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Southampton 3-1 Palace: Centurion Danny Ings stars in comeback win

Saints top scorer Ings stylishly marked his return from a two-game injury absence by registering either side of a goal from strike partner Che Adams.

Christian Benteke had put Palace ahead inside just two minutes, while Eagles captain Luka Milivojevic squandered a first-half penalty to restore the visitors’ advantage.

Ings’ instinctive first brought up a century of strikes across spells with Bournemouth, Burnley, Liverpool and Saints and helped give a timely reminder to England boss Gareth Southgate ahead of this summer’s European Championship.

The rare victory for Southampton this calendar year ended a five-game winless run in all competitions to move them to 14th in the table, a point behind their opponents.

Palace had been hoping to a record a first league double over Saints since the 1990-91 campaign and, in addition to Milivojevic’s wasted spot-kick, Benteke blew a golden second-half chance to make it 2-2.

Southampton began the game safe from danger following Fulham’s relegation on Monday evening and were further boosted by the availability of Ings following a hamstring problem.

Ralph Hasehuttl’s men were seeking to improve a series of alarming statistics from a wretched 2021 to date, including the fewest Premier League points accrued and most goals conceded.

Their quest got off to the worst possible start.

After Milivojevic’s searching free-kick into the Saints 18-yard box was helped on by Scott Dann, Benteke eventually found space to lash home through the legs of home goalkeeper Fraser Forster with less than two minutes on the clock.

The early opener came after Belgium international Benteke – who also opened the scoring early in the Eagles’ weekend win at bottom club Sheffield United – flashed wide after just 44 seconds and ensured Saints’ run without a home clean sheet stretched to eight games.


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