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BBC Sport's Simon Mann reports
Saints out-fox Leicester
 real 14k

Southampton manager Glenn Hoddle
"The players were marvellous tonight"
 real 56k

Foxes manager Peter Taylor
"The assistant linesman can't wait to give a foul"
 real 56k

Wednesday, 31 January, 2001, 21:47 GMT
Saints see off sorry Foxes
Andy Impey and Kevin Davies
Leicester's Andy Impey (left) tussles with Kevin Davies
Southampton 1-0 Leicester

Glenn Hoddle prevailed in the battle of the former England managers as Southampton beat Peter Taylor's Leicester at The Dell.

Dan Petrescu scored on his full debut for Saints, heading home in a crowded six-yard box from Wayne Bridge's 79th minute free kick.

It was just reward for the persistence of Hoddle's men in the face of a defence-minded formation which stifled their usual fluency at home.


We knew they would be hard nut to crack - we had to be patient and take our chance when it came
  Glenn Hoddle
Having drawn their last two Premiership games 0-0, Saints were anxious to find the net, while Leicester looked as if they would have happily settled for a scoreless draw.

A hopeful 25-yarder by Matt Oakley in the 71st minute, easily gathered by Simon Royce, had summed up Southampton's frustration as the visitors continued to soak up their pressure.

On their rare forays upfield, Taylor's men looked punchless - they have only scored eight away goals in the Premiership all season.

Close-range shot

Their best chance in the second period came in the 53rd minute when veteran Italian striker Roberto Mancini nearly opened his Leicester account.

Dan Petrescu
Dan Petrescu celebrates his goal
His saw one close-range shot saved by Saints keeper Paul Jones and another from the rebound blocked by James Beattie on the line.

Mancini gave way to Dean Sturridge after 65 minutes but, with little service from midfield, his combination with Ade Akinbiyi was equally unsuccessful.

It had taken Leicester until the 35th minute to fashion a clear chance, with Muzzy Izzet rising above two defenders to force a good save from Paul Jones.

Southampton were much the better side in the first half, fashioning several good opportunities against a side that hasn't won in the league since 16 December.

Beattie nearly provided an explosive start for Saints in the first minute, outpacing Elliott only to see his pull-back deflected harmlessly into the arms of Royce.


We restricted Southampton to one long-range shot in the second half before the goal, and certainly didn't deserve to lose
  Peter Taylor
With 11 goals so far this season, Beattie looked full of confidence, while the trickery of fellow forward Pahars also posed early problems for Leicester.

Taylor gave a debut to midfielder Junior Lewis, on loan from Gillingham, playing him a holding role in front of the back three as the visitors played safe.

Petrescu could have scored in the 33rd minute when he slid in but failed to connect with a Richards header back across goal.

The Romanian had been the provider in the 13th minute when Beattie's looping header from his centre was tipped over by Royce.

But his late goal gave Hoddle a win over Taylor, the man he appointed as England under-21 manager and who is now part of new England boss Sven Goran Erikkson's coaching staff.


Southampton: Jones, Dodd, Lundekvam, Richards, Bridge, Petrescu, Oakley, Marsden, Pahars, Beattie, Davies. Subs: Moss, Draper, Tessem, Kachloul, El Khalej.

Leicester: Royce, Rowett, Elliott, Lewis, Davidson, Robbie Savage, Impey, Izzet, Guppy, Akinbiyi, Mancini. Subs: Price, Gunnlaugsson, Sinclair, Eadie, Sturridge.

Referee: S Bennett (Orpington)

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