Premier League
Southampton0Stoke1

Southampton 0-1 Stoke City

Peter Crouch rose to head home his 10th goal in all competitions this season
Peter Crouch rose to head home his 10th goal in all competitions this season

Southampton's miserable home form continued as Peter Crouch struck the only goal of the game to help Stoke to a first away win since January on the final day of the season.

The home side enjoyed the majority of possession but Nathan Redmond's lob on to the bar on the stroke of half-time was their best moment until Crouch pounced.

The striker's 10th goal of the season arrived when he headed home a Geoff Cameron cross and they deserved the lead after creating openings throughout.

Southampton rallied late on as Jack Butland produced fine saves to deny Steven Davis, James Ward-Prowse and Sofiane Boufal but Claude Puel's side end the campaign without a win in five games at St Mary's.

The Frenchman has been criticised by some supporters for a lack of entertainment in recent months and closing the season without a home league goal in over seven hours will do little to change such views.

His side end the season eighth, with their lowest points tally since 2012-13, while Stoke finish 13th, their lowest finish since the same season.

Follow all the reaction from the Premier League final day

Fans flee sorry Saints

Puel and Gabbiadini
No Southampton player managed to reach double figures for league goals this season

Puel will now be one of the managers whose future is in the spotlight. His board have not leapt to his defence in recent weeks..

But he did guide Saints to the EFL Cup final - a first major final since 2003 - and they have not fallen lower than 13th in the table since October.

Given they lost central defensive partners Virgil van Dijk and Jose Fonte in January, to long-term injury and transfer respectively, perhaps such consistency merits greater praise.

Van Dijk's future at the club will be resolved this summer, with high-profile clubs linked to him, while Ryan Bertrand's impressive campaign could also attract rivals.

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Puel unfazed by job speculation

But it is at the other end of the pitch where Saints fans will want reinforcements. Their side are the lowest scorers in the top half of the table and against Stoke that lack of cutting edge was clear.

Although Redmond pounced when Butland lost possession to chip the keeper and hit the bar, it was only late on that the home side actually began to create chances for themselves. Manolo Gabiaddini wasted their best when Butland denied him one-on-one.

Puel called the display a "little picture of the season" but declared himself "satisfied with eighth. Though the customary end-of-season lap of honour was conducted in front of a stadium less than a third full.

Resistance and revolution for Stoke

Crouch told Tyrone Sidley he would give the fan his shirt if he turned up in swimming trunks
Crouch told Tyrone Sidley he would give the fan his shirt if he turned up in swimming trunks

Hughes will be thrilled at his 150th Premier League win as a manager - if only because it was just a second victory in 11 matches.

But his side looked well organised and used possession effectively, with Mame Biram Diouf seeing a shot saved and a header cleared off the line before the break.

Crouch saw little of the ball - just 16 touches before he converted Cameron's pin-point cross - but when involved, his presence caused problems and only a last-ditch Maya Yoshida tackle denied him a chance in the first half.

With Wilfried Bony - who has not played since December - set to return to parent club Manchester City, the Potters will hope Saido Berahino can assist 36-year-old Crouch more ably next term. He is still waiting on a first goal for the club since joining from West Brom in January.

The club's board have promised to back Hughes in the transfer market, though they may expect a better return than 13th after three ninth-placed finishes in a row.

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Hughes 'grateful' for keeper Butland

A better start will go a long way to help, as they played catch-up throughout the campaign having been winless in their first seven league games.

But after this deserved victory, Hughes emphasised that his side were just two points off eighth place and said he expects an "evolution" not "revolution" this summer.

Retaining Butland looks a necessity and his double save to deny both Davis and Ward-Prowse to maintain the lead summed up the resistance Hughes needs to see more of in 2017-18.

Man of the match - Jack Butland

Jack Butland gives gloves to fans
Butland gave his gloves to fans after a superb display. He was fortunate to escape when Redmond hit the bar after an error but six saves was an impressive tally. His late heroics earn the man-of-the-match award ahead of Bruno Martins Indi, who looked strong at the heart of the defence and produced several key interventions in the first half.

Hughes joins elite club - the key stats

  • Peter Crouch becomes the first player to score 50 headed Premier League goals.
  • Southampton have now failed to score in six of their last eight Premier League matches.
  • The Saints have failed to score in five consecutive home league games for only the second time in their history. They also did so in September 1937.
  • Mark Hughes becomes the seventh Premier League manager to notch 150 wins (Ferguson, Wenger, Redknapp, Moyes, Allardyce and Mourinho are the others).

Puel satisfied with season - what the managers said...

Many fans left before Southampton's players performed a lap of honour
Many fans left before Southampton's players performed a lap of honour

Southampton manager Claude Puel: "To finish eighth is good. The game was a little picture of the season - many opportunities and possibilities without scoring.

"Sometimes there is disappointment because often there was good football without reward. I am satisfied for all this season."

Stoke manager Mark Hughes: "We wanted to finish in the correct manner and I think it was a really honest performance. Jack made a couple of saves towards the end. We needed him to come to the fore and he did. That's what a top keeper does for you.

"If you look at where we finished, 13th, I think we are two points away from eighth. Fine margins. We will be better next year. It's not going to be revolution but evolution for us. There won't be wholesale changes."

Line-ups

Southampton

  • 1Forster
  • 2Soares
  • 24StephensBooked at 90mins
  • 3Yoshida
  • 21Bertrand
  • 8Davis
  • 14Romeu
  • 16Ward-ProwseSubstituted forPiedat 86'minutes
  • 11TadicSubstituted forBoufalat 65'minutesBooked at 70mins
  • 22Redmond
  • 10AustinSubstituted forGabbiadiniat 65'minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Clasie
  • 12Cáceres
  • 19Boufal
  • 20Gabbiadini
  • 23Højbjerg
  • 26Pied
  • 28Taylor

Stoke

  • 1Butland
  • 20Cameron
  • 17Shawcross
  • 15Martins Indi
  • 18DioufSubstituted forWaltersat 70'minutes
  • 6WhelanBooked at 63mins
  • 4AllenBooked at 53mins
  • 3Pieters
  • 22ShaqiriBooked at 90minsSubstituted forMuniesaat 90+2'minutes
  • 32SobhiBooked at 67mins
  • 25Crouch

Substitutes

  • 2Bardsley
  • 5Muniesa
  • 9Berahino
  • 16Adam
  • 19Walters
  • 33Grant
  • 72Edwards
Referee:
Lee Probert
Attendance:
31,286

Match Stats

Home TeamSouthamptonAway TeamStoke
Possession
Home61%
Away39%
Shots
Home15
Away14
Shots on Target
Home6
Away3
Corners
Home4
Away10
Fouls
Home12
Away10

Live Text

Match ends, Southampton 0, Stoke City 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Southampton 0, Stoke City 1.

Attempt saved. Oriol Romeu (Southampton) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Attempt blocked. Steven Davis (Southampton) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Attempt blocked. Steven Davis (Southampton) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Manolo Gabbiadini (Southampton) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Jonathan Walters (Stoke City).

Substitution

Substitution, Stoke City. Marc Muniesa replaces Xherdan Shaqiri.

Booking

Jack Stephens (Southampton) is shown the yellow card.

Booking

Xherdan Shaqiri (Stoke City) is shown the yellow card.

Jack Stephens (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Xherdan Shaqiri (Stoke City).

Foul by Sofiane Boufal (Southampton).

Xherdan Shaqiri (Stoke City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Southampton. Jérémy Pied replaces James Ward-Prowse.

Manolo Gabbiadini (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Dangerous play by Peter Crouch (Stoke City).

Corner, Stoke City. Conceded by Steven Davis.

Attempt blocked. Joe Allen (Stoke City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Jonathan Walters.

Corner, Stoke City. Conceded by Cédric Soares.

Foul by James Ward-Prowse (Southampton).

Joe Allen (Stoke City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Joe Allen.

Attempt saved. Manolo Gabbiadini (Southampton) left footed shot from very close range is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Oriol Romeu with a headed pass.

Attempt blocked. Maya Yoshida (Southampton) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by James Ward-Prowse with a cross.

Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Jack Butland.

Attempt saved. Sofiane Boufal (Southampton) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by James Ward-Prowse.

Offside, Stoke City. Joe Allen tries a through ball, but Peter Crouch is caught offside.

Attempt missed. Peter Crouch (Stoke City) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Erik Pieters.

Attempt saved. Manolo Gabbiadini (Southampton) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Steven Davis with a through ball.

Attempt missed. Jonathan Walters (Stoke City) header from the right side of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Xherdan Shaqiri with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Stoke City. Conceded by Ryan Bertrand.

Foul by Oriol Romeu (Southampton).

Xherdan Shaqiri (Stoke City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Offside, Stoke City. Xherdan Shaqiri tries a through ball, but Ryan Shawcross is caught offside.

Foul by Oriol Romeu (Southampton).

Jonathan Walters (Stoke City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Sofiane Boufal (Southampton).

Xherdan Shaqiri (Stoke City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt saved. James Ward-Prowse (Southampton) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Chelsea38303585335293
2Tottenham38268486266086
3Man City38239680394178
4Liverpool382210678423676
5Arsenal38236977443375
6Man Utd381815554292569
7Everton3817101162441861
8Southampton381210164148-746
9Bournemouth381210165567-1246
10West Brom38129174351-845
11West Ham38129174764-1745
12Leicester38128184863-1544
13Stoke381111164156-1544
14Crystal Palace38125215063-1341
15Swansea38125214570-2541
16Burnley38117203955-1640
17Watford38117204068-2840
18Hull3897223780-4334
19Middlesbrough38513202753-2628
20Sunderland3866262969-4024
View full Premier League table

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