Burnley Away Drew 1 – 1
Romeu for Højbjerg was the only team change at Burnley, but we now had Ward-Prowse operating on the left and Tadić in centre midfield – maybe they’d done that at West Brom as well, but it was more obvious at Turf Moor. Either way, it might have paid off but for Pope saving from Tadić after a promising Southampton start, but that was as exciting as the first half got for a sparse visiting following, and home fans weren’t offered many treats either as the game settled into a familiar pattern: in their last three visits to this ground Saints have made it to around three quarters of the distance to a clean sheet, but falling behind to goals scored in the 73rd, 78th and, now, 67th minute. And like those earlier occasions there was an air of preventability about the Clarets’ goal, as Guđmundsson was allowed to get on the end of a deep cross from Lennon: McCarthy kept out the Icelander’s shot, and was placed to prevent Hendrick from netting the rebound but for an intervention by Barnes who bundled the ball in. You had to study the replays very hard to see the forward using an arm to make sure of the score but, unlike at Watford, Saints could have no real complaint – and now they had to ‘up’ their attacking game to restore parity. Immediately Sims replaced Ward-Prowse, and before too long Boufal and Gabbiadini made it onto the pitch as well; Sims has used his absence from first team action to develop a hipster beard, possibly as a disguise as he has taken our last two opponents by surprise as an effective late substitute, but when Pope touched a Sims shot onto the post it looked as though the manager’s changes would be in vain. Happily that proved not to be the case, but admittedly with a bit of help from referee Madley who inadvertently baulked Westwood, allowing Redmond to free Sims for a cross that Carrillo won at the far post: we still relied on Mr. Madley’s good nature to make sure of a 90th minute equaliser as Gabbiadini might have been a bit physical when beating Long to the knock down, but a volley secured a hard earned point and gave Manolo his first goal since a brace against Newcastle.
LSSC Man of the Match: Nathan Redmond, which may surprise a few – but why not Redmond?