OptiNews - Friday 29 September to Thursday 05 October 2017

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Optimus trousers posted this 05 October 2017

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Summary of non-mainstream articles: 05/10/2017 19:32:16

Austin and Hojbjerg push claims in friendly CLUBCALL

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Optimus trousers posted this 05 October 2017

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@SouthamptonFC - Southampton FC

#SaintsFC's @StevenDavis8 captained Northern Ireland as they fell to a 3-1 home defeat to Germany in #WCQ: http://sfcne.ws/SDNIreGer

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Optimus trousers posted this 05 October 2017

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VOTE: Under Armour Player of the Month

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Check out our shortlist and their credentials:

A string of commanding performances at the base of midfield in the past few weeks have deservedly drawn praise in the direction of summer arrival Mario Lemina.

Dominant defensively and economical in possession in the away victory at Crystal Palace and the narrow home defeat to Manchester United the following weekend, this may well be the first of many nominations for the Gabon international.

September will live long in the memory of veteran Saint, Steven Davis. The skipper pulled on a Southampton jersey for the 200th time this month and crowned the occasion with a characteristically well-timed dart into the box to side-foot home the winner at Selhurst Park.

Further back, Maya Yoshida continues to impress at the heart of Mauricio Pellegrino’s defence but it was his contribution at the other end that really caught the eye recently. The Japanese’s superb scissor-kick against Stoke was worthy of winning any game. Maya makes our shortlist for the second time.

Steven and Maya make our shortlist for the second time in a row.

Fraser Forster’s solid September showings earned him a recall to the England squad. The towering goalkeeper played a key part in the win in south London and was unlucky to be on the losing side at Stoke after a series of fine saves in the Saints goal.

Simply use the form below to cast your vote. Hurry, though, the deadline is at midnight on Sunday 8th October! 

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Optimus trousers posted this 05 October 2017

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Austin and Ward-Prowse on target in friendly

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After a tight opening opening half, Saints pulled away from their competitive Championship opponents after the break which saw Austin and Ward-Prowse find the net and a host of Academy youngsters earn a run out under the watchful eye of Mauricio Pellegrino.

The Southampton boss – celebrating his 46th birthday – fielded a strong side for the visit of the Slavisa Jokanovic’s Cottagers in this 80-minute friendly encounter.

A back four of Matt Targett, Jack Stephens, Florin Gardos and Sam McQueen protected Stuart Taylor in goal with Oriol Romeu partenering Pierre-Emile Højbjerg in midfield. Nathan Redmond, Ward-Prowse and Sofiane Boufal flanked Austin in attack.

Saints enjoyed the better start with the physicality of Romeu and Højbjerg putting the home side immediately on the front foot.

Indeed, a couple of Ward-Prowse corners had already caused the Fulham backline trouble before the midfielder’s superb right-wing cross found Austin unmarked in the box, only for the striker to see his shot blocked on the line by Fulham’s Denis Odoi.

At the other end, a strong spell for the visitors almost caught Saints cold, Rui Fonte curling onto the post via a nick off Stephens as a balance first period ended goalless.

An improved Saints emerged for the second half and the game’s opening goal quickly followed. A drop of the shoulder and surge down the left carried Redmond into the box and the winger’s cutback found Austin who instinctively steered high into the net.

The sharp reflexes of Taylor denied Rafa Soares after the Portuguese full-back as Fulham went in search of an immediate equaliser but Southampton remained the more likely to score again.

As the half drew on, Will Smallbone – a replacement for Romeu – caught the eye with a composed and confident showing in the middle of the field, the U18 midfielder looking at home amongst his senior counterparts.

By that time Saints were firmly in control and fully deserved to double their advantage as Ward-Prowse tucked home on the rebound after fine work from Højbjerg on 74 minutes.

The crossbar denied McQueen from adding a third while youngsters Sam Vokins, Richard Bakary and Siph Mdlalose replaced Redmond, Ward-Prowse and Boufal for the closing stages.

Minutes under the belt for first-team players and the opportunity to impress for a handful of Saints Academy graduates: a positive afternoon for boss Pellegrino at Staplewood Campus.

Southampton 2-0 Fulham (Austin 45’, Ward-Prowse 69’)

Southampton XI: Taylor; Targett, Stephens, Gardos, McQueen; Romeu (Smallbone), Højbjerg; Redmond (Bakary), Ward-Prowse (Vokins), Boufal (Mdlalose); Austin.

Fulham XI: Bettinelli, Odoi, Madl, Djalo, Soares, de la Torre (Francois), Cisse, O’Reilly, Graham, Fonte (Humphrys), Mollo.

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