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Pellè Wondergoal Beats Redknapp's Rangers

Queens Park Rangers, facing a woeful start to the season under ex-Southampton and Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp, gave Southampton a challenge but were defeated 2-1.

Julian Finney

Saints supporters were looking for revenge and they found it on Saturday against Queens Park Rangers manager Harry Redknapp, who led Southampton to relegation in 2005 and led rival Portsmouth to an FA Cup win in 2008.

The first half started promisingly for Southampton, who characteristically burst off the mark and put pressure on QPR. Mané looked a constant threat in attacking areas, but QPR keeper Robert Green caught everything that came his way.

Dusan Tadic, playing on the right, volleyed a ball off the post in the 19th minute. A Pellè shot shortly thereafter hit the side netting.

After those few chances, the pace of the match slowed, and both sides started racking up yellow cards. Clyne, QPR's Karl Henry, and Sadio Mané were all booked as the game became a midfield slog.

The match saw two long delays for head injuries on 50/50 balls: One for Sandro, who had to come off, and another for Vargas, who came back on after having his head wrapped.

The two delays accounted for six minutes of added time at the end of the first half, which went by uneventfully. Southampton had the best chances, but looked unwilling to commit more than the front three for most attacks.

The second half was significantly livelier. Saints broke the deadlock in the 54th minute with a Ryan Bertrand goal assisted by a gorgeous Mané backheel.

Charlie Austin equalized for QPR in minute 66 with a fantastic control, turn, and volley. This goal came against the run of play, but QPR would see a number of chances throughout the rest of the second half, as both teams seemed willing to send more men forward.

Graziano Pellè saw Austin's Goal of the Week candidate and raised him with a spectacular bicycle kick goal. After a long cross was headed down to him, Pellè bounced the ball into the air with a defender on his back and did a backflip to kick the ball over Green and into the net.

Football statistic websites were quick to point out that Pellè has scored more Premier League goals this season than ex-Saints Lambert, Lallana, Lovren, and Luke Shaw combined. The combined ex-Saints have yet to score, whereas Pellè has already notched four in his first matches.

Queens Park Rangers found some attacking possession after falling behind, but each shot went far wide. Southampton held onto the lead and defeated Redknapp's Rangers 2-1, perhaps a bit less comfortably than expected. Southampton have continued their fabulous start to the season and hang onto second place in the league.