January 30, 2015

Southampton have been boosted by an emphatic domestic cup win ahead of their Premier League match against Swansea at St. Mary's on Saturday.

The Saints (1-3-2) have made a disappointing start to their league campaign with just one win to their credit and are in 16th place on six points.

They were beaten at home 3-2 by Manchester United last week after dominating the first 30 minutes against the Red Devils.

Graziano Pelle gave Southampton a deserved lead on 13 minutes before Anthony Martial scored twice for the visitors and Juan Mata added a third to take the game away from the Saints. Pelle netted his second of the match late, but Southampton couldn't find an equaliser.

The Saints bounced back in style on Wednesday with a dazzling 6-0 League Cup win at Championship side MK Dons. Jay Rodriguez, Sadio Mane and Shane Long all scored twice.

Southampton manager Ronald Koeman was proud of his side's performance.

"It's always very good to have these kind of results, but we have to realise it will be more difficult (against Swansea), but I think how we played today gives the team a good confidence for Saturday," Koeman told his club's website. "I'm very pleased because I think we showed our qualities from the beginning of the game. We had a good start, a good goal from Jay and that makes everything a little bit more easy.

"We kept the spirit in the team and we did some good pressing in the first 30 minutes and I think the best was the second half, because after 3-0 sometimes it's difficult to keep really the spirit and the concentration. We worked very hard even in the second half to score more goals to thank the great support what we had again from our fans. I'm very pleased about the performance."

The Swans (2-3-1) moved up to seventh in the table on nine points after playing out a goalless home draw last weekend against Everton, who had Kevin Mirallas sent off in the last minute for a high challenge, 136 seconds after coming on as a substitute.

Swansea's midweek League Cup match ended in defeat as they lost 1-0 at Championship side Hull City. David Meyler scored the winner for the Tigers with a close-range finish just before the break.

Manager Garry Monk is confident his Swansea side will respond positively.

"We always react well when we get setbacks," Monk told his club's website. "We did that well against Everton last weekend and I think it was a really good point in the end and a fair result.

"But we've had one league defeat since we came back for pre-season and we're playing well and doing the right things. The effort and commitment is there and we're creating lots of good chances - we were the better side again in midweek against Hull and should have won."

Both sides won 1-0 on each other's grounds last season, with Swansea winning 1-0 at St. Mary's in February. Jonjo Shelvey got the only goal that day on Swansea's only shot on target seven minutes from time. The Saints won 1-0 at the Liberty Stadium in September with Victor Wanyama netting the winner in the 80th minute.

Southampton hold the Premier League head-to-head edge over Swansea, winning three times and losing once. The clubs have also drawn twice, and the Saints have outscored the Swans 5-2 overall.

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