Saints 2-0 Swansea City
I don’t have any problem with Sunday matches when they’re caused by Europa League commitments, but with no TV presence, what idiot decided on a Sabbath lunchtime kick off at St. Mary’s for Swansea’s visit? Probably the same person who thought the new kit looked good in the Adidas catalogue.. but let’s not go there again, for the moment anyway, and concentrate on what turned out to be a really good game of football.
From the outset it was clear that both teams were comfortable with the ball, but maybe lacking a cutting edge in front of goal. However, Lallana was looking particularly lively and in the 20th minute he managed to get behind the back of the Swans’ defence to finish with a fine shot into the top corner.
A second goal seemed likely as well, but Michael Laudrup’ side soon established an impressive passing game and with Fox replacing Shaw because of sickness, the left side of the defence looked distinctly dodgy against Nathan Dyer.
Dyer managed to hit the inside of the post after cutting inside, and that flank also produced crosses that required Boruc to save from Michu and Bony – the latter a particularly fine stop. Saints had to do something to counter this threat, and the replacement of Osvaldo by Ward-Prowse after an hour seemed to cut off Dyer’s supply.
Thereafter Swansea gradually became less of a threat, with Lovren and Fonte now equal to most of what came their way – although both seemed to be booked for a desperate foul that just about stopped Bony on the edge of the box after Fonte was caught in possession.
Saints had the ball in the net via Wanyama after a corner, but referee Dean managed to spot an infringement somewhere, possibly to make up for his error in awarding the set piece in the first place.
Soon afterwards a valid second goal did ensue, with substitute Rodriguez punishing some sloppy defending, mostly by Flores. That proved to be a knock out blow, as Swansea finished tamely after a good technical performance, and Saints even had the luxury of being able to introduce Guly for an uneventful couple of minutes at the end.
LSSC Man of the Match: Adam Lallana: after a threatening first half, he adapted his game with a very disciplined defensive performance when needed.