Saints 2-0 Fulham
Osvaldo picked up an injury at Manchester, but he has also made the headlines by reportedly being unhappy with his lot. He picked a bad game to miss if he wants a starting role at the top end of the Premier League as the dual strike force of Lambert and Rodriguez clearly proved one too many for a Fulham defence missing Hangeland at St. Mary’s.
Southampton’s game plan is now well-known, but the hard press still managed to upset the visitors when Lallana robbed Senderos and eventually Schneiderlin’s shot was cleared by Amorebieta with the keeper out of position.
We had to wait 20 minutes for a goal, which came from a familiar source – a Ward-Prowse corner; the ball was nodded on to Lambert who was unmarked at the far post for an easy header.
Immediately afterwards Rodriguez seemed to run through the entire defence, but his shot lacked power, allowing Stekelenburg to push it past the post. With Lambert hitting the upright and seeing a header saved, a second goal was overdue for rampant Saints, and it came just before the break when Lambert headed Lallana’s cross back across goal and Rodriguez scored from almost exactly the same position as Rickie for the opener.
It seemed very possible that Saints would go on to complete a rout, but I suspect that we have coaches and players who would have been more satisfied with a clean sheet than a win by four or five goals to one – indeed that’s what they got and, well, they’ve earned it for the second most parsimonious start in all the major European leagues this season.
Saints continued comfortably on top, though, and Lambert and Rodriguez continued to threaten, with the latter’s spectacular volley the closest we came to adding to the lead. Guly and forgotten man Cork made late appearances, and a rare spotting of Tadanari Lee warming up amused a happy crowd before the end.
LSSC Man of the Match: Rickie Lambert: goal, assist and shot against the post.