Reading 0-2 Saints
Things had moved on since TV selected Southampton’s visit to Reading for live coverage, with the home team apparently drifting away from safety, but the fixture was given extra spice by Nigel Adkins’ latest appointment.
Maybe Kelvin Davis’s honest response to questioning over Nigel’s January dismissal being good for our club might have been better left unsaid, but deep down there are few Saints fans who disagree, certainly even fewer after the game.
A cagey opening seemed to consist of an exchange of throw-ins, but then Reading suddenly applied a threat. Their first chance was almost entirely of Southampton’s making, but it was very scoreable and we were grateful that Le Fondre squandered it.
Then thanks were due to Boruc for keeping out Mariappa’s header before Jay Rodriguez began to show his hand. The striker could have put Saints out of sight by the interval, once he had forced the ball under the advancing Federici for the opener.
It didn’t quite work out as well as that when he beat the keeper again because the ball came back off the bar, and when the Australian did deny him, Ramirez was just off target with a good chance from the rebound.
The game turned decidedly in Saints’ favour when ex-Saint Guthrie was withdrawn, leaving the hosts light in midfield, while Mauricio introduced a lively looking Lallana in place of our least effective player, Ramirez.
It soon led to the security of a second goal, and this time Rodriguez was the creator by providing the defence breaching pass that set up Lallana. There was no way back for a deflated home side, despite some ‘interesting’ goalkeeping by Boruc, and we had Guly to laugh at as well for the last couple of minutes.
LSSC Man of the Match: Jay Rodriguez for a goal, an assist and a shot against the bar. We never get to know the details, but you imagine he was a Nigel signing, as opposed to Don Cotese’s choice, and is now looking to be a good one.