LONDON A bruised Southampton squad licked their wounds on Monday after narrowly dropping a pulsating League Cup remaining to Manchester United, however can draw a lot comfort from the affirmation that in Manolo Gabbiadini they’ve unearthed a goal-scoring diamond.
The Italian, signed from Napoli final month, scored twice in Sunday’s Wembley showpiece to attract the Saints stage, just for Zlatan Ibrahimovic to attain the winner with the match headed to extra-time.
Certainly Gabbiadini can depend himself unfortunate to not have notched a hat-trick on his Wembley debut, after tv replays confirmed his 15th minute strike shouldn’t have been dominated out for offside.
Saints supervisor Claude Puel pulled no punches afterwards in reward of his new hit-man. “He scored three targets and was the most effective participant of the ultimate,” stated the Frenchman.
“He was higher than Ibrahimovic. Each gamers know the way necessary it’s to attain targets. He is now scored 5 targets in three video games, it must be six in fact, and it is implausible for him and for the group.”
Puel was not alone in praising the slender 25-year-old, with United boss Jose Mourinho additionally stuffed with admiration, describing Gabbiadini’s second aim as “phenomenal”.
That strike, the place he reacted first to beat Chris Smalling and hearth previous David de Gea, capped a scorching efficiency, throughout which they outplayed United for enormous chunks of the sport.
The Wembley exhibiting was in stark distinction to a few of their lukewarm performances within the league this season, and the gamers say they are going to use this expertise to kickstart their marketing campaign.
“We confirmed our character and dedication,” midfielder James Ward-Prowse stated. “Everybody will be proud, we will come away with our heads held excessive.
“This has given us an incentive to kick our season on.”
Gabbiadini and his virtually preternatural nostril for a aim is certain to characteristic strongly if Saints are to climb the Premier League desk from their present place of 13th.
“He’s serving to us to be extra medical,” Puel stated, with most understatement. “It is necessary for the group to maintain this spirit, with the identical angle.
“We have to guarantee that we take our probabilities within the Premier League now.”
The Saints get an opportunity to place their plans in motion on Saturday once they go to 12th-placed Watford.
(Modifying by Alison Williams)