Sparta Prague has beaten #Southampton 1-0 and guaranteeing that they finish top of Group K and leaving Claude Puel's men with it all to do in the final group game. After the unconvincing display in the Czech Republic, Southampton sit joint second in the group with Hapoel Be'er Sheva both on 7 points. The Israeli Premier League side pulled off a shock 3-2 win over Inter Milan and now challenge Southampton for that final spot in the knockout stage of the #europa league.
Goals over possession
Sparta Prague took the lead in the 11th minute with Nhamoinesu volleying home Dockal's free kick. Southampton then went on to dominate the game with 71% possession but failed to find an equaliser against stubborn opposition. They ironically found themselves in a similar position to Liverpool in The Saints last Premier League game that finished 0-0. The defeat now marks three consecutive games without a goal for the South Coast club with Jay Rodriquez, Shane Long and Nathan Redmond failing to make an impact in Prague. They played right into Sparta Prague's hands as the early goal allowed them to sit deep and hold on to eventually claim a group winning 1-0 win.
Now Southampton find themselves with it all to do on the 8th December when they host Hapoel Be'er Sheva with the winner progressing to the knockout round. Luckily they will have home advantage with the tie to played at St. Mary's and they will be hoping to progress in the tournament in front of their own fans. However, if the previous 0-0 draw between the two clubs is anything to go by, this is won't be an easy match for Southampton and they will be kicking themselves for not getting the job done tonight, with even a draw enough to see them out the group. With an away trip to Crystal Palace just days before the fixture, surely Puel will decide to rest key players so they are ready to take all three points at St. Mary's in a fortnight's time. Now with former manager Ronald Koeman returning with his Everton side on Sunday, it's time for Southampton to turn their attention to the Premier League and to get back to winning ways to put themselves in good form before their crucial Europa League game. #Football