Saints 0-2 Leicester City
Saints 0, Leicester 2
Each year some smart Alec calculates what must be the most miserable day of the year – invariably a Monday in mid January. With the 2012 working year starting with a Bank Holiday, there’s a bit more confusion this time round, but plenty of Saints fans would point to the 23rd of the month being a good candidate.
Because of a TV sports channel’s need to fill its mundane listings with some live action, Saints v. Leicester was switched to Monday evening from its scheduled Saturday – but our team looked as though they were still having a long weekend. As Lambert was still doing time, Fonte and Richardson still not recovered from injury, that Japanese bloke still in Japan and some fellow from Celtic not interested in a move, an unchanged team looked likely until Lallana dropped out. In came Spurs loanee Yago Falqué for his Saints debut, but Lallana is a hard act to replace, and he only lasted 55 minutes. By then, Leicester had deservedly gone two up, thanks to a fine strike from Pompey old boy Nugent and a headed goal by ex Saint Mills after a corner was only partially cleared.
It was a lead that never really looked under threat, although a more positive approach from Schneiderlin and only slightly better direction on a header from Hammond might have reduced the deficit. Both those incidents were in the first half, as was an early miss by Connolly who may not have realised how well-placed he was.
Southampton’s first substitutions introduced Holmes and DeRidder in an attempt to provide some specialised wide play, but the introduction of Richardson did that anyway as it meant Harding switching to his preferred side. Unfortunately this move wasenforced as a result of an injury to the influential Hooiveld, so a bad night all round.
No longer top of the League and no longer laughing.
LSSC Man of the Match: Dan Fox, who ended up at centre back. Only the least worst of a bad bunch, though.
26 Hooiveld (Richardson 65)
14 Hammond (De Ridder 56)
27 Falque (Holmes 56)