Shane Long ends his 279 day goal drought against Leicester
Republic of Ireland striker scores against Leicester, his first goal since April 2018
Shane Long of Southampton scores his team’s second goal against Leicester City at The King Power Stadium. Photograph: Michael Regan/Getty Images
Leicester 1 Southampton 2
Southampton’s Shane Long scored his first goal in 279 days in Saturday’s win over Leicester at the King Power Stadium.
Steady on though, this month last year he ended a 325 day drought and had only scored once more for club or country since then.
The Republic of Ireland striker last scored in the 3-2 defeat to Arsenal on April 8th last year, that was one of only two goals last season while his latest strike is his first of the current campaign.
The Tipperary native has featured in six of the seven matches since Ralph Hasenhüttl took over at St Mary’s, and Saturday was his first start. Remarkably, his last four goals for the club have come under four different managers: Claude Puel, Mauricio Pellegrino, Mark Hughes and now the Austrian.
The 31 year old joined Southampton from Hull City in 2014 for €13.5 million and has now scored 21 goals in 70 appearances. His last international goal came in the 3-1 win over Moldova on October 9th 2016.
The win moves Southampton out of the relegation zone, despite them playing half the match with 10 men. The Saints came into the contest having picked up four points in their last two Premier League away games, and found themselves in front after 11 minutes through James Ward-Prowse’s penalty.
Their task was seemingly made more difficult when Yan Valery was sent off for a second yellow card just before halftime but Long squeezed the ball home to double Southampton’s advantage just before the break.
Leicester committed more bodies forward in the second period and soon got themselves back in the match through Wilfred Ndidi’s scrappy goal in the 58th minute.
No team has given up more points from leading positions than Southampton this season, but they dug in and held out for another three crucial points.
The win moves Southampton up to 16th while Leicester followed up their humiliating FA Cup defeat by League Two side Newport County with a loss that sees them drop to eighth.