Saints 2-0 Burnley
Pellè was restored to the starting line-up to face Burnley, replacing Wanyama. The Kenyan continues to stack up a lot of cautions, and his omission may have much to do with damage limitation while we wait for a bookings amnesty to kick in, while the team do play better with a big front man – just a shame he no longer has the confidence to find the net. This was shown again early on after Davis found Pellè well placed for a strike on goal, only for an unnecessary extra touch to lose the moment.
When play switched to the other end, Clyne, along with 30,000 others, hung around waiting for Forster to come and collect a routine free ball on the edge of the box, but the keeper stayed at home, and had to deal with a back pass. By now Vokes sniffed a chance to intercept, and an awkward fall means Forster is now likely to miss the rest of the season. Kelvin Davis is 38 years young and came on for his first Premier League football since New Year’s Day 2014, having also been excused cup duties all season. He was soon in action, saving from Vokes as the Saints back line that had been so solid at Chelsea found things awkward without Wanyama’s protection.
Back in front of the Chapel Stand in a ding-dong half, Saints took the lead when a scuffed shot by Clyne was completely missed by Pellè, only for Long to take advantage and score. A free kick headed back by Fonte gave the target man another chance, and this time Graziano made a decent connection, only to see his shot come back off the bar.
It could have been costly as Ings immediately brought the best from Kelvin Davis: a diving save that turned the shot round the post. Both keepers were in action again before the break, whereupon Ronnie K. decided to put a stop to the Clarets’ threat by bringing on Wanyama.
It was a highly effective move, although you always need a second goal to guard against misfortune. It came on 57 minutes, thanks to a drilled cross from Bertrand that looked destined to fall for Pellè. To be honest, the ball could have ended up anywhere had it found its intended target, but Shackell intervened with a desperate clearance that only sent the ball into his own net, and Saints were already home and dry.
LSSC Man of the Match: Kelvin Davis, and you’d have got good odds against that, pre-match.