Super Saints thump five past Ipswich
Ipswich 2, Saints 5
Southampton held off an Ipswich fightback to win 5-2 on the road on Tuesday and make it three wins from their opening three Championship games.
The visitors played some scintillating football at Portman Road and stretched their club-record run to nine successive victories.
Rickie Lambert, a player Ipswich manager Paul Jewell admitted he tried to snare in the summer, bagged an early brace to put the visitors firmly in command after just 11 minutes. Connolly added his third goal of the season just before the break.
Ipswich, in fairness, had first-half chances to reduce the arrears and, following an impacting double half-time substitution, had Saints on the ropes as Keith Andrews and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas made it 3-2 with half an hour remaining.
But Lallana added a classy fourth and a stoppage-time fifth for Southampton to ensure the south-coast outfit are the early pace-setters at the top of the Championship.
Confident Saints started the clash firmly on the front foot and Lallana had already dragged a decent chance wide when Lambert broke the deadlock.
The former Bristol Rovers marksman played a neat one-two with Connolly before sending the ball home from 12 yards.
The visitors were causing plenty of problems going forward and, with Town’s defence at sixes and sevens, Lambert doubled his tally for the evening with a super curling strike into the bottom corner after more eye-catching build-up play, this time involving Lallana.
After a flurry of Ipswich chances, it was Saints that added the game’s third. Lallana broke and found Guly, the Brazilian rounded David Stockdale and found space to square the ball for Connolly to fire home from close range.
Jewell brought on Emmanuel-Thomas and Lee Martin at the break and the changes certainly had a positive effect.
It was Andrews, on loan from Blackburn, who grabbed a lifeline in the 56th minute, following up well after Michael Chopra’s stunning strike had rebounded off the crossbar.
Cresswell made a crucial goal-line clearance from Lallana which would have swung the game back in Saints’ favour.
And no sooner had the hosts made vital contributions at both ends as they made it 3-2 as Emmanuel-Thomas converted from close range.
But Lallana ended the comeback in the 76th minute when he latched onto Morgan Schneiderlin’s through-ball to convert past Stockdale.
And there was still time for a late fifth as the midfielder used his pace to confirm a third home defeat in a week for the Tractor Boys.
10 Guly (Schneiderlin 71)
20 Lallana (De Ridder 90+3)
22 Connolly (Fox 77)