Pellegrino pleased with his side's swift beating of Saint-Étienne

Southampton's new boss saw loads of positives as he watched over the 3-0 win that rounded up a week's spell in France.

Pellegrino pleased with his side's swift beating of Saint-Étienne
Saints won their first game of pre-season after successive draws against St. Gallen and Brentford. Photo: Getty

The Stade Municipal de Chambéry played host as Saint-Étienne and Southampton faced off Saturday evening with both sides in the midst of busy pre-season schedules. 

45 minutes passed without much to report apart from a glaring Manolo Gabbiadini miss but a spark on the left wing following substitutions in the second half quickly ended the game.

Firstly, a neat three passes from back to front resulted in Gabbiadini hitting the target this time around with an impactful header with young Matt Targett the provider. 

Then in almost-similar-fashion, James Ward-Prowse profited from the piercing delivery Targett laid on as his neat-but-powerful finish put Saints 2-0 up in the blink of an eye. 

Ward-Prowse swapped goals for assists with his swift cross that Maya Yoshida powered home on the 85th minute to complete the 3-0 victory. 

Difficult Conditions

Talking on that slow and uneventful first half, Mauricio Pellegrino put it down the tough conditions: “It was very hot and at the beginning and that made it difficult”.

Despite the weather the Argentine’s side pulled through in the end quite comfortably, to which he told “It is a really good end to our time here (in France)”.

Saint-Étienne, much like Saints, came out with a game-plan of pressing and passing out from the goalkeeper at any opportunity. 

Pellegrino described the way his opponents were “little by little, decreasing their level” but as the game went on “we were getting better and that was the difference”.

Approaching another couple of friendlies the new manager still puts fitness above all else in stating that “the important thing is that everybody is physically in a good way”.

Jérémy Pied has played a big role in pre=season (image source: Ian Walton/Getty Images)

Potential Pied

On the subject of fitness, right-back Cedric Soares is yet to feature for his club this summer having played for Portugal in their third place finish at the Confederations Cup

His extended holiday could mean that Jérémy Pied takes his spot come the opening fixture at home to Swansea - a first team berth that Pied didn't come close to getting last year after sustaining a lengthy injury on the opening day. 

In the handful of warm-up games the Frenchman has started with youngster, and more recognised centre-back, Alfie Jones coming on for him. 

Time will tell whether Pied is really staying in Southampton for the club’s needs or his own; the former-Nice winger was brought in as a Claude Puel favourite.

He’ll have another chance to impress as Saints play FC Augsburg and Sevilla at home in the final week of pre-season.

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