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Southampton ruin Koeman’s St Mary’s return

Charlie Austin puts Southampton ahead against Everton after 41 seconds

Charlie Austin is the joint-top scoring Englishman for a Premier League club in all competitions this season after netting his ninth goal – the same number as Arsenal’s Theo Walcott

Charlie Austin scored after just 41 seconds to earn Southampton a first win in five Premier League games as Everton boss Ronald Koeman had an unhappy return to St Mary’s Stadium.

Everton had hardly touched the ball when Austin headed home from point-blank range after an assist from 19-year-old debutant Josh Sims.

Koeman, who was given a mixed reception on his return to the club he left in June, saw his side miss numerous chances to equalise.

The best fell to Idrissa Gueye, but the former Aston Villa midfielder shot over after Seamus Coleman’s cut-back.

The win lifts Southampton up to 10th in the Premier League, two points behind seventh-placed Everton.

Read more: Koeman ‘worried’ by Everton displays

Relive the action from Sunday’s Premier League games

One shot on target for toothless Everton

Defeat means Everton have won once in eight Premier League games, with Koeman’s honeymoon period well and truly over.

In an entertaining game, his side created enough to ensure his return to the club he successfully managed for two seasons would be fruitful.

But Everton tested Saints keeper Fraser Forster just once – a tame 93rd-minute shot by Gareth Barry.

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Ronald Koeman (left) was given a mixed reception by home fans on his return to Southampton

As well as Gueye’s wild miss, Barry and Ross Barkley headed great chances over while Yannick Bolasie wasted a further two opportunities in a game during which striker Romelu Lukaku, despite playing the full 90 minutes, had just 35 touches.

It could have been worse for the visitors. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg hit the outside of the Everton post after the interval, while Maarten Stekelenburg brilliantly kept out Austin’s flying header and Phil Jagielka cleared off the line from James Ward-Prowse.

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Romelu Lukaku had as many touches in his own penalty area as Southampton’s

It does not get any easier for Koeman. Three of their next four league games are at home to Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool.

Have the Saints found a star in the making?

Saints boss Claude Puel sprang a major surprise by naming teenage forward Sims in the side ahead of experienced attacking options Shane Long and Jay Rodriguez.

Sims was selected after impressing for the under-23 side, and the England youth international grasped his chance with a mature and confident display.

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Josh Sims (left) had a passing accuracy of 95% in the first half – the best of any player

He had already had a shot charged down when he lifted the ball into the path of Austin to open the scoring as some fans were still taking their seats.

Sims used his pace to cause Everton’s defence problems and, in a display which augurs well for Southampton’s future, tested Stekelenburg with a header and a shot from distance.

He also ensured Leighton Baines left with a bruise or two after an over-enthusiastic challenge, before receiving a standing ovation when he was replaced six minutes from the end.

Man of the match – Charlie Austin (Southampton)

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Sims caught the eye with an impressive debut for Southampton but Austin once again proved the difference. He would have had another goal but for an excellent save by Stekelenburg

‘A pleasure to watch’

Southampton boss Claude Puel: “It was a very good performance for us because we had a lot of injury problems before the match.

“It was a good game against a good team, it had lovely action and I took pleasure from our chances – it’s interesting for the future.

“Josh Sims – for his first Premier League game, I guess it’s OK! I am happy for him and the team. He showed very good progress with the under-23s and I thought it would be a good opportunity for him.

“I think it’s important to respect the academy here and when we have problems with injuries it’s fantastic to be able to start players from the academy.”

Everton manager Ronald Koeman: “Our start was really poor because even the kick-off was ours and we lost the ball too fast.

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Poor start cost Everton – Koeman

“I can’t complain about our second half but if you don’t score, you can’t win.

“I wasn’t aware of Josh Sims when I was here and he is not my problem – I work for Everton, not Southampton.”

‘Travel sick Everton’

  • The Toffees have lost four of their past five league games away from home, including conceding seven consecutive goals without reply and are on a run of three successive losses.
  • Southampton have kept 13 clean sheets against Everton in the Premier League – three more than any other side the Saints have faced.
  • Josh Sims is the sixth Southampton player to provide an assist on his Premier League debut. He is the youngest at 19 years and 244 days old.
  • It took Everton 92 minutes and 21 seconds to have their first shot on target.

What’s next?

After playing in the Europa League last Thursday and the Premier League on Sunday, Southampton now turn their attention to Wednesday’s EFL Cup quarter-final at Arsenal (19:45 GMT). Everton have a full week to prepare for Manchester United’s visit to Goodison Park next Sunday (16:00 GMT).

Reaction

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Everton boss Ronald Koeman posted this message on Twitter after the game

Live Text

Match ends, Southampton 1, Everton 0.

Second Half ends, Southampton 1, Everton 0.

Attempt saved. Gareth Barry (Everton) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Yannick Bolasie.

Attempt missed. Kevin Mirallas (Everton) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Romelu Lukaku.

Attempt blocked. James Ward-Prowse (Southampton) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Jordy Clasie.

Attempt missed. Enner Valencia (Everton) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Kevin Mirallas with a cross.

Substitution, Southampton. Shane Long replaces Charlie Austin.

Attempt missed. Enner Valencia (Everton) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Seamus Coleman with a cross.

Substitution, Southampton. Sam McQueen replaces Josh Sims.

Ashley Williams (Everton) is shown the yellow card.

Substitution, Everton. Enner Valencia replaces Leighton Baines.

Attempt blocked. Seamus Coleman (Everton) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Kevin Mirallas.

Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Maarten Stekelenburg.

Attempt saved. James Ward-Prowse (Southampton) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Cédric Soares with a cross.

Cédric Soares (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Yannick Bolasie (Everton).

Substitution, Southampton. Jordy Clasie replaces Nathan Redmond.

Romelu Lukaku (Everton) is shown the yellow card.

Attempt missed. James Ward-Prowse (Southampton) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Charlie Austin.

Attempt saved. James Ward-Prowse (Southampton) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

Corner, Everton. Conceded by Cédric Soares.

Foul by Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (Southampton).

Yannick Bolasie (Everton) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Nathan Redmond (Southampton) right footed shot from the left side of the box is high and wide to the right.

Foul by Josh Sims (Southampton).

Leighton Baines (Everton) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Nathan Redmond (Southampton).

Seamus Coleman (Everton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution, Everton. Kevin Mirallas replaces Ross Barkley.

Attempt missed. Yannick Bolasie (Everton) right footed shot from the left side of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Ross Barkley.

Foul by Virgil van Dijk (Southampton).

Phil Jagielka (Everton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Josh Sims (Southampton) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Phil Jagielka (Everton).

Oriol Romeu (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Ross Barkley (Everton).

Substitution, Everton. Gerard Deulofeu replaces Aaron Lennon.

Cédric Soares (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Yannick Bolasie (Everton).

Foul by Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (Southampton).