Swansea Home Won 1 – 0
In a way it was all change for Saints against Swansea, compared with the Europa League side, but in another it was very much the same, as the starters showed only one change from the last league outing, and that could be down to an injury to Rodriguez. It was also similar to earlier home Premier League games on the pitch, with the team continuing to lack purpose in the last third. That all changed in the last few minutes before half time, starting with Long’s caution for ‘simulation,’ although it appeared that the long-suffering striker had been fouled by Fernandez in the box – maybe Long needs to work on this aspect of his game, although there will be those who think he should cut it out entirely! Redmond blasted over when racing clear and then a single touch by the same player took out both defender and goalkeeper only for him to fail to complete the formality of slipping the ball into a now unguarded goal. Things continued in that vein after the break, Long’s shot that rolled along the line before being hacked clear being the most noteworthy, although he did get the ball in the net after Redmond was adjudged offside – wrongly as it happened. Time, then, to introduce Austin to sort things out, but he failed to get a decent touch to a difficult opportunity before smacking the ball against the bar when Redmond gave him a much more presentable chance. However, it was to be Austin‘s week, after his two Europa goals, with a smart finish by a natural goalscorer finally putting Saints in front. Little had been seen of Swansea’s attackers for some time, but substitute Montero showed that he had the pace to worry home defenders, causing Claude Puel to shore up his right flank with Martina; as it happens, it was Romeu who did well to keep the sheet clean when he reached the loose ball ahead of Montero after Forster had saved from Sigurdsson. Wins are so much easier to come by when you don’t concede, and as well as being the second shut out in four days, this was the first in the league since a 1-0 win also against The Swans as long ago as last February – now we need to do the same against English teams.
LSSC Man of the Match: Ryan Bertrand: effective rather than spectacular, a bit like the team as a whole.