Austin double takes Saints into top eight
Charlie Austin scored twice as Southampton beat Burnley 3-1 at St Mary’s yesterday to climb into the top eight of the Premier League.
The south coast club were in dominant form, with Nathan Redmond also on target before Sam Vokes pulled a goal back for the visitors late on. It was a fine way for the Saints to start a run of seven fixtures in 22 days, with their next game a Europa League clash against Italian giants Inter Milan.
Burnley kept the game goalless until the second half before the Saints scored three goals in 14 minutes after the break.
They might have been ahead earlier in the match but Austin’s fifth-minute header was well-saved by Burnley goalkeeper Tom Heaton. Southampton’s Dusan Tadic was also denied by Heaton when one-on-one with the keeper in the 31st minute.
Redmond and Austin also had chances in the first half but poor finishing kept the game goalless. Southampton’s pressure, however, told in the second period with a quickfire three-goal burst.
In the 52nd minute, Tadic’s corner was headed across goal by Virgil van Dijk and Austin, at the second attempt and amid some poor defending by the Clarets, scored from in front of goal.
On the hour, Southampton doubled their lead courtesy of a fine goal from Redmond. Following another corner, he waited for the ball to arrive before striking a low finish beyond the reach of Heaton and into the bottom right corner.
Minutes later, Austin put the result beyond doubt with a penalty awarded after Burnley’s Johann Berg Gudmundsson brought down Sam McQueen. The goal was the forward’s seventh in six games.
Burnley managed a consolation goal 18 minutes from time when referee Mike Dean pointed to the penalty spot for a foul by Tadic on Ben Mee and Vokes scored as the Saints finally conceded for the first time in over 10 hours.
The Clarets’ loss was their third in four games and left them just a point above the bottom three.
SOUTHAMPTON: Southampton’s Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk (R) heads the ball during the English Premier League football match between Southampton and Burnley at St Mary’s Stadium in Southampton, southern England yesterday. — AFP