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Yoshida’s late winner helps lift Saints over Palace

Maya Yoshida and James Ward-Prowse each scored late in Southampton’s 3-1 win over Crystal Palace.

Southampton v Crystal Palace - Premier League Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images

Believe what you will, but Southampton scored three goals, and Maya Yoshida grabbed a late winner in a 3-1 victory over Crystal Palace.

Nathan Redmond cancelled out Christian Benteke’s opener before Yoshida and James Ward-Prowse struck two minutes apart and seven-minutes from full-time to end Palace’s four game league winning streak.

Shane Long, who deputised for the injured Manolo Gabbiadini, made his first start in seven games, but couldn’t shake his struggles in front of goal.

Southampton climbed into ninth place in the Premier League table whilst Palace remains within three points of the drop with eight games left.

Long nearly got off the mark when he raced onto Ward-Prowse’s through ball only to miscue the shot before Redmond drew a save from Wayne Hennessey on 21 minutes.

Wilfred Zaha put the visitors on the front foot after Palace weathered early pressure and the visitors took advantage. Andros Townsend’s cut back found a lunging Benteke following sensational build up play that left the Southampton defence reeling.

Saints recovered, but weren’t awarded a penalty when the ball appeared to strike Jeffrey Schlupp. Redmond, however, made amends and equalised with a shot that snuck under two defenders and into the opposite corner.

The hosts began the second half as brightly as it ended the first with Cedric Soares firing wide from a rebound after Ward-Prowse saw his initial attempt blocked.

Dusan Tadic played Long in on goal as Southampton pressed for a second, but the striker, who started over Jay Rodriguez, was left frustrated after chipping over the bar from a tight angle.

Palace almost restored their lead in the 65th minute through Martin Kelly, but he struck the upright before Zaha smashed the rebound well wide of the target.

Long and Yoshida each came close with Hennessey making two reactionary saves 13 minutes apart whilst Steven Davis was twice denied a clear chances by Mamadou Sakho and Damien Delaney.

Yoshida became the unlikely hero converting from close range after neat footwork from Nathan Redmond created space. Jack Stephens gently directed towards the back post for the Japanese international to tap in.

Ward-Prowse immediately doubled the lead as he smashed Southampton’s frustrations into the net from Cedric’s cut back.

Southampton: Forster, McQueen, Yoshida, Stepehens, Cedric, Romeu, Davis (c) (Hojbjerg 87), Ward-Prowse, Tadic, Redmond (Rodriguez 90), Long.

Unused subs: Hassen (GK), Caceres, Pied, Clasie, Sims.

Goals: Redmond (45), Yoshida (83), Ward-Prowse (85).

Bookings: Romeu (71), Cedric (80).

Crystal Palace: Hennessey, Ward, Kelly, Sakho, Schlupp (Delaney 58), Milojevic, Cabaye (Sako 45), Puncheon (c), Zaha, Townsend, Benteke.

Unused subs: Speroni (GK), Fryers, Flamini, Lee, Kaikai.

Goals: Benteke (31).

Bookings: Benteke (88).