English League 2

Roche curses missed chances

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Sat, 09 Feb 2013 20:59:00

Southampton striker Rickie Lambert feels his side's surprise 3-1 triumph over defending champions Manchester City was thoroughly deserved.

Lambert contributed a fine display to help inspire the victory, which was sealed by first-half strikes from Jason Puncheon and Steven Davis and an inexplicable Gareth Barry own-goal after the break, with Edin Dzeko scoring City's only goal.

For Southampton the result marked a first success under new manager Mauricio Pochettino and Lambert believes they were worthy winners.

"I think it's our best performance (of the season)," he said on ESPN. "We were absolutely superb today and got exactly what we deserved.

"We looked for the early goal and looked to put them under pressure early and hope to capitalise on it. It worked perfectly. Then we went 2-0 up, which was even better."

The margin of victory could have been even greater had referee Martin Atkinson not waved away Jay Rodriguez's penalty appeals on the stroke of half-time.

Man of the match Rodriguez said: "I ran in and I think there was a little nudge, but the referee hasn't given it so we got on with the game."

He added: "We press hard, take the game to them. As you can see, it creates chances and puts us on the front foot. We've taken to it well and put in a great performance."

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Roche, sent to meet the media in place of furious manager Jim Bentley, was a mere spectator as Kevin Ellison headed wide and Lewis Alessandra rounded Exeter goalkeeper Artur Krysiak before missing from six yards out.

But they were made to pay as the Grecians struck three times in the final half an hour with Jamie Cureton scoring either side of a Arron Davies effort.

Roche said: "After two great away wins we certainly crashed to earth with a bang.

"There wasn't a lot in the first half and we were always in the game but then we missed a great chance and they made us pay.

"At the end of the day they took their chances and we didn't and that proved vital. If we had gone 1-0 up I am sure it would have been a different game because they would have had to come at us and may have opened up gaps for us.

"This league is all about consistency and going on good runs. We were on that run bit it all came crashing down around us and we have to make sure we bounce back as soon as possible."

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