Virtuoso Ings inspires rampant Saints to 3-0 win at Norwich


Danny Ings was once again the hero after his 16th goal of the season proved the catalyst as Southampton eased back to action with a dominant victory at Carrow Road.

Three second-half goals gave Southampton all three points and leaves Norwich remaining perilous at the foot of the table. Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men move up to 13th with their first win since February.

Aside from the first 10 minutes, where Saints were understandably still attempting to shake off some three-month ring rust, there was chasm in class between the two sides. Norwich mustered their best efforts in the opening chapters, with Ings at the other end having to make vital defensive interventions to keep the score level.

Despite not being at the races early on, the south coast outfit grew into the game, with the best chance of the first half coming on the half hour mark. A surging run from centre-back Jack Stephens cut through the heart of the Norwich midfield before finding Ings, whose reversed first-time shot cannoned off the crossbar.

Ings looked like he had never been away. Closing down aggressively, harrying and hustling, this was the same man that broke into the England squad in March. As the minutes ticked on, it was clear to see Norwich were wilting following their bright start.

They were made to pay early on in the second-half when Ings grabbed his 16th goal of the campaign. The ball somehow found its way into the path of the Winchester born forward, who curled a sumptuous first-time effort to the left of the outstretched Tim Krul.

Ings then turned provider minutes later. A ruthless counter attack resulted in Ings finding the onrushing Stuart Armstrong. The Scot cut in from the right before firing a left-footed drive through a sea of yellow bodies and past Krul.

Newly-appointed captain James Ward-Prowse could have capped a well-refined, mature display when his shot beat the Norwich keeper but was cleared off the line by Jamal Lewis.

Teemu Pukki had Norwich’s only real chance of note but his right-footed strike was well-blocked by Jan Bednarek. The defender continuing to prove good old-fashioned, sometimes archaic defending hasn’t gone out of trend in the modern game. This season, the Pole has successfully completed the most clearances of any player in the league.

Norwich’s hapless exhibition was compounded 15 minutes from time when Nathan Redmond rounded-off the scoring. An excellent through ball from Ings found Michael Obafemi, who subsequently cut the ball back to Redmond. The former Norwich man shimmied past Ben Godfrey and struck a left-footed shot into the far post net.

In truth, the scoreline reflected where both teams are at and what they deserved. Southampton were the fitter, stronger, more aggressive and essentially better side, even waiting until the 81st minute to make their first substitution out of the allocated five. Perhaps the nature of the disparity in the two team’s performances come somewhat as a surprise, considering the Canaries were supposed to be the ones fighting for survival and Southampton seemingly having nothing to play for.


About Author

Football, Boxing and Cricket correspondent from Hampshire, covering southern sport. Editor and Head of Boxing at Prost International. Accreditated EFL & EPL journalist.

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