Ronald Koeman was pleased with his side’s performance against Crystal Palace as they made it back-to-back Premier League wins.
Goals from Sadio Mané, Ryan Bertrand and Toby Alderweireld sealed a 3-1 win against the Eagles at Selhurst Park to follow up the Everton victory with another three points.
Koeman felt his side made a positive start to both halves to ensure they came away with all three points.
“I think we had a good start, we controlled the game and had some good opportunities,” Koeman told the club’s official YouTube channel. “Maybe the last 15 minutes before half-time we had a little bit more problems to be the dominant team.
“But we defended well and we looked solid today. It was a good performance. It was important [the fast start to the second half].
“We showed our spirit to try to score the second one and not to defend the one-nil. That was the difference between us and our opponent today.”
Mané was moved into a central position by Koeman for the game at Selhurst Park and repaid his manager’s faith with a goal and an assist. And the Saints boss was pleased with his performance.
“I’m very happy for him,” Koeman added. “He played a little bit of a different position but he knows that position, he’s not fazed by that.
“It gave him more freedom in his running and his movements and he scored a great goal. It was a great pass from Prowsey, that was important for him and the team.
“We know we have to play two games in 48 hours, we need all of the players and that was part of the decision to bring him in, but he did it well.”
Ward-Prowse had a hand in two goals as well, setting up Alderweireld for the third, and Koeman was pleased to see both the Belgian and Bertrand pop up with goals.
“It’s fantastic to have the defenders scoring,” he said. “That’s an important quality we have. We know with Prowsey in the team that the deliveries are of a high quality. That’s the second time now we’ve scored from a corner kick in two games and it is important.”
Scott Dann’s late header denied Saints a second clean sheet in a row, and while Koeman was slightly disappointed to concede, he admitted that Palace would always be a danger from set pieces.
“It’s is always nice to have another clean sheet but they had a lot of corner kicks and free kicks and that is one of their qualities from set pieces,” he added.
“We defended well today but for one moment. I would prefer 3-0, but 3-1 is a good result.”