Europa League: Austin scores twice as Saints beat Sparta Prague 3-0

By Daily Sports on September 16, 2016

Views: 1,643

 

Charlie Austin scored twice as Southampton secured their first win under manager Claude Puel by beating Sparta Prague in the Europa League.

Austin opened the scoring with a controversial penalty after Costa Nhamoinesu was harshly adjudged to have handled while challenging the striker.

Dusan Tadic had to be ushered away after arguing about who should take the penalty but celebrated with Austin.

Austin's header made it 2-0 before Jay Rodriguez added a late third.

Austin makes his point

Puel has endured a frustrating start to his managerial reign at Southampton after two draws and two defeats, including Saturday's last-minute loss at Arsenal.

But this was a highly satisfactory night for the Frenchman as the Saints secured a comfortable Group K win with Austin, who has started just one league game this season, causing chaos with his pace and accurate finishing.

The 27-year-old looked like a player with a point to prove as he scored twice in 22 first-half minutes, the first a controversial penalty awarded after Nhamoinesu was ruled to have handled while challenging Austin on the edge of the area.

German referee Manuel Grafe originally awarded a corner only to change his mind and point to the spot.

More drama was to follow as Austin's team-mate Tadic had to be guided away by captain Virgil van Dijk after arguing over who should take the kick.

Austin sent keeper Tomas Koubek the wrong way from the spot before the former QPR striker headed his second from the edge of the six-yard area after Cuco Martina's clever cross.

Having scored the winner at Manchester United last January, Austin has now found the net on both his Premier League and Europa League debuts for Southampton.

What they said...

Southampton striker Charlie Austin on taking the penalty: "As a centre-forward I think I should take the penalties. I've come here full of confidence, even though I've not scored.

"I put the ball on the spot and luckily it gave us a 1-0 lead. I think it was a bit silly from me and Dusan, but I'll take the penalties in future."

Southampton boss Claude Puel on the argument over the penalty: "They can discuss together; if all the time you put the ball in the goal it's OK. For me it's not important."

On the performance: "It was a great performance. We played a very good team of technical players. It was difficult but the penalty at the start of the game helped us on to good things." (bbc.co.uk)

•Photo shows Charlie Austin 

Source Daily Sports

Posted September 16, 2016


 

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