Everton Home – Not a great day at the office for anyone wearing sensible colours.
Transfer activity by our rivals meant Southampton’s own actions in the summer window had to include the replacement of Schneiderlin and Alderweireld. Romeu has arrived to satisfy the first requirement, but too late to be a realistic starter against Everton at St. Mary’s; Caulker is more likely eventually to be a squad member than a starter, but was unavailable anyway, so the only change was Long in for Rodriguez. The visitors made a change… to their kit, turning out in a unattractive khaki outfit, presumably to avoid a clash with our goalkeeper who now wears blue for some reason (and we’re hardly in a position to criticise other teams’ away strip this season either). After a cagey opening, a sharp turn by Mané produced a shot that Howard kicked away for a corner. However, these set pieces are proving a problem and for the second game running, Saints managed to concede from such an attacking situation. Again the breakaway came down Targett’s flank, led by Koné and eventually finished by Lukaku with the same decisiveness as Wijnaldum at Newcastle – both fine goals, but the similarity is cause for concern. Lukaku has given us problems before, and he was instrumental in a move that led to a shot from Barkley, saved into the path of Cleverly who should have done better. Saints have struggled against industrious Everton midfields in the past, and it was becoming evident that this was going to be another of those games, although Wanyama should have scored with a header from a corner. Before the break, though, Everton went further ahead when Yoshida was caught in possession and Lukaku finished from Barkley’s pass. Romeu come on for the lightweight Tadić at the break, and was lucky to escape with just a caution for his first contribution, although the rest of his game was promising. Further missed headed chances for Fonte and Pellè came and went before the game’s outstanding players, Lukaku and Barkley, combined for the latter to score with a curling shot with ten minutes left. Not a great day at the office for anyone wearing sensible colours.
LSSC Man of the Match: Sadio Mané, mainly because he is not so reliant on other players.