Broja’s first EPL goal earns Southampton first win of season
SOUTHAMPTON, England (AP) — Armando Broja struck his first English Premier League goal as Southampton picked up an overdue first win of the season by beating Leeds 1-0 at home on Saturday.
Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl expressed doubt ahead of kickoff about whether Broja, a Chelsea loanee, was ready to start top-flight games.
But the Albania striker responded in emphatic fashion, capping a scintillating display by powerfully finishing at the end of a breakaway in the 53rd minute.
Victory for Southampton ended a nine-match winless run in the league dating to last season to lift the team a point above its below-par opponent.
Leeds — deprived of influential midfielders Kalvin Phillips and Raphinha due to injury and international commitments, respectively — created little on the south coast and could have few complaints about the result.
The West Yorkshire club arrived in Hampshire buoyed by a first league success of the campaign after beating Watford a fortnight ago.
Southampton was missing suspended captain James Ward-Prowse and handed a first top-flight start to Broja, who caused Leeds plenty of problems during an opening period dominated by the hosts.
He headed narrowly wide from an inswinging corner by Nathan Redmond, before the pair combined in similar circumstances just two minutes later, with the diving Mohamed Elyounoussi just short of applying a finishing touch at the far post.
Leeds goalkeeper Illan Meslier had pushed away a low effort from Redmond in between those near misses and, later, used his legs to repel Broja after Pascal Struijk made a mess of a long ball forward.
Leeds produced nothing of note from an attacking perspective in the first 45 minutes but, with an inexperienced bench at his disposal, coach Marcelo Bielsa initially opted against changes.
His side finally threatened when Jack Harrison’s shot was blocked by Mohammed Salisu, before Leeds was caught out on the break.
Redmond was sent racing towards goal by a defense-splitting pass from Moussa Djenepo, before unselfishly squaring across for goal for the unmarked Broja to gleefully lash into the roof of the net.
Elyounoussi almost doubled the advantage when he curled marginally wide, before Salisu was relieved to see Dan James direct the ball off target at the other end following a rare defensive lapse.
Match-winner Broja then limped off the pitch to rapturous applause having been clattered by Leeds captain Liam Cooper in the process of scoring the goal.
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