Top 10 goals of the season
Not a lot of time has passed since the decision to postpone all Premier League activity was taken due to the ongoing coronavirus situation.
But in truth, it has felt like many weeks already.
No one knows what will happen to the 2019/20 campaign once the outbreak has eased with the safety of fans and players alike the most important aspect at this difficult time.
So, why don’t we remind ourselves what life was like when we could experience the outbursting of joy when the ball ripples into the back of the net.
I’ve taken a look back at this season (potentially so far) and picked out my 10 favourite goals scored by Southampton players
In all competitions, Saints have scored an impressive 46 goals in a rollercoaster of a campaign that eventually saw the side ease themselves into a relatively comfortable position in midtable.
So these selections weren’t easy with lots of eye-catching strikes by players wearing red and white.
Without further ado, we start with my 10th favourite goal:
10. James Ward-Prowse: Southampton 2-1 Watford, 30th November
This goal makes my list largely because of the magnitude of the moment at St Mary’s.
Saints were in desperate need of a victory against fellow strugglers Watford and had to come from behind to collect a necessary three points.
Going into the 83rd minute, the scores were still level with the pressure on Ward-Prowse to deliver something special from a free-kick in a great position.
But if he was feeling any pressure, he certainly didn’t show it as his shot squeezed into the top corner, beating Ben Foster’s best attempts to keep it out.
Who knows what would’ve followed had this free-kick not gone in, with this being the match that really kick-started their upturn in fortune over the winter period.
9. Danny Ings: Portsmouth 0-4 Southampton, 24th September
It may say something about the quality of these goals that Danny Ings’ opener against Portsmouth comes so low down in my list.
The striker was well found by Ward-Prowse on the edge of the box with his excellent first touch taking him away from the defender and setting up a better angle to get a shot in on goal.
The low driven effort was hit too firmly to be stopped with this being the moment that settled any nerves amongst the Saints camp and allowed the side to head towards a memorable victory.
The photos that followed of the boyhood Southampton fan knee sliding in front of the Portsmouth supporters is also one of the images of the season.
8. Stuart Armstrong: Crystal Palace 0-2 Southampton, 21st January
It wouldn’t feel right to exclude Armstrong from this list after an excellent season where he really broke into the side and is now a firm fan favourite.
This strike came soon after half-time in South London to help secure the three points that proved massively important in easing the relegation fears.
Nathan Redmond found the Scottish international in acres of space, around 30 yards out from goal.
He took one touch to move into some of that empty space before unleashing an effort that curled away from Vicente Guaita’s outstretched fingertips and into the back of the net.
7. Michael Obafemi: Chelsea 0-2 Southampton, 26th December
One of Southampton’s finest wins of the season came in a comfortable victory at Stamford Bridge on Boxing Day.
It was a superb Michael Obafemi goal that set the ball rolling towards a brilliant result.
Ralph Hasenhuttl made the rather bold decision to rest Danny Ings for this clash with Obafemi partnering Che Adams at the top of the field.
Obafemi certainty didn’t feel the pressure of having to fill that void as he gave Saints the lead out of very little on the half hour mark.
Saints won possession on the halfway line before Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg fired the ball towards Obafemi who expertly turned towards goal, surged forward to just inside the box and produced an unstoppable finish into the top left corner of the net.
6. Moussa Djenepo: Brighton 0-2 Southampton, 24th August
Saints’ first win of the season came at the Amex Stadium in August but for a long time, it was looking like the wait would go on against a stubborn Brighton side.
That was until Moussa Djenepo introduced himself to the Southampton faithful in some style.
The Mali international was brought on after 53 minutes with the aim for him to contribute to break the deadlock, and he only needed two minutes to do just that.
Ings picked him out to the left of the goal, over 30 yards out. He then took the ball down before getting into a position where he could get it onto his right boot and firing the ball to the left of Mat Ryan from the edge of the box.
This sight of seeing the ball smack the back of the net sent the visiting supporters into raptures behind that goal in some great pictures for the camera as the relief of a first victory was in sight.
5. Nathan Redmond: Portsmouth 0-4 Southampton, 24th September
In truth, I could have included all four of these goals from this memorable south coast derby in this list.
But in terms of execution of the goal, Redmond’s strike was arguably the best of the lot.
His determination to latch onto a loose ball was exemplary before some great dribbling that took him to the edge of the box before an expertly taken finish.
This was also the goal that ensured Pompey were well and truly humbled in their own back yard with Saints going 4-0 up against their arch rivals.
4. Danny Ings: Southampton 1-0 Tottenham, 1st January
It was inevitable that Ings would make this list after scoring 15 league goals this season, the fifth most in the division. And this one was arguably his best.
As was becoming a pattern in many of Saints’ goals, Jack Stephens played an excellent ball forward to Ings who had made a clever run in between the Spurs defenders.
With his first touch, the 27-year old took the ball over ex-Saint Toby Alderweireld before striking the ball past Hugo Lloris with his weaker left foot.
This brilliant goal gave Hasenhuttl’s side a crucial three points against the North London outfit on New Year’s Day.
3. Moussa Djenepo: Sheffield United 0-1 Southampton, 14th September
Like their first win, Saints’ second victory of the season came courtesy of some magic from new signing Moussa Djenepo.
This one edges his first one for me due to the amount of skill, strength and honesty that was at play at Bramall Lane.
The piece of inspiration came midway through the second-half as he picked the ball close the halfway line with few signs that Saints could get anywhere near the goal in this particular move.
However, he starts by expertly dribbling past and holding off a Sheffield midfielder that moved him to the edge of the box; in this moment he could’ve taken the opportunity to go down and win a free-kick but he stayed on his feet and reaped the rewards that followed.
The 21-year old then burst into the box, two defenders in front and one behind breathing down his neck. He sold the dummy which left the defenders moving the other way as Djenepo opened up an angle to shoot before finding the bottom corner.
2. Nathan Redmond: Crystal Palace 0-2 Southampton, 21st January
A fantastic performance by Saints matched by two spectacular goals at Selhurst Park with Armstrong’s own submission already making this list.
The first of which was also rather special from Nathan Redmond.
Jack Stephens played an incisive looped ball up to the 26-year old who took the ball down well, turned the Palace defender who was marking touch tight before holding off another defender and rifling the ball into the top corner of Guaita’s net.
It was an outstanding solo goal from last season’s player of the year, reminding us all of what he is capable of.
1.Nathan Redmond: Chelsea 0-2 Southampton, 26th December
This was liquid football at its finest as Redmond takes the accolade of my top two spots for goal of the season.
However, while the first was a brilliant solo effort, this makes my number one because it’s been a long time since I’ve seen a team goal executed that well by Southampton players.
The move perfectly illustrated the newfound confidence of the group as they moved the ball around with such ease from one end of the pitch to the other.
15 touches were made prior to Nathan Redmond providing the decisive one; Ryan Bertrand, Cedric Soares, Stuart Armstrong, James Ward-Prowse, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Jan Bednarek, Jack Stephens and Danny Ings were all involved before the most fortunate touch from Ngolo Kante played in Redmond to dink the ball over the goalkeeper.
In particular, the burst forward from Stephens, the sumptuerous link-up play between Armstrong and Ings as well as the overall movement from everyone to make themselves available made this goal a joy to watch.
Honourable mentions go to Will Smallbone and Jake Vokins both getting off the mark in the FA Cup win against Huddersfield with well taken efforts.
Further Danny Ings goals against Aston Villa, Spurs and Burnley were unlucky not to make the cut while Che Adams’ assist for Stuart Armstrong’s goal against Villa also could’ve been enough to enter the top 10.
Sofiane Boufal against Spurs, Michael Obafemi against West Ham and Jan Bednarek against Wolves were also solid efforts that deserve a mention.
All we can hope for now is to see more of these types of goals sooner rather than later, but in the meantime its memories like these that we’ve got to keep us going to remind us what we’ve got to look forward to when we eventually return.
Keep safe & well