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The Gaffa Against.... Southampton

Sunderland make the long journey to Southampton on Saturday looking for their first Premier League win of the season. Ahead of the game, we take a look at David Moyes’ record against the Saints.

The History

Moyes has met Southampton just ten times in his managerial career, stretching from April 2002 to October 2013. Of those ten games, Moyes has won four, drawn five and lost only once, averaging 1.76 points per game.

Games between the two have tended to be low scoring encounters. Teams managed by Moyes against the Saints have scored just thirteen goals in ten games while conceding only nine, keeping four clean sheets in the process.

Moyes’ first win against Southampton came in his very first meeting with the Saints in April 2002. It was only his seventh game in charge of the Toffees, having replaced Walter Smith in March. The winner was scored by Steve Watson, who clipped the ball past Paul Jones after being played in by Kevin Campbell. A fourth success in seven games for Moyes saw Everton climb above their opponents and establish a seven point gap between themselves and Ipswich in 18th place.

Moyes’ first and only loss at the hands of Southampton came just five months later in a 1-0 St Mary’s defeat. Injuries had disrupted Everton’s start to the season, winning just one of their first four games. Despite dominating the game, Moyes’ side were unable to find a breakthrough, and after Marian Pahars was awarded a controversial penalty, the Latvian made no mistake in consigning the Toffees to back to back defeats.

Highlight: Premier League: Everton 3:1 Southampton (29/9/2012)

Following a disappointing League Cup defeat to Leeds in mid-week, Everton bounced back in style with a comprehensive defeat of the Saints at Goodison Park. It looked as if Moyes’ side would suffer a League Cup hangover when Gaston Ramirez put the visitors in front after just five minutes, but they fought back and levelled the score through Leon Osman. The impressive Nikica Jelavic then put the Blues in front, giving a flowing team move the finish it deserved.

Jelavic added his second, and Everton’s third, just six minutes later, heading in Seamus Coleman’s cross from a tight angle, making it three goals in thirteen minutes for the hosts. And despite taking their foot off the pedal in the second half, a first half of scintillating play was enough to see Everton climb to second in the Premier League table.

Lowlight: Premier League: Manchester United 1:1 Southampton (19/10/2013)

It may seem strange to suggest that a draw, particularly when Moyes suffered defeat at the hands of Southampton, represents the lowlight of the gaffer’s career against the Saints, but the context in which United threw away two points at home cements this opinion.

After being hand-picked by Sir Alex Ferguson to replace the legendary manager at Old Trafford, it was imperative that Moyes got off to a strong start in his United career. Despite sitting below the visitors in the Premier League table, United built decades of domination on beating teams like Southampton at home. Moyes was expected to win.

And for the most part it looked like he would deliver. Our very own Adnan Januzaj helped to tee up Robin Van Persie for a 26th minute opener, and both the Dutchman and Wayne Rooney hit the crossbar as United looked to turn up the pressure.

The Saints more than held their own but lacked a cutting edge until the 89th minute, when Adam Lallana’s faint touch was enough to earn the visitors a point, extending United’s run to only two wins in seven Premier League matches.

Last Five (2 wins, 3 draws)

Premier League: Manchester United 1:1 Southampton (19/10/2013)

Premier League: Southampton 0:0 Everton (21/1/2013)

Premier League: Everton 3:1 Southampton (29/9/2012)

Premier League: Southampton 2:2 Everton (6/2/2005)

Premier League: Everton 1:0 Southampton (16/10/2004)

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