Southampton 1-0 Bristol City: Walker-Peters scores stunner to extend unbeaten run
Kyle Walker-Peters’ stunning strike sent promotion-chasing Southampton to a 1-0 victory over Bristol City and extended their unbeaten Sky Bet Championship run to 10 matches.
Right-back Walker-Peters rifled in the winner from the edge of the box just after half-time.
It condemned Robins boss Liam Manning to his first defeat since replacing Nigel Pearson and saw Saints keep their first home clean sheet since March 4 – thanks partly to two stunning pieces of keeping from Gavin Bazunu.
Southampton spent the majority of the first half attempting to break down two well-disciplined banks of City players.
But found a few moments to warm a heavy-coat-clad St Mary’s crowd.
Kamaldeen Sulemana was the biggest threat with his burst of pace down the left but his finish in the seventh minute lacked the ferocity to beat goalkeeper Max O’Leary.
Top scorer Adam Armstrong had a shot blocked before curling over, while Tommy Conway headed over when unmarked at a corner at the other end.
The first time O’Leary was tested wasn’t until the 28th minute when Stuart Armstrong skidded a powerful shot at him. The initial effort was fumbled but the keeper quickly gathered.
City, who had mainly threatened on the break, had the best two chances of the first half but found Bazunu at his best in the Saints goal.
Firstly, the Ireland keeper brilliantly clawed Mark Sykes’ close-range header off the line before quickly coming off his line and diving at the feet of Conway in a one-versus-one.
Che Adams sliced a shot wide for the misfiring hosts but the fans saved their half-time ire for referee Keith Stroud having felt unfavoured by his decisions.
Saints have gathered a reputation of being slow after the interval but bucked that trend by scoring 109 seconds into the second half.
Adam Armstrong looked like he had run down a cul-de-sac but wriggled back down the right side of the box to find Walker-Peters. The right-back took the ball inside before curling into the top corner with his left foot for his second goal of the season.
Saints pushed for a second. Adam Armstrong bullied his way to a chance in the City box before Carlos Alcaraz bent wide in the 59th minute.
The same two attackers caused issues again seven minutes later, with O’Leary twice getting down low to keep his side in the match.
City thought they should have been awarded a penalty late on but Stroud disagreed that Taylor Harwood-Bellis had handled when sliding to block a cross.