Arsenal Away EFL Cup – Quarter-Final Won 2 – 0
As November slips into December, it’s usually time for Southampton to bow out of the League Cup at the quarter final stage – they’ve done so for the last two seasons and seven times in total since progressing to the 1987 semis. Drawn away to Arsenal, the bookmakers thought this time would be no different, but the Gunners’ starting line-up looked like a side who’ve never played together, while Saints are now used to switching between the Premier League XI and the midweek cup team – although we hadn’t tried McQueen on the right hand side of midfield before. The first sign that it was to be our night came after 13 minutes when Betrand set Boufal up for a first time shot that was blocked into the path of Clasie who also struck first time, although he may have been as surprised as the rest of us when the ball flew past Martinez for the Dutchman to break his club duck. The home side struggled to impose themselves on the game and they were looking at defeat before half time when Boufal and Bertrand linked up again, and this time it was a rare goal for the full back. Only after the interval did Arsenal begin to look a threat, but even then it was hard to see them getting past Forster who wasn’t forced into one of his memorable displays at the Emirates. Indeed it was Saints who could, and should, have changed the scoreline with a number of shots whizzing past Martinez’s left post, often for corners. Long created but also missed the half’s best chance, Højbjerg should have punished a defensive error while McQueen came awfully close to being the third unlikely scorer, but it was still a very good night for all concerned.
LSSC Man of the Match: Ryan Bertrand. Early days yet, but there were signs in the first half of a profitable partnership down the left between Bertrand and Boufal, before McQueen was restored to his more natural flank for the second period.