Crystal Palace Home Lost 1 – 2
After a couple of days to think about it (and after completing the 90 minutes at Old Trafford), Hoedt was found to have been concussed and so missed Crystal Palace‘s visit to St. Mary’s. No matter, the team were attacking with a strong breeze behind them – indeed they could have gone ahead in the first minute, but the chance fell to Long, and he never scores. Well almost never, as on 17 minutes Pied’s cross that might have been designed to go elsewhere fell to Long and he gleefully whipped the ball home. Pressing on to score a second would have been a good strategy, but it was beyond the team, and in the second half they faced firstly increasingly poor conditions as the Atlantic depression given the grand title of Storm Eleanor swept in, and secondly a visiting team strengthened by a substitution thanks to the tactical nous of their coach. There are suggestions that Saints were sent out to defend, but I suspect they simply intended to continue as they had been, and had no particular plans from the first minute to deal with the weather. That said, decent defending might still have secured the three points, but a failure to pick up Benteke in second phase play after a free kick set up McArthur for an equaliser – this shortly after Mr. Hodgson made his second change. In response, on came Davis for Saints, with Gabbiadini entering five minutes later; this is a regular ploy, but it’s hard to recall Gabbie even touching the ball in his many cameo appearances… except to kick off, of course, and he had to do that ten minutes from time after Milivojević fired in a wind assisted shot that the combined efforts of both McCarthy and Forster would not have kept out. Sr. Pellegrino described this as a ‘massive game,’ which suggests this was a massive defeat; certainly the re-opened transfer window needs to be utilised, for reasons beyond having to pay Corporation Tax on the Van Dijk windfall.
LSSC Man of the Match: Shane Long. His goal was a high spot, but the player will probably remember it for longer than the fans.