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Mayday has different attractions for different groups of people, for example the Morris Dancers seen performing on my way to the station, or the Saints fans at the Civic Centre celebrating the 40th anniversary of the 1976 Cup win. This Mayday was also matchday, thanks to the TV schedules that upset the Manchester City management – and with good reason too. The outcome, though, was a team selection with European action rather than league points in mind, a situation that was very favourable to Saints, who omitted Suarez, Clasie and Rodriguez and didn’t have a squad place for Pellè. After Forster ensured early parity, the home side took a 26th minute lead when Tadić won a race to the by-line and pulled the ball back for Long to stab home. Within a few minutes Saints had scored again, with Tadić again the provider, sending Mané clear for an assured finish. The team looked comfortable with the two goal cushion, and even when the ball bobbled dangerously in the box just before the break, they still looked safe, only to be thwarted by an alert headed goal from Iheanacho. City enjoyed a considerable amount of possession as the second half got under way and you sensed that the next goal would decide the game. Happily Southampton scored it: Van Dijk headed against the bar from a corner as although Fonte failed to follow it up, Mané appeared from nowhere and was more successful. For the second game running, Saints went on to score a fourth, again Tadić and Mané combining for a similar strike to the side’s second. And for the second game running, the margin ended up as 4-2, with Iheanacho‘s second probably the best goal of the six. City can field a very strong side,even with a shed load of changes, so this was a notable victory to mark the significant date for our club, even if those who came in for the visitors didn’t cover themselves with glory.
LSSC Man of the Match: Duŝan Tadić and Sadio Mané. There is a precedent for sharing the award, and I don’t have the will to distinguish between the relative merits of a hat trick of goals and a hat trick of assists.