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Dublin: 14 °C Thursday 2 July, 2020

Long scores again as Southampton fend off Wolves to move closer to safety

The Ireland striker has netted in back-to-back Premier League games for the first time in nearly three years.

Shane Long celebrates after scoring Southampton's third goal against Wolves.
Shane Long celebrates after scoring Southampton's third goal against Wolves.
Image: Mark Kerton

SOUTHAMPTON’S SHANE LONG scored in consecutive Premier League games for the first time since May 2016 to seal a 3-1 win over Wolves, as the Saints climbed to the verge of survival today at St Mary’s Stadium.

The victory — a third in four matches — moves Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men eight points clear of the drop zone with just five matches to play.

With painful fightbacks the order of the day for both Southampton and Wolves last week, the hosts might well have felt that sinking feeling again when Nathan Redmond’s early opener was cancelled out by Willy Boly.

But Redmond was soon on target again and substitute Long’s strike 19 minutes from time — his third of the season — secured three vital points.

The Ireland international had netted for the first time since January by giving Southampton the lead in last weekend’s 3-1 defeat to Liverpool.

Brighton & Hove Albion remain five points clear of the relegation zone, despite being rocked by a 5-0 hammering at home to Bournemouth.

Goals from Dan Gosling and Ryan Fraser had the visitors two goals to the good by the time Brighton’s Anthony Knockaert was dismissed for a rash tackle on Adam Smith on 68 minutes.

David Brooks, Callum Wilson and Junior Stanislas rounded off the scoring for Bournemouth, who move up to 12th place thanks to their first win in four outings.

On the plus side for Brighton, 18th-placed Cardiff City were unable to close the gap. Neil Warnock’s side lost 2-0 away to Burnley, for whom Chris Wood scored both goals.

Relegated Fulham ended a nine-match losing streak with a surprise 2-0 home win over Everton. Playing for the first time since their return to the Championship was confirmed by last week’s defeat to Watford, Scott Parker earned his first win as caretaker manager.

After controlling the opening period, captain Tom Cairney’s first goal of season just 31 seconds into the second half put Fulham on their way, before Ryan Babel capped the victory.

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