West Bromwich Albion 2-0 Saints
Ramirez returned from injury to face West Brom, where he was joined in the first team by Gazzaniga, but more informative were the changes from the last away league game: out went Boruc, Hooiveld, Puncheon and Guly for Gazza, Fox, Gastón and Lambert.
With Rodriguez making his fifth consecutive Premier League start (he doesn’t usually finish, though), this was an adventurous line-up in total contrast to the eleven Nigel put out against West Ham. Added to the fact that we still have no idea who is our best goalkeeper, left back or centre half (and, astonishingly, centre forward on occasions it seems), there isn’t a clear way forward for the team, and another pointless away trip seemed inevitable from the moment Albion settled into a rhythm – about ten minutes.
It took quite a bit longer for them to take the lead as well, but once again it was a very preventable goal: Odemwingie was allowed far too much space on the edge of the area, and although his shot took a late deflection, it ought to have been saved by a top division keeper.
What we need is a slice of good fortune but it was sadly lacking when Lambert crashed a first time shot against the bar in an encouraging beginning to the second period. Of course the team are more than capable of creating their own bad luck at the other end, and Odemwingie would normally have expected a bit more close attention as he easily headed home Long’s regulation cross from a nondescript breakaway down the left.
Not surprisingly Ramirez didn’t complete the 90 minutes, and it was no shock that Rodriguez didn’t either, although he might have done more than Do Prado did with a header shortly after coming on.
LSSC Man of the Match: Jose Fonte, which probably comes as a surprise for him, but it’s increasingly difficult to find a stand out player.