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Saints 2 Stoke 2
Updated 5:26pm Saturday 8th February 2014 in Football
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- Saints extend unbeaten league run to five games with 2-2 draw
- All the goals came in a frantic first half at St Mary's
- Saints twice led, through Rickie Lambert and Steven Davis
- Stoke's replies came from Peter Odemwingie and Peter Crouch
- Saints remain eighth in the Premier League table
Saints remain ninth in the table tonight, after this draw with Stoke. Thanks for joining us this afternoon. We will have a full report and reaction for you on the website shortly. We will be back with our next blog on Tuesday night, when Saints make the trip to Hull.
SAINTS 2 STOKE 2
Stoke: Oussama Assaidi off, John Guidetti on (84 mins)
CHANCE (82 mins): Calum Chambers sends in a ball to the far post that finds Morgan Schneiderlin, but he puts his effort into the side netting.
Saints: Nathaniel Clyne off, Calum Chambers on (80 mins).
Stoke: Charlie Adam off, Steven N'Zonzi on (78 mins).
Peter Crouch cautioned for a poor tackle on Morgan Schneiderlin (67 mins).
CHANCE (65 mins): Rickie Lambert nods down a free-kick into the path of Jack Cork. The midfielder hits a well-struck half-volley, which flies just wide.
CHANCE (51 mins): Steven Davis drifts in a corner, which Jay Rodriguez meets around the penalty spot. His downward header has plenty of power, but skids just past the post.
The second half is underway
Saints 2 Stoke 2
SAINTS 2 STOKE 2 (Peter Crouch 44)
A very soft goal gifts Stoke another equaliser. Charlie Adam swings in a corner, which Artur Boruc should deal comfortably with. He makes a mess of punching it, though, and Peter Crouch is able to bundle the ball in.
SAINTS 2 STOKE 1 (Steven Davis 41)
Saints quickly back in front, with a rather fortunate goal from Davis. He swings over a left foot cross that eludes everyone and beats Asmir Begovic, before nestling in the far corner.
SAINTS 1 STOKE 1 (Peter Odemwingie 38)
Charlie Adam produces a stunning through pass that picks out Odemwingie, and he makes no mistake, slotting the ball past Artur Boruc to level the match.
Charlie Adam cautioned for handball (29 mins).
CHANCE (28 mins): Saints launch a superb counter attack after clearing a Stoke corner. Steven Davis skips clear of Mark Muniesa, sprints the length of the pitch, and plays in the overlapping Nathaniel Clyne. He tries to curl the ball past Asmir Begovic and into the far corner, but the Stoke keeper makes an excellent save.
CHANCE (24 mins): Saints have been looking comfortable, but Stoke occasionally offer a reminder of a potential threat. Erik Pieters swings in a cross from deep, which picks out the run of Jonathan Walters. He doesn't get the right connection with his diving header, though, as the ball skids well wide.
SAINTS 1 STOKE 0 (Rickie Lambert 6)
Charlie Adam charges down an Adam Lallana cross with his arms, giving Saints a free-kick just outside the left edge of Stoke's penalty area. Lambert produces a stunning effort, whipping the ball towards the far corner, beating the dive of Asmir Begovic and going in off the post.
The match is underway.
The teams are out here at St Mary's. Kick-off is just a few minutes away. Stay with us for updates throughout the match.
The players have finished their pre-match warm-ups and have headed back into the dressing rooms. Kick-off is now about ten minutes away.
Many of Saints' English contingent would last week have impressed national team manager Roy Hodsgon, who was in the stands for the 3-0 win at Fulham. Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana and Jay Rodriguez will all hope to strengthen their case for a place in the World Cup squad with another good performance today. They might not be the only ones in with a shot of making it to Brazil, though. Saints' honorary president Terry Paine believes that 18-year-old left-back Luke Shaw should be given a chance to prove himself with the senior England team.
I still think he can make it. He would certainly be one that I would be looking at. For me, he has to be in the running. I would certainly be calling him up for the friendly before the World Cup. He’s as good as, if not better than, what we’ve got at left-back.Terry Paine
Another win for Saints today would keep their slim hopes of earning a Europa League place alive. It is a prize, however, that Saints boss Mauricio Pochettino is not so keen on receiving. Click here to find out what he had to say about the competition.
Today's match will be Saints' one and only home fixture during February, barring an FA Cup replay against Sunderland. After this, Mauricio Pochettino's men face trips to Hull, the Black Cats, and West Ham, before returning to St Mary's to face Liverpool on March 1.
We are currently four games unbeaten with our league form, and look forward to playing back at St Mary's again today which is something we will savour, as it is a little while until we play here again. Before our next match here, we travel to Hull, Sunderland and West Ham in both league and cup competition where your support will be greatly received at those games.Mauricio Pochettino, in today's programme
Saints midfielder Jack Cork is back in the starting line-up today. It has been a difficult season at times for the 24-year-old, though, after losing his place in the team to summer signing Victor Wanyama. Cork spoke honestly this week about his situation and how he felt during the first half of the season. You can read the full interview here, but here is a snippet...
It was a strange one, because I hadn’t felt that I’d done anything wrong. I finished a good season last year and I just felt a bit helpless really that I couldn’t do anything to effect what people thought of me. It was a bit frustrating. It felt like ages. It was only 15 games, but it felt like the longest period ever.Jack Cork
Saints make two changes from the team that won 3-0 at Fulham last weekend. Jack Cork replaces Victor Wanyama in the centre of midfield, while Nathaniel Clyne comes in for Calum Chambers at right-back. Both Wanyama and Chambers are among the substitutes. Stoke also make two changes, with Marc Muniesa and Oussama Assaidi replacing Marc Wilson and Marko Arnautovic.
SAINTS: Boruc; Clyne, Fonte, Yoshida, Shaw; Schneiderlin, Cork; S Davis, Lallana, Rodriguez; Lambert.
Subs: K Davis, Hooiveld, Chambers, Wanyama, Ward-Prowse, Isgrove, Do Prado.
STOKE: Begovic, Cameron, Shawcross, Muniesa, Pieters, Odemwingie, Adam, Whelan, Assiadi, Walters, Crouch.
Subs: Sorensen, Palacios, N'Zonzi, Guidetti, Wilkinson, Shotton, Ireland.
Referee: Craig Pawson.
Stoke squad news: Stoke will check on the fitness of forwards Marko Arnautovic and Jonathan Walters. Both players suffered knocks in last week's victory over Manchester United, while defender Marc Wilson is also a doubt after missing some training this week with a chest infection. Midfielder Steven Nzonzi is available again after suspension, but Andy Wilkinson, Matthew Etherington and Robert Huth remain on the sidelines.
Saints squad news: Victor Wanyama should be available for Southampton's clash with Stoke, although Calum Chambers is a doubt for the match. Kenyan midfielder Wanyama sustained a knock in last weekend's 3-0 win at Fulham, but has been training this week and will be assessed before kick-off. Chambers, who picked up a dead leg at Fulham, is more of a doubt. Teenage striker Sam Gallagher will not be available following a family bereavement, while Dejan Lovren and Gaston Ramirez (both ankle) remain absent.
Hello and welcome to this Daily Echo blog, covering Saints' Premier League clash with Stoke City, at St Mary's. Mauricio Pochettino's men are looking to extend their unbeaten league run to five matches. A victory for Saints today could move them up to eighth in the table, depending on Newcastle's result at Chelsea. We will have build-up, team news and match updates for you throughout the afternoon.