Southampton vs. Fulham  2 - 2

Article

Adkins reveals Ramirez hospitalised

7 October 2012 20:26

Nigel Adkins said Gaston Ramirez was left out of his Southampton squad to face Fulham due to a dead leg suffered in training on Thursday.

The Uruguyuan was absent as Saints drew 2-2 at home to the Cottagers, with Jose Fonte heading home late on to secure his second goal of the day as well as a vital point for his side.

"Gaston picked up a dead leg in training on Thursday," Adkins told Sky Sports.

"It is a bad one too, his thigh muscle has swollen up and he was actually in hospital for a couple of days. It was a nasty injury he got and he won't go on international duty."

Adkins was happy with his side's performance in the first half but suggested they did not maintain the intensity into the second period.

The point takes them out of the bottom three but the Saints still only have the one win to their name.

He added: "From 1-0 up, it's two points dropped.

"We did well first half. We pressed the ball well, got on the front foot, played a good high line and we scored a good goal from a set play and forged some good opportunities. Second-half we didn't maintain that high line of pressing.

"Fulham are a good side, it isn't a case of willingly beating Fulham. But we need to be picking up maximum points at home."

Fulham manager Martin Jol bemoaned his side's first-half performance as they gave up a late lead to earn a point at St Mary's.

The Dutch coach was happy with his side's application in the second period but was still frustrated with the first-half showing that left them trailing 1-0 after Fonte scored his first goal in the early stages.

"I wasn't pleased with the first or second goal but I was very pleased with the resilience and the character and the mental strength," Jol told Sky Sports.

"Although we were a bit worried in midfield to play, we didn't play, we did better in the second half.

"We stood up and played like we always did before. We put them under pressure and my best players in the second half had the ball – Bryan Ruiz, Giorgos Karagounis, and we played football."

The Fulham chief was also left frustrated by a number of decisions made by referee Mark Clattenburg, with Southampton's equaliser coming after what Jol felt was a questionable free-kick that was awarded to the hosts.

"The ref acted as if he did not see it," Jol said.

"And then two seconds later it was a free-kick to them. But OK, that happens and of course, if it doesn't they wouldn't have scored."

Striker Dimitar Berbatov was left out of Fulham's squad after struggling with a hip injury but Jol confirmed the Bulgarian was close to returning to the team.

"He was very close (to playing against Southampton)," he revealed.

"He told me on Monday he would probably play and then on Friday he said he didn't want to take a risk.

"He came to me yesterday and he was doing a test today in London and if they (he and Mladen Petric) would have been fit, they would have traveled to Southampton maybe to be on the bench or maybe in Berbatov's case to start. But he is on the fringe of being fit."

Article

Premier League: Southampton 2 Fulham 2

7 October 2012 16:44

Jose Fonte's equaliser with minutes remaining saw Southampton salvage a point in a 2-2 draw at home to Fulham in the English Premier League.

Southampton took the lead in the match at St Mary's Stadium through a Fonte header at the near post from an accurate Adam Lallana corner just four minutes in.

Having already thrown away nine points from winning positions so far this term, the hosts resorted to type in the second half on Sunday when Jos Hooiveld turned a stinging strike from John Arne Riise into his own net to bring the scores level.

Fulham took the lead for the first time through Kieran Richardson with two minutes remaining in normal time after he converted Sascha Reither's excellent low cross, but Fonte responded by nodding in his second of the game to make it 2-2 in the 90th minute.

After a bright start from the hosts, their pressure told when Fonte managed to guide in a deft header into the far post from an in-swinging Lallana corner.

With Fulham dominating possession but creating little, Jason Puncheon had an effort cleared off the line and then a goal chalked off for fouling Mark Schwarzer after a series of dangerous set-pieces.

Trying to put a lacklustre opening half behind them, Fulham went close to troubling the scorers on the hour mark, when Maya Yoshida deflected the ball onto his own post under pressure from Steve Sidwell.

Southampton goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga then pulled off an excellent stop to deny Hugo Rodallega from point-blank range.

The visitors did not have to wait much longer to find an equaliser when, in the 69th minute, after spreading the ball around the pitch, the ball worked its way out to Riise on the edge of the box.

The fullback drove a vicious effort toward goal and saw substitute Hooiveld deflect it right into the top-left corner of the net.

Fulham went ahead in the 87th minute through substitute Richardson, who had his effort deflected home past Gazzaniga after some great work by Reither down the right touchline.

However, the drama did not end there, Fonte nodding in his second of the afternoon at the back post after getting the better of Brede Hangeland in the air from yet another superb Lallana free-kick.

Despite the hosts piling the pressure on with some hopeful punts into the box, Fulham managed to hold on and both sides shared the spoils at the final whistle.

Article

Premier League preview: Southampton v Fulham

5 October 2012 09:17

Southampton welcome Fulham to St Mary's Stadium on Sunday in a game likely to produce plenty of goals.

Though entertaining, the Saints have let in an average of three goals a game in their first six matches back in the top flight.

Manager Nigel Adkins' cavalier approach has made for some entertaining clashes with the better sides in the league, but the leaky defence will have to tighten up if the south coast club are to have any chance of staying in the top flight.

With 18 goals, Southampton have conceded more than any other side in the league and are yet to record a clean sheet, despite bagging 10 at the other end.

Record signing Gaston Ramirez will fly the banner for the club's hopes of survival and has already integrated well in the middle of the park, scoring his first goal in his second start for the club in a 3-1 loss to Everton last Saturday.

In addition, 17-year-old James Ward-Prowse looks like the next prodigy to come out of Southampton's famed youth academy, already putting in a number of mature performances in midfield after debuting in a 3-2 loss to Manchester City on the opening weekend of the season.

Southampton's fixture list has not been kind either, with clashes against last season's top three in Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal and high-flying Everton all coming in the first six games.

Compare that to fellow promoted side West Ham United, who have won three times but not faced a team inside the top 10 yet, and you get the sense upcoming fixtures against some of the weaker sides will better define Southampton's season.

Traditionally, opponents Fulham have been exceptional at home and woeful away, a trend that has continued this season.

Fulham have scored nine of their 13 goals at Craven Cottage, including a 5-0 win over Swansea and 3-0 result against West Brom.

Striker Mladen Petric has made an immediate impact with three of those in four league games, to some extent off-setting the double departure of key playmakers Moussa Dembele and Clint Dempsey.

But strike partner and fellow signing Dimitar Berbatov is unlikely to return for at least a couple of weeks, having missed last Saturday's 2-1 defeat at home to Manchester City with a thigh strain.

With Southampton's suspect defence, particularly down the left side where right-back Nathaniel Clyne is being utilised as a makeshift option, Fulham will find their best avenue to goal.

The Saints were very difficult to beat at home last season in the Championship and scored four against Aston Villa to pick up their only points of the season nearly a fortnight ago, meaning goals will be likely for both sides.

Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 38 +43 89
2 38 +32 78
3 38 +36 75
4 38 +35 73
5 38 +20 72
6 38 +15 63
7 38 +28 61
8 38 -4 49
9 38 -4 46
10 38 -8 46
11 38 -17 44
12 38 -10 43
13 38 -11 42
14 38 -11 41
15 38 -22 41
16 38 -23 41
17 38 -13 39
18 38 -26 36
19 38 -30 28
20 38 -30 25