Date: 11th December 2016 at 9:01pm
Written by: Vital Boro

Middlesbrough only lost out to Sofiane Boufal’s spectacular 25-yard winner at St Mary’s.

Saints’ record signing struck early in the second-half to move his side tenth in the table, while their opponents remain three points above the relegation zone.

Both Gaston Ramirez and Alvaro Negredo missed out with injuries for the visitors and were replaced by Cristhian Stuani and Jordan Rhodes.

And the Teessiders went close when Rhodes was denied on the line following good work on the left by Viktor Fisher.

Jordy Clasie replied wide from the edge of the area and Jay Rodriguez’s low drive was saved by Victor Valdes.

However, Fischer was again near when after initially being denied by Virgil van Dijk, his follow-up was blocked on the line before Stuani was similarly thwarted.

The hosts began the second-half stronger with Rodriguez having an effort deflected wide; although Boufal then curled what proved the winner past Valdes.

Boro struggled to match that and Adam Clayton later headed off the line before Rodriguez was close to meeting a Nathan Redmond cross in the final moments.

Southampton: Forster, Martina, Fonte, van Dijk, McQueen, Ward-Prowse, Romeu, Clasie (Long 85), Boufal (Davis 73), Rodriguez, Tadic (Redmond 46)

subs (unused): Yoshida, Reed, Bertrand, Taylor

Goals: Boufal (53)

Middlesbrough: Valdes, Barragan, Chambers, Gibson, Fabio, de Roon, Clayton, Forshaw, Stuani (Traore 81), Rhodes, Fischer

subs (unused): Bernardo, Leadbitter, Guzan, Downing, Nsue Lopez, Nugent

Ref: S. Attwell

Att: 28,976