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Player Ratings: Southampton 1-0 Crystal Palace

Sports Mole rates how each player performed during Southampton's 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace at St Mary's.

Southampton moved to within one point of the top four courtesy of a 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace at St Mary's this evening.

Sadio Mane got the only goal of the game for the hosts, pouncing on a loose ball inside the area to net the winner seven minutes from time.

Here, Sports Mole rates the players out of 10 for how they performed in the midweek Premier League clash.


Southampton's Senegalese midfielder Sadio Mane (2nd L) scores the opening goal of the English Premier League football match against Crystal Palace on March 3, 2015© Getty Images

SOUTHAMPTON

Goal

Fraser Forster: Almost dropped a clanger in the first half before recovering in time to spare his own blushes. Made a couple of good saves in the second half, the best of which came to deny Puncheon as he claimed another clean sheet. (7/10)

Defence

Nathaniel Clyne: Always willing to get forward, but also kept tabs on the unpredictable and pacey Bolasie at the other end of the field. (7/10)

Jose Fonte: Solid performance as Southampton dealt with Palace's attackers comfortably for the majority of the match. (6/10)

Maya Yoshida: A clean sheet, but looked like Southampton's weak point in defence. Beaten by Puncheon to create a chance in the second half and, at the other end of the field, missed a sitter of his own. (5/10)

Ryan Bertrand: Kept Zaha relatively quiet with the exception of a spell at the start of the second half. (6/10)

Midfield

Victor Wanyama: A good performance in the middle of the park as he protected his defence well in addition to making a couple of enterprising runs forward. (7/10)

Morgan Schneiderlin: Will be disappointed with the general standard of his deliveries from set pieces, but on the whole a decent display in the middle of the park. (6/10)

Sadio Mane: Our man of the match. Looked like Southampton's most dangerous player throughout and was rewarded with the goal, reacting quickly in the box to capitalise on Speroni's error. (7/10)

Filip Djuricic: Had one small sight of goal in the first half, but aside from that didn't really trouble Palace's defence in a match that was difficult for him to shine in. (5/10)

Eljero Elia: Showed glimpses of the pace and skill that can cause defences problems, but more often than not his final ball let him down and he wasted decent attacking positions. (5/10)

Attack

Graziano Pelle: Looks short of confidence as his wait for a league goal drags on. Was not given great service this evening but also could have injected more energy into his own display, as Long did when he was introduced. (5/10)

Substitutes

Dusan Tadic: A bright 30-minute cameo that sparked an improvement from the Saints. His introduction made them look a lot more dangerous in the final third. (7/10)

Shane Long: Brought a lot more buzz and energy to Southampton's attack, chasing everything down and making things more difficult for the defence than Pelle had managed. (6/10)

James Ward-Prowse: Involved in the goal as his good run and shot drew the save from Speroni that led to Mane's finish. Almost threw it away by carelessly giving the ball away twice in the closing stages, though, including once inside his own box. (6/10)


Southampton's Dutch midfielder Eljero Elia (L) flicks the ball on during the English Premier League football match against Crystal Palace on March 3, 2015© Getty Images

CRYSTAL PALACE

Goal

Julian Speroni: At fault for the goal as he pushed the ball straight out to Mane, who duly tucked away the rebound. Had earlier made a similarly unconvincing stop, although Pelle was unable to make the most of it. (4/10)

Defence

Joel Ward: Contributed to a stubborn defensive performance from Palace but didn't have things all his own way against Elia and later Tadic. (6/10)

Scott Dann: Perhaps could have done better in the build-up to the goal as his missed challenge allowed Ward-Prowse to get a shot away, but overall he dealt with Southampton's attackers well. (6/10)

Damien Delaney: Was in the right place at the right time on more than one occasion as he kept Southampton at bay for the vast majority of the match despite the hosts enjoying the lion's share of possession. (6/10)

Martin Kelly: Struggled up against Mane and was partially at fault for the winner, playing the Southampton man onside having failed to get up in line with the rest of his defence. (5/10)

Midfield

Wilfried Zaha: Hit the post in the second half having set up Bolasie for a chance moments before. Didn't have much more impact on the game but so nearly got something for his side. (6/10)

Joe Ledley: Anonymous for long spells in the middle of the park, chasing the ball for much of the match. Added another body to the defence, but didn't offer much support to those in front of him. (5/10)

James McArthur: Like Ledley, was forced to defend for long spells as Southampton dominated possession. Rarely involved on the ball. (5/10)

Jason Puncheon: Tested Forster with a decent effort at the start of the second half but otherwise struggled to make an impact against his former side. (6/10)

Yannick Bolasie: Drew a good stop from Forster before setting up Zaha to hit the post moments later. Was unable to light up the game as we know he can on his day, though. (6/10)

Attack

Dwight Gayle: A very quiet game for the striker. Was a willing runner throughout but got little joy from the Southampton centre-backs and barely threatened the goal at all. (5/10)

Substitutes

Shola Ameobi: Replaced McArthur immediately after the goal but could not come up with a response for his side. (6/10)


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Southampton's Senegalese midfielder Sadio Mane (2nd L) scores the opening goal of the English Premier League football match against Crystal Palace on March 3, 2015
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