Belfast Telegraph

Shane Long pounces to send Southampton through

Southampton 1 Norwich City 0

By Nick Purewal

Shane Long spared Southampton's blushes by bundling the Premier League side past Norwich in a last-gasp 1-0 win.

Norwich's Northern Ireland international goalkeeper Michael McGovern parried the Republic of Ireland striker's last-ditch close-range header, only for Long to force the rebound home.

Former Canaries forward Nathan Redmond spurned three fine second-half chances as this tie looked to be heading for extra-time, only for Long to produce his rescue act.

The hosts did up the tempo after the break - but that was hardly any challenge following a dire first half - and, just when Saints sniffed the faintest scent of blood, Norwich broke with two quick passes.

Kesh man Kyle Lafferty just failed to connect with Josh Murphy's teasing cross though, letting the home side comfortably off the hook.

James Ward-Prowse curled a smart free-kick just wide before eplacement and ex-Norwich man Redmond then fluffed three fine openings for victory, all in the final stages.

First he failed to dig the ball properly from under his feet with a shot, then he fired too close to McGovern. And most wasteful of all, he scuffed wide from the penalty spot.

Long failed to gain any purchase attempting a header on Redmond's cross, as Saints finally found fluency at the death.

And just when the clash looked odds-on for extra time, Sam McQueen's cross let Long grind the ball finally over the line for the winner.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph