only Chelsea have scored more. The statistics are equally as impressive at the other end, with Koeman's men letting in less goals than any other side in the division, keeping four clean sheets in all. Fraser Foster is another one of the many newbies loving life in his new surroundings.


2.35pmToday's visitors haven't shown quite the same sort of consistency as their opponents, winning three, loosing three and drawing two of their opening eight games. It has been a solid enough start for the Potters, although Mark Hughes will be eager to build on last season's ninth-placed finish. At this stage, you have to say that Stoke are very much on course to do so.

2.37pmStoke have pulled off one of the shocks of the season already, of course, beating Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium earlier on in the campaign. In fact Stoke have looked fairly impressive on the road so far this season, scoring in each other their away trips en route to picking up five points.

2.40pmJust to highlight that inconsistency I mentioned, the 1-0 win over Man City was followed up by a draw at bottom-placed Queens Park Rangers, and a disappointing 3-1 defeat at Sunderland. So still work to do for Hughes, but plenty of positives to build on nonetheless. Victory this afternoon could potentially see the Potters move into the top five, although for that to happen plenty of results would have to go their way.

2.43pmPREVIOUS MEETINGS: These two sides have met four times in the Premier League previously, drawing all four meetings. A 1-1 draw at the Britannia Stadium was followed up by an entertaining battle which finished 2-2 back in February. Will they finally be separated this afternoon?

2.45pmREFEREE WATCH: Today's referee is Jonathan Moss, who Southampton fans may not be too fond of. I say that because he refereed two Saints games last season, both of which ended in losses. That said, Moss would have won over supporters of the South-Coast club earlier this season when he sent off Wilfried Bony in a 1-0 win at Swansea.

2.48pmWell kickoff is now just over 10 minutes away, meaning that there is still time to check out what Sports Mole's On The Sofa team predict will happen this afternoon...

2.50pmUPDATE: This afternoon's early kickoff has come to and end, and it's mixed news for Southampton supporters. West Ham have continued their impressive form by seeing off champions Man City 2-1 at Upton Park. Realistically speaking, a top-five finish for Southampton - and ultimately a place in Europe - is very much the target, with the Hammers now drawing level on points with this result.

2.53pmPREDICTION: I'm not expecting this game to be quite as one-sided as Southampton's 8-0 victory over Sunderland, but the Saints have shown that they are a serious threat this season. Stoke have lacked consistency all campaign, particularly on the road, yet it should be remembered that they have already beaten Man City away from home. All-in-all I'll go with a 3-1 win for the hosts and another fine showing from Tadic.

2.56pmIncidentally, these two sides meet again in midweek when they meet in the League Cup, but this is very much the main event. Three Premier League points are on offer which can make a huge difference to both as they aim to reach their respective targets.

2.59pmSouthampton have made their home ground a real fortress so far this term, winning each other their three games at St Mary's. Stoke will no doubt form a solid shape, learning lessons from where Sunderland went so badly wrong seven days ago, but will it be enough? We're soon to find out as the teams enter the pitch.

0 minKICKOFF! We're underway at St Mary's and it's a very bright start from the hosts. Tadic getting in an early effort which is blocked.

2 minSouthampton have won a couple of corners already with just two minutes on the clock, but both are eventually cleared away. A chance for Stoke to settle down a little, perhaps.

4 minCLOSE! Mane comes within inches of getting the Saints up and running, with a curling effort which looked for all the world to be rustling the back of the net. Some good hold-up play from Pelle allowed Mane to cut in from the left, but he couldn't quite find the target.

6 minSHOT! Southampton doing all the pressing at the moment, and there's a good chance for Davis to make the breakthrough for his side when in a little space 20 yards from goal. He didn't quite connect properly with the ball, though, and it flew well wide of goal in the end.

9 minThe hosts well and truly dominating possession with nine minutes played, and it is they who have created the best early chances. In fact, Koeman's charges have had eight shots on goal so far, the best effort of the lot coming from Mane's curler.

11 minSHOT! Stoke just showing a little more in an attacking sense over the past couple of minutes, but unable to truly get a foothold on the contest. The Potters managed to get away their first meaningful effort of the game through Crouch, who got on the end of N'Zonzi's cross. The striker will be disappointed not to have found the target.

13 minFantastic tackle from Bardsley on Mane to deny the Saints' man. Stoke doing much better now at both ends to wrestle back possession. Southampton's early momentum just fizzling out a little.

15 minSome great work from Clyne down the right leaves Moses flat footed, but his ball into the box could not be met by a teammate. Cork managed to get a ball into the box from the other flank shortly after, which was well handled by Begovic.

16 minCHANCE! Arguably the best chance of the game so far, and it has fallen the way of the visiting side. Some great play from Moses sees him drive through the middle of Tadic and Clyne into the box, but his effort when through on goal was rather weak to the relief of Foster. There looked to be a little touch on the winger inside the box, although he stayed on his feet. Garry Monk's recent comments may have had a little say there.

18 minSHOT! Another opportunity comes and goes for Southampton, although this was by no means easy. Mane managed to burst to the byline before picking out Pelle at the front post, but the six-goal striker's shot ended over the bar. It looked to bobble right in front of him which made it that little bit tougher.

20 minThat Moses chance aside, it really has been all Southampton so far. Stoke have done well to thwart the danger, but the Saints are looking very dangerous down the flanks in particular.

22 minA very enjoyable game so far with plenty of goalmouth action. Still no breakthrough at St Mary's, however, as the sides currently battle it out in the middle of the field.

24 minTadic has been very good yet again in the opening 25 minutes or so. He wasn't quite able to put in a teammate following a great first touch in the final third, though, as Southampton continue to press forward.

26 minClyne is linking up very well with Tadic at the moment. He is the go-to man in the hole, looking to make things happen around the box. He managed to pick out Pelle with a brilliant pass into the box, but his teammate couldn't quite get a shot away.

28 minSAVE! Hughes will surely be a little concerned with the way this game is heading. Southampton really bossing proceedings now, coming closer and closer to finding the breakthrough. Tadic was again involved in the latest attack, cutting inside from the right and forcing a save out of Begovic down low.

30 minOFF THE BAR! It's the crossbar which comes to Stoke's rescue this time, with Schneiderlin latching onto Tadic's pass inside the box following a brilliantly worked short corner, but his effort cannoned off the bar and out of play.

31 minPelle, Mane and Tadic have been very lively this afternoon, giving Stoke's backline a lot to think about. Still no breakthrough, however.


33 minWell there is no denying that the goal has been coming since the off. A floated free kick into the box was not dealt with by Stoke, with Pelle latching onto the ball inside the box and striking the post with a decent effort. There was to be no denying Mane from the close-range follow-up, though, with the Senegalese firing the ball home.

35 minThat will do Mane a world of good after he saw his strike ruled out for offside against Sunderland last week. He, along with Tadic and Pelle, has been a real handful. Southampton playing with a real swagger this afternoon.

37 minRoberth Huth and Steve Sidwell warming up for the visiting side, as Hughes contemplates making a change. It wouldn't be such a bad choice because this is very one-sided. Bar that chance for Moses, it has been all one-sided.

39 minYELLOW CARD! Ryan Shawcross is shown the game's first yellow card after pushing the referee the wrong way. He had to tie his laces, decided not to leave the field, Jonathan Moss brandished a yellow.

41 minTadic continues his impressive showing by turning Erik Pieters inside out, whipping in a tasty-looking cross which is beyond Pelle. Some of the play and off the ball movement from the home side is a real joy to watch.

42 min

44 minBardsley has been given a torrid time this afternoon, as Stoke concede another free kick on the edge of the box. Bertrand stepped up to strike the ball, but it was a poor effort in the end. Just before that Schneiderlin produced the ball of the game to pick out Clyne, but the chance came to nothing. Mark Hughes will be happy to see the sides go in at just 1-0 at the break.


3.50pmThe scoreline doesn't do the first half true justice as Jonathan Moss brings the first 45 minutes to a close, with Southampton truly dominant so far. Sadio Mane put the Saints ahead shortly after the half-hour mark with his first goal for the club, but Stoke will be pleased to just be one goal behind at the break.

3.53pmDID YOU KNOW? Southampton have won all four of the Premier League games that they have scored first in so far this season.

3.56pmSouthampton's three most advanced players - Tadic, Pelle and Mane - have been brilliant so far, giving the opposition backline not a moment's peace. However, for as long as the score remains at 1-0, Stoke are very much still in this game.

3.58pmCrouch had a headed chance in the early stages which flew over, while Moses caused panic when he got inbetween Tadic and Clyne. He was touched inside the box, as well, but credit to him for staying on his feet and getting away an effort which was easily kept out in the end.

45 minSECOND HALF UNDERWAY! We're back underway at St Mary's, with neither side making a change at the interval. That's understandable from a Southampton perspective, but I thought Hughes may change things up a little at half time.

47 minBetter from Stoke in the opening stages of the second half as they push higher up the pitch. The Southampton full-backs may have some defensive work to do in the next 45 minutes, perhaps, as Walters drives forward down the right.

49 minOFF THE BAR! The bar yet again comes to Stoke's rescue. Southampton do well to keep the ball in the attacking third of the field, eventually working it out wide to Tadic who swings in a ball for Pelle to head. The striker did very well to latch onto it, striking the upright with his effort.

51 minMoses has won his side a free kick in a decent crossing position on the left. The Saints may have hit the bar, but this is a good spell from the Potters early in the second half. Can they make the most of this rare chance?

52 minCharlie Adam swings it in to the front-post area, but Davis is on hand to turn it behind for a corner which comes to nothing. Hughes looks ready to make a change...

54 minSTOKE SUB! An attacking-minded change from the Stoke boss, as Mame Biram Diouf replaces Adam. There was no injury concern, merely a change of shape needed for the visitors.

55 minStoke continue to push forward in search of an equaliser, and they manage to get three men in the box, although Moses can't quite work away a cross. Southampton have lost their way a little at the moment.

56 minSHOT! Another sign of that additional threat in the final third I mentioned, as Walters gets a strike away on goal from the edge of the box. His effort did not trouble Forster in the end, and he may have been better off playing Moses in down the left.

58 minThe hosts lose the ball in midfield through Cork, and Stoke look to hit their opponents on the break. Stoke couldn't capitalise on the opening, but there is no denying that the momentum has shifted.

60 minPieters loses the ball, but redeems himself by thwarted Tadic's run into the box. Southampton manage to win a corner from the attack, however, which is headed down by Fonte at the back post. There was no Saints player around to latch on the ball, though.

61 minDiouf looks to be playing in a more central attacking position, slightly behind Crouch, while Wanyama looks to be coming on for the hosts. There is a different feel to this game now.

62 minSOUTHAMPTON SUB: Cork's afternoon comes to an end, as Wanyama enters the fray. Maybe Southampton will sit back a little more in the final 30 minutes or so.

64 minIncidentally, the match attendance has been announced as 30,017 (1,272 Stoke fans). We are in for an exciting finale to this contest, which is far more evenly balance now than it was in the first half.

66 minSHOT! Mane is picked out by Davis, and he touches it back for Pelle to strike on the volley, although the ball flew well over the bar. Moments later it was Tadic's turn to get a shot away, turning a number of Stoke bodies inside the box, but he fails to find the target with his dragged effort.

68 minWanyama just sitting in from of the Southampton backline at the moment to thwart the danger of Diouf, who was brought on shortly after the restart. That's a compliment to Stoke who look far more lively now.

69 minSTOKE SUB! Hughes roles the dice once more, introducing Arnautovic in place of Walters as we enter the final 20 minutes on the South Coast.

70 minAlmost a perfect pass from Pelle, but on this occasion his flicked pass had a little too much on it with Begovic collecting. I was just about to say that the Saints' forward trio are looking quiet at the moment.

72 minOnce more Pelle's pass into Tadic's path is just a little too heavy. Stoke need to regain some of that momentum again because Southampton just turning the screw. Plenty of attacking moves through the game, although we have just that Mane goal to show for it.

74 minOn the balance of things Southampton deserve their lead, but with 15 minutes left Stoke will surely throw all they have at the hosts. The game's been a little flat in the past 10 minutes or so in truth.

76 minDiouf looked to be pushed over on the edge of the box by Clyne, although referee Jonathan Moss waves play on. Southampton attack and win themselves a corner, which Pelle really should have buried. His effort from around seven yards out ended wide of the target, however, ensuring that this game is still not over.

78 minCHANCE! So, so close to an equalising goal for Stoke. Bardsley did well to bring the ball forward, lofting in a near-perfect cross for Diouf, but the ball was an inch or two ahead of the Senegalese who was sliding in.

79 minSTOKE SUB: Final change for the visitors as Victor Moses comes off for Oussama Assaidi.

80 minYELLOW CARD! Marc Wilson is shown a yellow card for blocking off Mane's run.

82 minSouthampton looking a little tired as we enter the final 10 minutes, allowing Stoke to push forward an win a corner. The cross is headed goalwards by Crouch, although the linesman's flag was already up.

84 minPelle not having near as much joy now, as Stoke attack once more. They have lacked that final ball this afternoon, though, and that could prove telling. Six minutes to go at St Mary's.

86 minIt's been a scrappy second half, which has suited Stoke more than Southampton, and a lot of that is down to Tadic, Pelle and Mane having less joy on the ball. Stoke just haven't shown enough in attack to pull a goal back.

88 minSHOT! The Saints hit Stoke on the break, with Tadic finding Pelle in a good position, only for the Italian to blast high and wide. As it stands Southampton are up to second place in the Premier League table.

89 minPieters swings a decent looking ball into the box from the left, which Forster does well to come out and handle. He's taken the pressure right of his side there. There's a fair bit of tension among home supporters as we enter added on time.

90 minSOUTHAMPTON SUB! Florin Gardoș is brought on for the final few minutes, replacing Steven Davis.

90+1 minWe've played one of four added on minutes at St Mary's; the ball is firmly in Stoke's half at the moment, which will suit Southampton perfectly.

90+2 minSHOT! Southampton headed for a fifth Premier League clean sheet as Arnautovic blasts well wide of goal from long range. All very desperate for the away side now.

90+3 minGreat defending from Tadic, who chases down Assaidi's attempted cross into the box. The ball is now with Forster as we enter the final minute. Southampton almost there...

90+4 minSouthampton blow a brilliant chance to wrap the game up, hitting Stoke on the counter-attack but Wanyama fires wide inside the box. It shouldn't matter now as time is up.


4.54pmAnd there we have it! Southampton hold on after a minor scare to climb up to second place in the Premier League table. They may not have had eight goals like last week, but this scrappy win will do the Saints just fine.

4.56pmSadio Mane's 33rd-minute strike proved to be the difference between the two sides, and on the balance of the 90 minutes the hosts were good value for their three points.

4.57pmWell that's all from me for this afternoon, but be sure to stick around on Sports Mole as we bring you a full match report, player ratings, analysis and all the reaction from St Mary's.

Dusan Tadic and Graziano Pelle of Southampton celebrate during the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and Sunderland at St Mary's Stadium on October 18, 2014
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