Austin on target as Saints boss Puel breaks duck
Charlie Austin came off the bench to give Southampton their first Premier League win of the season by scoring in a 1-0 win over Swansea at St Mary’s on Sunday.
It was the south coast club’s first Premier League success under manager Claude Puel and their second victory in a week under the Frenchman after the team’s Europa League win over Sparta Prague.
Southampton were almost gifted an early lead when Swansea goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski spilt a shot from Shane Long.
But Saints duo Steven Davis and Dusan Tadic got in each other’s way as they tried to follow up and the ball went behind, although an offside flag lessened any embarrassment the pair might have felt.
Nathan Redmond then opted to shoot rather than square the ball across goal to the unmarked Long and blazed his shot high and wide of the target.
Redmond squandered an even better chance when, from Tadic’s low cross, he beat Jordi Amat only to shoot over the top from eight yards out.
Austin scored twice against the Czech club in a 3-0 win on Thursday but the striker found himself back on the bench on Sunday.
Southampton had chances to take the lead before Austin scored the only goal of the game in the 64th minute.
Redmond missed from 12 yards out before Austin himself hit the crossbar.
But Austin rewarded Southampton’s pressure just after the hour when he chested the ball down and struck a rising shot.
Swansea’s Gylfi Sigurdsson had a late chance saved but the Saints clung on to victory.
Austin’s goal was his first in the Premier League since his debut winner against Manchester United in January.
“I should have had three (goals),” Austin told the BBC. “I’m frustrated, of course, (to be on the bench) as I scored twice in midweek but if the manager wants to rotate then he is the boss.”
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