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Southampton 2-0 Fulham Prem 09 1314 Daily Mail

last updated Monday 28th October 2013, 10:37 AM
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Ian Stafford at Daily Mail

Southampton (2) 2 Fulham (0) 0

Fulham forgot how to play football So much for Rickie Lambert enduring a poor spell, then. The centre forward scored one and set up the other as Southampton's stay with the big boys in the Premier League looks likely to go on for some time yet.

The home fans packed inside St Mary's made their feelings known about their favourite player. 'Rickie Lambert's going to Brazil,' they sang and if England boss Roy Hodgson watches him and remembers his part in England qualifying for the World Cup, he may well agree. Certainly Saints boss Mauricio Pochettino thinks so.

Rickie is amazingly important to this club,' said the Argentine. 'He showed again today how good he is and if he keeps on putting performances in like that it's more than likely he'll go to Brazil.'

The post-game stats underline how easy this win was for a Southampton side who find themselves third this morning, the highest top flight position for the south coast club since the heady days of the 1982-3 season when a team managed by Lawrie McMenemy and sporting the likes of Frank Worthington, Mick Mills and Mark Wright would pack out the old Dell.

Southampton enjoyed 66 per cent of the possession, produced 549 passes to Fulham's 234 passes and fired 20 shots at the visitors' net compared to their opponents' solitary effort from Steve Sidwell. Another clean sheet means it's three goals conceded in nine games.

'It was an extraordinary display,' added Pochettino. 'As for the rest of the season? The sky's the limit.'

Martin Jol's post-match verdict could not have been more contrasting.

'We forgot how to play football,' admitted the Fulham manager. 'We were hammered in the first half and Southampton will be disappointed they didn't win by a lot more.'

The west Londoners had won their last two games to ease early season jitters, including last Monday's night thrashing of Crystal Palace that prompted Ian Holloway's departure, and with Pajtim Kasami and Sidwell scoring two contenders for goal of the season they arrived in good spirits.

But after a quarter of the game they trailed and Saints should have been well clear. First Martin Stekelenburg parried Adam Lallana's shot after the captain dispossessed Philippe Senderos and then Fernando Amorebieta cleared off the line from Morgan Schneiderlin.

Lambert tested Stekelenburg and Victor Wanyama shot just wide before crowd favourite Lambert found the net with a 21st- minute back post header after Jay Rodriguez's flick-on from a corner. Lambert also hit a post before his looping header across the face of the goal gave Rodriguez the chance to nod in at the far post.

Southampton (4-4-2): Boruc 6; Clyne 6, Fonte 6, Lovren 7, Shaw 6; Ward-Prowse 7 (Cork 90), Wanyama 7, Schneiderlin 6, Lallana 7; Rodriguez 8 (Do Prado 78), Lambert 7.
Subs not used: K Davis, Ramírez, Lee, Chambers, Hooiveld.

Fulham (4-4-1-1): Stekelenburg 6; Riether 5 (Hughes 46 5), Senderos 5, Amorebieta 5, Richardson 5; Ruiz 5 (Kacaniklic 80), Sidwell 5, Parker 5, Kasami 4; Berbatov 4; Bent 5 (Rodallega 75 5).
Subs not used: Stockdale, Karagounis, Duff, Zverotic.

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