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Saints 1 Stoke 1
Updated 6:11pm Sunday 19th May 2013 in Sport
This live event has finished
- Former Saints striker Peter Crouch gives Stoke the lead just after half time
- Rickie Lambert scores the equaliser
- Lambert ends the season as the joint top English goalscorer in the top flight
- Saints finish the season in 14th place
Confirmation then that Saints end the season in 14th place while Rickie Lambert's goal today sees him finish as the joint top English goalscorer in the Premier League
That is the season over.
No wins in the last seven for Saints but the most important thing is that they have stayed up.
Have to wait on other results but as it stands Saints will finish in 14th.
SAINTS 1 STOKE 1
Into the last of three minutes of stoppage time
Mayuka so nearly signs off the season with a rare moment to remember as he drags a shot from outside the area into the side netting
Good effort from Puncheon but again Begovic makes the save
Another goal for West Ham puts them 3-2 up so that top half finish seems very unlikely once more
Final change for Saints with Emmanuel Mayuka getting another brief appearance in place of Jack Cork
Rodriguez does well to hold off a Stoke defender and get a shot away but it's straight at Beogvic. Decent effort
Changes for both side. James Ward-Prowse on for Steven Davis for Saints.
Slightly more acclaim for Michael Owen, the seventh highest ever Premier League goalscorer, who comes on for Walters
In contrast to the first half, the second is much better and you would fancy there is a winner there for somebody in this one
Second change for Stoke as Cameron Jerome, who scored that amazing equaliser when the teams met earlier in the season, is on for Etherington
First change for Saints as Adam Lallana's season comes to an end as he is replaced by Jason Puncheon
Amazingly Reading have staged a comeback to make it 2-2 at West Ham.
They still need another goal, as do Saints, but suddenly a top half finish doesn't seem totally out of reach.
As it stands now Saints are finishing as they started the day in 14th.
SAINTS 1 STOKE 1 - Lambert (57)
Lallana gets the ball in from the right, Stoke fail to clear and the ball is cut back to Steven Davis.
He drills in a low shot from just inside the area that Begovic saves low down to his left and it comes straight to Lambert, totally unmarked, and he makes no mistake in finishing from six yards out.
After six games without a goal that is just what he wanted ahead of the summer.
Saints really threatening now and Begovic has to work again.
It's another sweeping move that ends with a neat lay-off into Lambert whose first time shot is saved by the legs of the Stoke keeper.
As the Saints fans relaly find their voice Saints have a great chance, probably their best of the match.
Clyne gets in down the right and cuts back to Steven Davis whose low first time shot from the penalty spot is a little too central and Begovic gets down to his right to save.
SAINTS 0 STOKE 1 - Crouch (47)
Geoff Cameron gets down the right and whips in a cross and former Saints striker Peter Crouch flicks a header into the far corner.
It's really the first proper chance Stoke have had in the entire game.
Maybe this will spark a little more intensity into Saints' play.
Finishing the season with no wins in the last seven would be such a shame after those three wins in a row not that long ago.
The second half is underway
It's not exactly been a classic.
As it stands at half time Saints are going to finish the season a place lower than they started the day in 15th.
With West Ham leading 2-0 at home to Reading it would need a remarkable second half turnaround at Upton Park to give Saints a chance of a top ten finish.
However, if they could find a goal to give them a win they could leap up to 11th.
The difference between finishing 15th and 11th is more than £3m - possibly another player for Pochettino in the summer.
SAINTS 0 STOKE 0
Walters cut in from the right and hits a low left footed shot that Kelvin Davis gets down to comfortably save
Stoke have their first meaningful effort as Matthew Etherington attempts a volley from 20 yards that goes over the bar
Make no mistake Saints are still the best team but it is all a little flat as a few of the recent matches have been
Steven N'Zonzi goes in the book for a foul on Schneiderlin
Stoke forced into an early change with Marc Wilson limping off to be replaced by Andy Wilkinson
Quick Saints counter attack sees Steven Davis feed in Adam Lallana but Ryan Shotton makes the challenge in the area
Lambert has threatened a couple more time, lashing one shot wide and stretching to head over Clyne's cross
Saints look the better team early on, certainly the more threatening going forward.
Dean Whitehead is the first player in the book for bringing down Jay Rodriguez
Saints denied the perfect start.
A quick throw in down the right sees Adam Lallana cut inside and hit a low shot that Asmir Begovic tips onto the far post.
Rickie Lambert is on hand to fire the ball home but offside flag is correctly raised.
The game is underway
The teams are out and we are almost reayd for kick off
Remember that Saints are without a win in their last five league games and want to finish the season with a spring in their step rather than staggering over the line.
So anybody thinking today’s result is irrelevant to Saints, hear this from Pochettino.
"It is very important that we finish this season with a win," Pochettino said.
"We're in the Premier League next year and it is very important for us to win to be as high as possible in the table."
Only half an hour to go until the start of the final game of the season.
Seems like only yesterday we were all getting excited about the first day at Manchester City...
Away from training ground antics, Pochettino has praised the job done by Tony Pulis with speculation abounding that he may move on this summer.
"I want to highlight the job Tony Pulis has done at Stoke with a different philosophy to the way that Southampton play," he said.
"They fully believe in the way that they play. Again, it is different from the way Southampton play and they have carried it throughout this season.
"It is not easy to perform in that manner in the Premier League so I want to congratulate him on a job well done this season."
There is possibly a very good reason for the absence of Kenwyne Jones from the Stoke line-up today. Just a reminder...
Stoke’s build up has been dominated by the remarkable story that has come from their training ground involved former Saints striker Kenwyne Jones.
Jones has apologised to team-mate Glenn Whelan after smashing his car windscreen in a mistaken act of retribution for a training-ground prank which went wrong.
Jones took to Twitter to clarify the circumstances of an incident that has led to Stoke opening an internal investigation.
Jones revealed he had spoken to team-mates today, including Whelan, after he found a pig's head wrapped in his clothes at the Premier League club's Clayton Wood training ground.
The 28-year-old reacted by smashing Whelan's windscreen, but he was tonight left to apologise and offer pay for the damage after the Republic of Ireland international claimed he was not involved in the prank.
Addressing the issue on his Twitter page, Jones wrote: "First off for all the people saying this had anything to with racism I'm not endorsing that.
"Secondly i've apologised to glen Whelan for the destruction of his property.
"For all the people that think that the pigs head wrapped in my clothes was banter great so is the broken window.
"As far as tension in the squad there's nun (sic) myself and whelan had our thrash out and he said it wasnt him so I apologised n im paying for it.
"As for the person who did it no one has come fwd n apologised to me so I guess the joke was gd then.
"But as I said if you have the belly to take banter to that level be willing to accept the reaction. Thats final no more comments."
Stoke midfielder Brek Shea yesterday tweeted a picture of himself with the pig's head with the words "locker room banter gone wild".
The incident came just days after retiring striker Michael Owen had his car covered in eggs and flour by team-mates.
Jones was also involved on that occasion, tweeting a picture of Owen's car to his followers with the explanation that it was a "leaving present" for the former England star.
No sign of Kenwyne Jones after all the talk he has sparked over the past few days.
Another ex-Saint in Peter Crouch starts up front while Michael Owen is on the bench for his last game.
Just one change to the starting line-up for Saints as Artur Boruc drops out to be replaced by Kelvin Davis with Paolo Gazzaniga on the bench.
Both Luke Shaw and Rickie Lambert are fit enough to play.
Youngsters Calum Chambers and Lloyd Isgrove on the bench with the likes of Vegard Forren and Steve De Ridder failing to make it while Gaston Ramirez and Danny Fox are suspended.
SAINTS: K Davis, Clyne, Fonte, Hooiveld, Shaw, Schneiderlin, Cork, S Davis, Rodriguez, Lallana, Lambert.
Subs: Gazzaniga, Yoshida, Ward-Prowse, Chambers, Isgrove, Puncheon, Mayuka.
STOKE: Begovic, Shotton, Shawcross, Huth, Wilson, Walters, Nzonzi, Whitehead, Cameron, Etherington, Crouch.
Subs: Sorensen, Wilkinson, Palacios, Cuvelier, Kightly, Jerome, Owen.
Ref: Lee Probert
Here is Pocheittno talking about Owen. Note the wry grin.
An interesting little subplot to this game is that it will be Michael Owen’s last before retirement.
Mauricio Pochettino believes Michael Owen is one of England's greatest ever players, but hopes to ruin his farewell match after falling foul of the Stoke striker at the 2002 World Cup.
The 33-year-old former England striker admitted last year that he was "guilty" of going down when he could have stayed on his feet for both of his penalties against Argentina at the 1998 and 2002 World Cups.
The South Americans had the last laugh in the first tournament, but in Japan the act allowed David Beckham to score the only goal in a 1-0 win.
Pochettino was the man whose leg Owen tumbled over in Sapporo and has the chance to exact revenge tomorrow in the striker's last match before he retires.
"For me, he has been one of the greatest England footballers and I was unlucky to suffer his skill," the Saints boss said with a smile.
"It will be a great pleasure for me to say 'Hi' to him and meet him as well. Hopefully we can argue about that controversial play that happened in Japan way back.
"Perhaps in the tunnel going into the dressing room I will trip him up.
"Destiny will be very cruel if [he was to score the winner] and I don't think that I deserve that to happen to me."
For Stoke, midfielder Charlie Adam will sit out today’s game.
Adam serves a one-game ban after being dismissed for two bookable offences in a 2-1 defeat to Spurs at the Britannia Stadium five days ago.
Two other midfielders in Glenn Whelan (groin) and Brek Shea (calf) are both doubts, the latter picking up his injury in training this week.
Saints come into the game with injury worries.
Rickie Lambert and Luke Shaw are doubts for the season finale against Stoke.
Top scorer Lambert has been struggling with a knock to his back for a month and will be assessed, while 17-year-old left-back Shaw has had a virus.
Neither has trained this week, although manager Mauricio Pochettino is hopeful they could feature at St Mary's. Steve de Ridder and Vegard Forren are two others in doubt, while Gaston Ramirez and Danny Fox are suspended.
Hello and welcome to the Daily Echo’s live coverage of the final game of the Premier League season as Saints take on Stoke at St Mary’s.
It’s been quite a week at Saints.
No sooner had safety been secured then the talk turned to the future of the chairman, and eventually the manager, but an announcement yesterday means things should stay as they are throughout the summer.
For one last time this season the focus turns back to the action on the pitch.
Saints could finish anywhere from tenth to fourth from bottom depending on their result and results elsewhere, which is a big difference in prize money, which could affect the summer transfer budget.
So there is still plenty to play for.
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