Saints 2-0 Newcastle United
After a week when 10% of the Premier League’s managers received their P45s, Nigel Adkins would have been pleased to confound punters who had staked money on him being first to go.
His position is still far from secure, so against Newcastle he could have done without seeing Lambert’s apparently goal-bound free kick clip the frame of the goal. This was one of three occasions when Saints hit the woodwork as a second half shot from Puncheon and a header from Fonte rebounded off post and crossbar respectively.
To that you can add a number of last ditch saves from Krul as Saints produced a dominant performance against the side who are, of course, managed by Nigel’s predecessor.
However, this wasn’t ‘just one of those days’ for a luckless forward line, as a couple of mistakes by Krul allowed Saints a surprisingly easy win.
The visiting keeper was quick out of his area to prevent Puncheon running on to Lambert’s pass but he failed to find touch and was stranded when Clyne attempted to shoot into an unguarded net. It wasn’t going in, but Williamson’s panicky clearance was probably necessary as Ramirez was lurking; it was also in vain after Ramirez collected the loose ball and set up Lallana for the opener, and with Krul still not in sight.
A second goal is always welcome, and there had been a warning sign when Anita went clear but failed to get in a clean enough strike to beat Gazzaniga. Lallana and Puncheon eventually combined in the 61st minute and when Krul spilled Puncheon’s low cross, Ramirez was on hand to score.
Gazzaniga made sure there were no late alarms by making a fine low save from Santon, and only a close offside decision prevented substitute Rodriguez increasing the lead at the other end. Yes, Saints even survived Nigel’s knee-jerk reactions from the bench, and there was only one piece of comic defending to report – Gazzaniga forced to save his own fluffed clearance when the scores were still level.
LSSC Man of the Match: Adam Lallana, for a goal and an assist. Actually you can say the same for Ramirez, but Mr. Adkins only allowed him 76 minutes playing time.