- Benteke gives Palace an early lead after just two minutes with a neat finish.
- Ings levels for Southampton with a tidy shot on the turn.
- Zaha wins a penalty after a clumsy Redmond challenge, but Milivojevic’s effort is saved.
- HT: Southampton 1-1 Palace
- Adams gives the hosts the lead immediately after the restart.
- Benteke is denied first by Forster and then by a last-ditch Stephens challenge.
- Ings gets his second and Southampton’s third.
- FT: Southampton 3-1 Palace
Just as they did at Sheffield United, Palace started with real vigour – and it was Christian Benteke in the centre of the early action once again. Just 20 seconds in he saw a speculative long-range effort flash just wide of the post, but a minute later he had the ball in the back of the net.
It was a superbly taken goal in which he displayed the poise and strength that have become the hallmarks of his Premier League career. Battling to bring down a high ball in the penalty area, he created space on the angle to fire a low shot past Fraser Forster and give Palace a second early lead in as many games.
Palace’s next sight of goal came from a more unorthodox source, as Joel Ward picked up on a bouncing ball to volley from distance; it was looping and had Forster scurrying across goal, but in the end it was a comfortable save.
Southampton posed dangers of their own, and with their first real chance they were level. Nathan Redmond’s cross caused problems in the Palace defence, and Danny Ings was the quickest to react to spin and poke home.
The goal sparked a resurgence in Southampton’s attacking intent, and they broke forwards quickly from a Palace corner before Luka Milivojevic raced back to make a crucial interception. Vicente Guaita was called into action when Che Adams guided Redmond’s pass goalwards.
But at the other end Palace were threatening, and soon they had a golden chance to retake the lead. Wilfried Zaha showed his usual quick feet to glide into the penalty area, cutting away from Redmond and brought down by his clumsy challenge. Milivojevic stepped up to take the penalty, but Forster got across well to parry it behind.
It meant the two sides went in at level at the break, both demonstrating their capacity to fashion opportunities coming forwards – and both scoring through impressive work from their strikers.
In the second-half it was Southampton that started fastest, taking the lead from their first foray forwards. It was a set-piece move from the training ground, as James Ward-Prowse’s cutback was fired across goal by Stuart Armstrong, and squeezed in by Che Adams at the far-post.
As Palace searched for an equaliser it was Benteke the focal point again. His powerful header from a corner was straight at Forster, before he latched onto a mistake from Jack Stephens to bear down on goal, before Stephens recovered well to force the ball behind.
But with Palace knocking at the door there was space for the hosts’ to exploit, and it led to Danny Ings’ doubling their advantage. Adams was the provider this time, slipping Ings’ through who poked home for his second of the night.
The Eagles kept pushing, and Eberechi Eze was close to carving out an opening for Michy Batshuayi with an imaginative outside of the boot pass, but in the end Southampton were able to see the game out and secure all three points.
Southampton: Forster (GK), Walker-Peters, Vestergaard, Stephens, Ward-Prowse, Ings (Obafemi, 76), Adams, Redmond, Armstrong, Minamino, Bednarek (Salisu, HT).
Subs: McCarthy (GK), Djenpo, Tella, Diallo, Walcott, N’Lundulu, Ferry.
Palace: Guaita (GK), Ward, Dann, Kouyate, Mitchell, Riedewald, Milivojevic (Schlupp, 65), Ayew (Batshuayi, 72), Eze, Zaha, Benteke (Mateta, 78).
Subs: Butland (GK), van Aanholt, Townsend, McCarthy, Cahill, Kelly.