Premier League
SouthamptonSouthampton1Crystal PalaceCrystal Palace2

Southampton 1-2 Crystal Palace

By Luke ReddyBBC Sport
Luka Milivojevic struck the winner 48 hours after missing a penalty against Manchester City
Luka Milivojevic struck the winner 48 hours after missing a penalty against Manchester City

Crystal Palace produced a gutsy second-half display to cancel out Shane Long's first goal in 11 months and leave Southampton 17th in the table.

Long had given Saints the lead at St Mary's, ending a run of 34 competitive games without a goal, as the home side had the better of the first half.

But Palace switched to a 4-4-2 system after the break and profited when James McArthur volleyed in from close range.

Christian Benteke was arguably offside when he headed into McArthur's path but Palace built on it when Luka Milivojevic smartly curled home the winner from 25 yards.

The strike boosted Palace's record to one defeat in 11 games, enough for 14th place in the Premier League.

Southampton, in contrast, are nine without a win and slip to 17th, two points adrift of Palace.

Time for Saints to spend

Shane Long scores for Southampton
Shane Long ended a 1,320-minute wait for a league goal with a low strike

The mass of empty seats at St Mary's as injury time played out pointed to frustration and only goal difference now keeps Southampton out of the bottom three.

Earlier in the day the club's chairman Ralph Krueger spoke about last week's £75m sale of Virgil van Dijk to Liverpool, stating the widespread speculation over the defender's future created a "very difficult phase" for the club.

Boss Mauricio Pellegrino said it will take six months to see if letting Van Dijk leave was the correct move and with his side now embroiled in a relegation battle, how the Argentine spends the proceeds will prove critical.

The sight of Long ending his run of 1,320 league minutes without a goal with a whipped finish from Jeremy Pied's cross will have provided a brief boost for Pellegrino, whose side have scored just 21 goals in the league this season.

It is an area of the pitch which undoubtedly needs attention and aside from a glancing Oriol Romeu header which flashed wide late on, their response to Palace's resurgence screamed of a team floundering and short of ideas.

Jeremy Pied (left) created Southampton's opener but was left distraught along with Jack Stephens after the defeat
Jeremy Pied (left) created Southampton's opener but was left distraught along with Jack Stephens after the defeat

For their 61% possession, the Saints did not create enough. There were moments when full-backs Ryan Bertrand and Pied admirably joined in attacks during the first period but end product remained evasive and after the break the home side took a back step.

A heavy St Mary's pitch arguably provides some excuse for their lack of quality but will not paper over the fact Pellegrino has now overseen the club's longest run without a win in the top-flight since 2005.

The Argentine appears to be facing a crucial transfer window. A goalscorer and added guile appear necessities.

Palace switch delivers the goods

James McArthur volleyed the equaliser from close range
James McArthur volleyed the equaliser from close range

Southampton were the opposition when Roy Hodgson took charge of Palace back in September, with the Eagles rock bottom and pointless.

This win was further proof of how he has galvanised the team. Just as they did against Watford in mid-December, they showed the tenacity to come from behind and land three points when appearing to not be fully at the races.

Hodgson had spoken of being "afraid" his side had stretched their resources "to the absolute limit" before kick-off, having ground out an admirable draw against league leaders Manchester City just 48 hours earlier.

On times they did look leggy on a night where they performed 427 sprints to their hosts' 473. But they were simply more efficient in the testing conditions and Hodgson deserves huge credit for shuffling his pack during the match.

Yohan Cabaye - arguably more leggy than any of his team-mates - was withdrawn at the break with Patrick van Aanholt introduced to take up a left-wing berth in a 4-4-2 shape, a switch from the 4-2-3-1 the visitors had started with.

The late introduction of Bakary Sako saw him join Benteke up front, moving Wilfried Zaha to left wing and Van Aanholt to left-back.

Five minutes after Sako's introduction, McArthur turned home as Palace mounted their first sustained spell of pressure and 11 minutes later, Milivojevic beautifully swept home the winner, two days after missing an injury-time penalty to beat Manchester City.

Zaha should have added a third but fired over. But unlike Southampton, Palace will carry a positive momentum into the January transfer window where both clubs will be expected to take steps to bolster their survival hopes.

Man of the match - Roy Hodgson

Roy Hodgson celebrates
The likes of Andros Townsend and Luka Milivojevic stuck to their tasks well for Crystal Palace but it was Roy Hodgson's changes which made a telling difference on the balance of play and ultimately the outcome. Palace improved immeasurably in the second half, particularly with the introduction of Bakary Sako as a strike partner for Christian Benteke. Hodgson also adjusted well from losing Jason Puncheon and Scott Dann to serious injuries against Manchester City and guided his side to a hard-fought win on the south coast.

Palace comeback again - the key stats...

  • Only Everton (12) have won more points from losing positions in the Premier League this season than Crystal Palace (11).
  • Crystal Palace earned their first top-flight away win against Southampton in 10 attempts, since a 3-2 win at The Dell in November 1990.
  • James McArthur's goal was his fifth in all competitions this season, equalling his best return in a single season in English football (also 2016-17).
  • Luka Milivojevic scored his sixth Premier League goal for Crystal Palace, but his first that wasn't from the penalty spot.
  • The Eagles are now unbeaten in five Premier League away games (W2 D3), their longest such run in the competition since February 2015.

'Difficult to digest' - Manager reaction

Saints didn't read game well enough - Pellegrino

Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino: "It is a difficult game for us to digest because in the first half it was completely different and we were talking about how to score the second goal, but we gave them the possibility to score a couple of goals because we played backwards and sometimes we played too deep.

"My players' confidence will be down but that is normal. We must learn how to play this type of game, especially when the conditions are like that."

Hodgson impressed by 'phenomenal' work rate from Palace

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson: "The players deserve enormous credit to get four points from the program that we've had, with such short recovery time. I thought in the first half the pitch was quite heavy and didn't suit the type of football we like to play, but we certainly got over that in second half.

"We knew it would be tough for our midfield, Cabaye we know is a magnificent player but we knew it'd be difficult for him to get 90 minutes so at half-time we brought him off and hoped Patrick and Wilfried would lead to more domination in their half. Luckily the changes worked for us and I was happy with how it worked out in the end."

Up next

Southampton travel to Championship Fulham in the FA Cup third round on Saturday (15:00 GMT) while Crystal Palace visit Brighton in the competition on Monday (19:45 GMT).



Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 13McCarthy
  • 26Pied
  • 5Stephens
  • 3Yoshida
  • 21Bertrand
  • 14Romeu
  • 23HøjbjergSubstituted forGabbiadiniat 75'minutes
  • 16Ward-ProwseSubstituted forDavisat 70'minutes
  • 11TadicSubstituted forRedmondat 79'minutes
  • 19Boufal
  • 7Long


  • 8Davis
  • 18Lemina
  • 20Gabbiadini
  • 22Redmond
  • 33Targett
  • 35Bednarek
  • 44Forster

Crystal Palace

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 13Hennessey
  • 24Fosu-MensahBooked at 57mins
  • 34Kelly
  • 5Tomkins
  • 15SchluppSubstituted forSakoat 64'minutes
  • 18McArthur
  • 4Milivojevic
  • 10Townsend
  • 7CabayeSubstituted forvan Aanholtat 45'minutes
  • 11Zaha
  • 17Benteke


  • 1Speroni
  • 3van Aanholt
  • 14Lee
  • 23Souaré
  • 26Sako
  • 27Delaney
  • 44Riedewald
Stuart Attwell

Match Stats

Home TeamSouthamptonAway TeamCrystal Palace
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Southampton 1, Crystal Palace 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Southampton 1, Crystal Palace 2.

  3. Post update

    Attempt saved. Sofiane Boufal (Southampton) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

  4. Post update

    Oriol Romeu (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Bakary Sako (Crystal Palace).

  6. Post update

    Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Oriol Romeu.

  7. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Christian Benteke (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Wilfried Zaha.

  8. Post update

    Attempt missed. Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace) left footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Wayne Hennessey.

  9. Post update

    Attempt missed. Oriol Romeu (Southampton) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Ryan Bertrand with a cross following a corner.

  10. Post update

    Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Andros Townsend.

  11. Post update

    Corner, Southampton. Conceded by James McArthur.

  12. Post update

    Ryan Bertrand (Southampton) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Andros Townsend (Crystal Palace).

  14. Post update

    Jérémy Pied (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Luka Milivojevic (Crystal Palace).

  16. Goal!

    Goal! Southampton 1, Crystal Palace 2. Luka Milivojevic (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from outside the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Andros Townsend.

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Southampton. Nathan Redmond replaces Dusan Tadic.

  18. Post update

    Attempt missed. Luka Milivojevic (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Martin Kelly following a corner.

  19. Post update

    Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Shane Long.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Manolo Gabbiadini (Southampton).


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2Man Utd22145345162947
14Crystal Palace2257102033-1322
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