Saints 0-1 Sunderland
There’s only one Nigel Adkins, but he has made quite a few errors in this Premier League campaign. As feared, Lallana’s injury against Reading was serious, so a re-think was needed for the next game – Sunderland in another important home fixture. Davis continued in goal and would have been pleased with an early save against a club where he had an unhappy top flight start, but it was elsewhere that we again had to question the selection strategy, with Mayuka inevitably looking less than sharp up front and Ramirez rather isolated in Lallana’s left wing role.
To be fair, it all sounded like a good idea, but things were clearly not working out and it was surprising that nothing changed for 60 minutes. By that time the visitors had bagged an all-important goal in a rare attack; good work by the ever-dangerous Johnson and a crucial mis-hit shot by Sessegnon that sent the ball into the path of the unmarked Fletcher.
Fonte’s fine header from a corner looked to have squared the game but Colback made a spectacular goal-line clearance. It was certainly a game that could have been rescued against an average team, but DeRidder coming on for Mayuka in that first substitution on the hour didn’t do us any favours overall, and neither did the introduction of Davis for Puncheon. In the end, we even tried putting the other Davis up front for a corner, but a poor delivery summed up an afternoon that was as miserable as the weather.
LSSC Man of the Match: Luke Shaw. Obviously a prodigy, but he still has to deliver when selected in the first team, and there have been mistakes. This was a very assured performance, though.