Norwich City 0-0 Saints
Despite recent defensive lapses, Sr Pochettino chose both Lallana & Ramirez, Lambert & Rodriguez to face Norwich. There was a change at the back, though, with Hooiveld returning and Yoshida moving to full back to replace Clyne; if that upset the England Under 21 player, I wouldn’t blame him.
In conditions that were certainly not marginal but got progressively worse as non-settling snow got heavier, a slick move gave Ramirez the best opportunity of the opening half – his attempt to chip the out of position Bunn was the right decision, but was just a bit underhit in its execution.
Norwich were being out-possessed, but as QPR had proved, that isn’t important if you can put the ball in the net, and Snodgrass’ free kick forced a save from Boruc to give a hint of dramas to come.
Early in the second period Rodriguez fashioned an opportunity with a determined run, but his cross just eluded Ramirez before Lallana wasted a great chance as the ball went loose. For all Southampton’s possession in good areas, that was as near as we came to breaking the deadlock, and it needed a couple of timely interventions from Yoshida to protect the clean sheet at the other end.
Neither Lallana nor Rodriguez saw out the game as Guly and Ward-Prowse were introduced, and when Holt ambled out towards the touchline in the last minute of added time, it seemed like time to pack up and go home. But then Shaw was tempted into a challenge just before the forward left the penalty area that on the one hand was innocuous but on the other was from behind, giving Mr. Clattenburg cause to think about a penalty. He did so for some time, in fact, and was then persuaded to consult his assistant as well.
For all the considerable protests from distraught Saints players, the spot kick was duly awarded, and up stepped Holt, who had started the whole chain of events… he didn’t finish it though, as Boruc flew through the snow as if Aled Jones was singing the incidental music, and pulled off a save that won a point.
LSSC Man of the Match: Artur Boruc, amidst some controversy as we didn’t have a proper vote (well you shouldn’t have sneaked off to the first class, lads). In retrospect, I think it’s right, as the outfielders disappointed in the basic quest for a goal.