West Ham 3-1 Saints
Southampton’s management may still be adamant that they didn’t deliberately field a weakened team for the F.A. Cup, but Boruc, Chambers, Fonte, Schneiderlin, Cork and Rodriguez all returned to face West Ham.
It all looked to be going very much according to plan as well when Yoshida easily headed home Davis’s free kick. Little real danger was experienced at the other end, either, but then Shaw’s positional play was exposed as it so often has been this season, and a possibly offside Jarvis ran through a huge gap between full back and centre half to equalise: Shaw has obviously learned a lot for an 18 year old, but repeated errors are less easy to forgive.
Yoshida also always seems to have a mistake in him, even though his latest run in the team has been more consistent; Carlton Cole found him out though, first by heading a corner against the post and then by stabbing the ball home after the Japanese made a mess of dealing with the rebound.
Saints had it in themselves to hit the woodwork as well, but Lambert’s effort bounced away to safety before the team set about repairing the damage in the second period.
Plenty of possession should have asked more questions of the home defence, but just as Saints seemed to be making some headway, West Ham sealed the game with a third: Cole headed down for Nolan to volley in from close range.
It could have been worse but Diame shot against the bar before Ramirez began to build on the promise he had at last been showing before his injury.
However his pre-World Cup opportunities may be limited now we’ve exited all domestic cups as Saints have an established starting XI that even Wanyama is finding it hard to break into… Lovren should fare better when fully fit, though.
LSSC Man of the Match: Jack Cork, but another difficult day at the office for the whole team.