Barnsley 1-5 Saints
Mauricio Pochettino may still not have much English, but he will have learnt a lot about English football already, and that includes League Cup selection policies. Only Fonte and Rodriguez started against both Sunderland in the League and Barnsley in the Cup, but Clyne would normally be a first choice as well, and he was welcomed back.
The team would have taken an early lead but the finish by Ramirez didn’t match the build up, and we had to wait 26 minutes for a breakthough, courtesy of Steven Davis. As the home side scarcely troubled Kelvin Davis in the first half, that threatened to be enough even before Rodriguez scored soon after the break, and then went on to hit the post as well.
However Barnsley did have a shock in store when Dawson pulled a goal back with a fine shot, and those of us with an eye on a couple of drinks before closing time at a newly-found watering hole began to worry about the game being extended – Mayuka dispelled these unlikely fears with a strike that recalled his spectacular effort against Besiktas pre-season.
Rowe and Reed (look out for him – a new Alan Ball, perhaps?) came on for late debuts and Saints finished the match in style, with Sinclair also joining the party. Barnsley’s interest in this year’s competition was visibly waning and only goalkeeper Pollitt prevented a bigger defeat than they actually suffered – five Southampton goals in the end, with a Steven Davis penalty after a foul on Mayuka and a show-boating injury time finish from Ramirez.
LSSC Man of the Match: Jack Cork. To be honest I’m not sure who we had decided on, but the team as a unit had an easy evening.