Southampton boss frustrated as Pelle earns suspension for Man City trip

St Marys Southampton

Ronald Koeman will now be without one of his key men for one of their toughest tests of the season.

In the midst of a disappointing home defeat to Stoke City, the last thing that Ronald Koeman needed was for his top goalscorer to earn a petulant yellow card that will keep him out of the Saints' trip to Manchester City.

Graziano Pelle was cautioned during the third of four additional minutes at the end of the game against Mark Hughes' men, after handling the ball and then proceeding to kick it away. The booking was the Italian's fifth of the season, and means that he will now serve a one-match ban.

Koeman explained to the club's official website that Pelle's disappointment over his own performance led to the incident, and suggested that he let his frustration get the better of him. 

"He was not playing well, he was not scoring and the team was not winning, but you have to control yourself always," he said.

The former Feyenoord forward was unlucky not to earn a penalty during the game after seemingly being fouled in the box by Stoke defender Philipp Wollscheid. Nevertheless, Pelle's caution came so late on that it was unlikely that the home side were going to being able to rescue a point, thus making the yellow card all the more disappointing for the south coast club.

With a trip to the Etihad next up for Koeman's men, the Dutchman could have certainly done with having the 30-year-old available. 

Along with Sadio Mane, Pelle was instrumental in Southampton's thumping victory over Chelsea earlier in the campaign. And with City's defence looking as fragile during their defeat to Liverpool as the Blues' back four did that day, the forward would have fancied his chances of helping Koeman's men to a surprise victory. 

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