Lallana rounded three players as he wormed his way in to the penalty area before coolly slotting past Steve Harper on 37 minutes to score his third goal of the season. The captain led his team to third place in the Premier League after this sumptuous display and was substituted late in the game to a standing ovation from the adoring Saints fans.
He also won a 29th minute penalty after Ricky Lambert played a wonderful through ball down the left channel which put Lallana in a footrace with Harper. The midfielder won and nipped the ball past the goalkeeper who tripped him and the referee pointed to the spot. Ricky Lambert made no mistake and thumped the ball in to the top corner for 2-0. Lallana also set up the move which saw Nathanael Clyne’s deep cross fine Lambert between two central defenders but the powerhouse centre forward still managed to nod the ball back across goal. Morgan Schneirderlin came steaming in from midfield and was able to meet the ball with his head and guide it to the top corner of the goal to open the scoring in the 16th minute.
Hull didn’t get close to Southampton in the first half but rallied early in the second to pounce on a Victor Wanyama mistake and get a consolation goal back. Artur Boruc rolled the ball in to Wanyama in midfield but his touch was poor and Jake Livermore was able to dispossess him and poke the ball to Yannick Sagbo to the right. He bore down on goal and bent the ball in to the bottom corner from the edge of the area giving the Polish goalkeeper no chance. Minutes later Wanyama was substituted.
An 88th minute Steven Davis goal, incidentally the player who replaced Wanyama, put the icing on the cake for Saints who go up to third in the table following Chelsea’s loss to West Brom while Hull stay in 12th.
16’ – SCHNEIDERLIN OPENER: Clyne with the cross, Lambert sandwiched between two defenders and still manages to squeeze a header back to the on-rushing Schneiderlin who nods in to the top corner.
25’ – SLICK SAINTS: Lambert, Lallana and Rodriguez torment the Hull defence as the away side struggle to get to grips with the Saints’ slick passing and moving.
29’ – PENALTY PAIN: Lambert controls on the half way line, turns and feeds Lallana in the left channel. Harper comes steaming out but the midfielder nips in first and is tripped by the veteran keeper. Lambert made no mistake from the spot.
37’ – LUSH LALLANA: The captain waltzes past Tom Huddlestone in the middle of the park. He bears down on the penalty area with some lovely footwork past Davies before approaching from a tight angle and slotting in to the bottom corner.
55’ - WANYAMA WOES: The Kenyan tried to turn in the middle of the park and mis-controlled as he was put under pressure. Robert Koren pounced and laid the ball to Sagbo who bent the ball in to the bottom corner from the edge of the penalty area.
88’ – DAVIS DELIGHT: The Scottish substitute came on to put the cherry on top of a brilliant Saints performance. He controlled Nathanael Clyne’s cross perfectly before rifling low past Harper for the home side’s fourth.
Southampton have conceded only their second home league goal this season but that couldn’t stop Mauricio Pocchetino’s men from getting their fourth home victory in a row for the first time since 1999.
Hull have now lost all of their last three away games despite being only the second team to score at St Mary’s this season. The home side dominated possession with 61% while Hull managed only 39%. Despite that Steve Bruce’s men were able to muster ten shots, only two of which were on target. Southampton managed 12 shots but were able to get half of them on target.
Ricky Lambert has scored four goals in his first 11 appearances of this Premier League season -an exact replica to his form at the beginning of last season.
Adam Lallana has scored three in his last five Premier League games.
TALKING POINT: How long can Saints keep up this form? Southampton were completely dominant in this match and but for an individual error and a brilliant finish it would have been yet another clean sheet for the south coast side. Their blend of youth and experience and overseas players with home-grown talent is looking formidable but Pocchetino may feel he needs reinforcements in January to keep up this impressive form.
MAN OF THE MATCH Adam Lallana (Southampton): Absolutely unplayable today. His dribbling, passing and work rate were exemplary and topped off by that goal which was simply sublime. Substituted to a standing ovation.
Southampton: Boruc 7, Clyne 8, Fonte 7, Lovren 7, Shaw 7, Wanyama 5, Schneiderlin 8, Ward-Prowse 7, Lallana (c) 9, Rodriguez 8, Lambert 8…subs: Davis 8, Osvaldo 6, Cork 6.
Hull: Harper 6, Rosenior 5, Figueroa 6, Davies 6, McShane 6, Elmohamady 4, Boyd 7, Meyler 6, Huddlestone 6, Livermore 6, Sagbo 8… subs: Koren 7, Quinn 5, Graham, 5.
MATCH IN A TWEET