Guly double see Saints back to winning ways
Saints 2, Palace 0
DeRidder was restored to the team to face Crystal Palace on Boxing Day,and it’s a move Nigel usually makes when he expects opponents to be more frustrating than threatening.
The result suggests a successful change of tactics, although I’m not fully convinced. Right wing crosses provide much of our storyline, though, starting in the 9th minute when Lambert met Schneiderlin’s delivery perfectly but was foiled by a save from Speroni, arguably the division’s best shot-stopper. DeRidder’s crosses were looking less dangerous, with one in particular sticking in the mind as it sailed into the Northam Stand despite Southampton’s big guns waiting expectantly in the six yard box.
However, things changed on 33 minutes, with the less likely figure of Do Prado getting on the end of the winger’s cross to head home. Until then, Palace’s only effort at goal had sailed tamely wide of Davis’s post, but some sloppy defending gave them hope immediately after the breakthrough, only for Saints to re-establish their passing game. Sometimes that style delivers less than it promises, and it looked as though the team were making an effort to be more incisive at the start of the second period, only to be let down by the final pass.
Threats at the other end continued to be sporadic, but the visitors’ only corner of the match caused some panic amid appeals for handball as well. A second goal to give some reassurance duly came, and it was another (in fact better) header after Do Prado had again been fed from the right, this time courtesy of Richardson.
o what of DeRidder? Through no fault of his own, he seems to get in the way as often as he finds an outlet, and with the goals target achieved, he made way for Connolly. A welcome return for him, and to winning ways generally.
LSSC Man of the Match: Morgan Schneiderlin, who had also impressed at Portsmuff. Too many ‘Guly’ moments for Do Prado’s goals to deny him this time.
04 Schneiderlin (Hammond 87)
33 De Ridder (Connolly 79)