Saints 0-1 Swansea City
Following the loss of their best player and a 5 goal humiliation at home to Chelsea, it was understandable that Swansea should adopt an ultra defensive approach to their visit to St. Mary’s – in professional sport, though, you do what you have to do, and it was Gary Monk who won the day over the supreme tactician Ronald Koeman.
The game would surely have been very different had Saints been more clinical in front of goal, but once Ward-Prowse’s shot, after a neat dummy by Elia, was saved by Fabianski’s leg, they didn’t create too much in the danger area, despite overwhelming possession. It’s not an unfamiliar problem, but Ronnie usually comes up with something to deliver the goods. This time he was hindered by the absence of Long through injury, and although Mané’s return via the bench was welcome, having him, Elia and Tadić all on the pitch didn’t seem the right shape.
Reed had to make way for Mané, and that did seem ambitious as Shelvey had already struck the post for the Swans when breaking out of midfield. The same player was to grab an 83rd minute winner with a superb shot into the top corner, prompting the introduction of Seager which once again indicated a lack of depth in the squad that will surely thwart lofty ambitions. As it was, Saints went closer in the remaining time than they had in the earlier proceedings, with Mané twice denied by goal-line clearances by Williams. All very disappointing, and worse was to come when Bertrand was dismissed by a late (in all senses) and reckless challenge on Barrow that drew an instant red card.
LSSC Man of the Match: Steven Davis. Well it was going to be Bertrand, but he’s now made the next few games that much more difficult too.