Gabbiadini makes history as Saints win thriller

Southampton's Italian striker Manolo Gabbiadini celebrates scoring their fourth goal during the English Premier League ...
(FILE)Southampton's Italian striker Manolo Gabbiadini celebrates scoring their fourth goal during the English Premier League football match between Watford and Southampton at Vicarage Road Stadium in Watford, north of London on March 4, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Glyn KIRK /

Manolo Gabbiadini became the first Southampton player to score in his first three Premier League matches for the club as his goal helped down Watford 4-3 on Saturday.

The Italian took his tally to six goals in four games in all competitions since joining Saints from Napoli in the January transfer window following a seven-goal thriller at Vicarage Road.

A week ago, his brace almost helped Saints produce a major upset against Manchester United in the League Cup final before Zlatan Ibrahimovic gave the Red Devils a late 3-2 victory.

Nathan Redmond added two for Saints and Dusan Tadic also scored while Troy Deeney, Stefano Okaka and Abdoulaye Doucoure netted for Watford as both sides remained in mid-table.

An already thrilling game exploded into life with four goals in the final 10 minutes — including Gabbiadini’s historic strike.

Southampton appeared to be suffering from a League Cup hangover as they conceded after just four minutes.

Deeney played a one-two with Italian Okaka before volleying past goalkeeper Fraser Forster from close range.

It was Deeney’s 105th goal for Watford, taking him up to joint fourth in the club’s all-time scorers list.

Saints were dominating possession and duly equalised just before the half-hour mark as Tadic drilled home from 18 yards following a poor clearance from the home team.

Gabbiadini was twice thwarted by Watford goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes but Southampton still went into the break leading after Redmond started and finished a flowing move in time added on at the end of the first half.

With a quarter of an hour to go, Okaka wasted a great chance to equalise after being teed up by Tom Cleverley, who had robbed a dallying Oriol Romeu.

Okaka, though, made amends five minutes later, prodding home from six yards after Nigerian Isaac Success put the ball on a plate for him.

Yet just four minutes later Gabbiadini punished Watford after Okaka had missed the chance to give the hosts the lead. Gomes was at fault as he spilled a shot from Sofiane Boufal into Gabbiadini’s path.

Two minute slater, Redmond sealed the win as he punished a tired defence with an individual goal.

Yet, there was still time for a final goal deep into injury time as Doucoure tapped home M’Baye Niang’s cross from close range.

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