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Luck o' the Irish: Southampton 2 - Leicester 0

It took quite a while, but Shane Long came on and delivered a brace to ensure The Saints remained second entering the international break.

David Cannon

With the international break coming up, the game against Leicester City serves as a perfect opportunity for The Saints to keep the pressure on league leaders Chelsea, who won their lunchtime kickoff game against Liverpool.

Ronald Koeman named a nearly identical starting XI with Shane Long dropped to the bench in favor of Sadio Mané. It was a smart move from Koeman as Mané caused troubles for Leicester's backline throughout the game.

The first 15 minutes was dominated by the host, with nearly 70 percent of the possession, however The Saints failed to create any meaningful chances in that period.

It took another five minutes before the home team had a shot on target, Nathaniel Clyne with the long-range effort, but his effort was gathered comfortably by Kasper Schmeichel. Minutes later, Wes Morgan headed over the bar from a corner kick in what was a rare moment of attack for the visitors.

A worrying moment came in the 40th minute as Steven Davis had to come off after a strong challenge from Jeffrey Schlupp, Northern Ireland's skipper was then replaced by Jack Cork.

Cork then made an instant impact as he turned and shoot but his effort missed the target as both sides finished the first half with the score locked at 0-0.

The one way traffic remained in the second half with Southampton knocking on Leicester's door. Graziano Pellè had an early chance, but his first-time shot sailed over the bar.

Mané then had the ball in the net with a dinked finish, as he was fastest to react to Ryan Bertrand's low cross, however the linesman had already raised his flag for an offside.

Southampton then had a streak of consecutive corner kicks, none of which resulted in a goal. With Leicester defending resolutely, and rain pouring, a ray of light was needed to lift the fans.

Enter Shane Long.

The Irishman went on to replace Mané in between all those Saints' corner kicks, and he finally broke the deadlock in the 75th minute. Cork's long ball was controlled well by Pellè, who then lays it off for Long. The summer signing from Hull then curls it towards the far corner beyond the reach of Schmeichel to make it 1-0.

Five minutes later, he put daylight between the two sides.

Victor Wanyama played a long ball behind the halfway line, Long timed his run to perfection, beats the offside trap, and then calmly slotted it past Schmeichel and makes it 2-0.

Which prompted this chant from St. Mary's faithful:

Leicester then had a chance to reduce the deficit after substitute Chris Wood went through on goal, Jose Fonté dared not to brought him down and risked a red card, the New Zealand international had Forster to commit but his effort from eight yards was wide off the mark.

Long then nearly had a hattrick as his last minute effort struck the side netting. But it didn't matter as his brace was enough to seal all three points for The Saints, who continues to march on.