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Saints secure Sociedad win
Updated 6:01pm Saturday 10th August 2013 in Saints News
Saints rounded off their pre-season campaign with a 4-3 win over Real Sociedad.
The match also threw up plenty of questions for the Saints boss to answer just a week before the Premier League kick-off at West Brom and a major injury worry over Luke Shaw.
The teenage left back had to be helped from the field just before half time with what looked a worrying knee injury that surely rules him out of England under-21 duty in midweek – the fourth time that will have happened - and makes him a major doubt for the season opener.
Also a big doubt for that game will be Nathaniel Clyne, whose injury meant he was again unable to figure.
Saints got off to a great start as they took the lead after just seven minutes.
Saints poured the pressure on Sociedad with some superb interplay between the attacking players and with some of their Spanish counterparts looking a little disinterested.
Jay Rodriguez forced the keeper into two smart saves, Shaw’s surging run almost brought rewards while Jos Hooiveld’s effort from a corner was hacked off the line.
Despite all that Sociedad equalised against the run of play on 29 minutes.
Some awful Saints defending, missing several attempts to clear inside their own box, led to Gorka Elustondo being allowed to finish for 1-1.
It didn’t stay that way for long though as central midfield pair Victor Wanyama and Morgan Schneidlerin linked up with the former playing in the latter who finished.
Once again the lead didn’t last long, five minutes on this occasion, as a simple diagonal ball cross field ball landing in the path of Carlos Vela.
He took one touch to control and another to fire low into the far corner.
Another Saints goal was quick to arrive however as Jos Hooiveld headed home Lallana’s corner.
Lambert found himself in the book after shoving Alberto de la Bella, who was also cautioned for his part in an unseemly flare up in the corner, before the injury to Shaw meant an entertaining half finished on a worrying note.
The second half never competed as spectacle with both sides continually making changes.
Sociedad levelled things up on 59 minutes as Vela played in Haris Seferovic who forced home via the inside of the near post.
Just when it seemed the game was destined to finished level Puncheon came up with the winner.
There was certainly a hint of fortune about it as Lloyd Isgrove totally mishit a shot which ended up turning into an assist for Puncheon.
There was also a hint of offside about it too, but Puncheon was determined not to miss out on any luck coming his way and duly finished off from close range to secure the win.
Saints: Boruc (K Davis 46), Chambers (Cork 62), Lovren (Yoshida 62), Hooiveld (Fonte 46), Shaw (Fox 45), Wanyama (Ward-Prowse 62), Schneiderlin (Isgrove 75), Lallana (Punchon75), Do Prado (S Davis 46), Rodriguez (Mayuka 75), Lambert (Ramirez 46).
Real Sociedad: Bravo, Sangalli, Ansotegi, Cadamuro (Martinez 46), De la Bella, X Prieto (Zurutuza 67), Elustondo, Ros (Pardo 67), Vela, Seferovic, Chory (Griezmann 62)
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