To Hull and back
There was plenty of evidence at Bristol that replacing the injured Chaplow with Schneiderlin reduces Southampton’s attacking options too much, and the manager’s pre-match analysis of Hull as a team “who don’t score many but don’t concede many either” might have suggested a chance for De Ridder instead.
However Nigel opted for a more cautious approach that was a reflection of his tactics all round. Saints just seemed to lack a little bit in the first half, both with their finishing (usually too high) and their delivery (crosses not incisive, with Fox also being missed). For the second time this season, and in successive games, Saints turned round goal-less at home, but Hull had put something on the scoreboard.
It came just before half time and although Davis made a superb reaction save from Koren, he was in no position to deal with the player’s follow up header. With Lambert hitting the defensive wall with an immediate chance to respond, Nigel made an aggressive change by bringing on De Ridder – rather surprisingly Cork made way, with Schneiderlin presumably retained to watch the dangerous Koren.
An equaliser didn’t take long, but it came from Lallana’s flank, with his cross headed back by Lambert for Do Prado to see his first effort saved but the second hitting the back of the net. The turnaround was completed within 10 second half minutes when Richardson’s cross was headed home at the near post by Lallana and with the team playing well, spirits were high again. However, Lambert (feeling a ‘twinge,’ apparently) was replaced by Barnard and then Do Prado went as well, with Holmes coming on.
It seems Mr. Adkins can’t resist using his full quota of substitutions when ahead, but by the time Holmes appeared, the visitors were down to ten men and were maybe grateful for a reduced attacking threat from our team. Brady was the player ordered off, his ‘straight red’ being the third dismissal against Saints in successive home matches.
It seems that these days, any sliding tackle that is not completely side on is deemed to be dangerous, but Harding’s injury looked more painful than acute and in this respect at least, Hull were unfortunate. Saints, though, just about deserved to re-write more records with their form at St. Mary’s.
LSSC Man of the Match: Adam Lallana, as second half goals made all the difference.