Chelsea Away Drew 0 – 0
No less than eight changes for Saints’ visit to Chelsea, including the enforced absence of Højbjerg but also the unexpected omissions of Lemina (nowhere to be seen) and McCarthy (relegated to the bench); it meant a Premier League debut for Gunn and a return for Soares while Slattery was the latest to enjoy some squad time. This was Ralph’s first away game when even a point would be a bonus, and Saints were set up to secure last place on MotD – they duly achieved it with a resolute display, featuring not only a flawless performance by Gunn and (well, slightly less flawless) by the much criticised centre backs: Yoshida, Bednarek and Vestergaard. The Blues have lost a bit of their mojo in front of goal of late, certainly when Hazard isn’t involved in the build up, and they were without Giroud, Southampton’s usual nemesis, but their fans would have been disappointed at what they could create from 72% possession. Our return of two corners and six shots (two on target) from the amount of ball we had was actually quite reasonable, although quite what sort of Plan B Ralph had in case Chelsea scored is most unclear. In fact Gunn was beaten in the second half as substitute Fabregas began to have an influence but a close offside call against Morata came to the rescue, as did some determined blocks as time began to run out. The visitors’ end gave the players a well deserved reception at the end, although the point was not enough to prevent them dropping into the relegation zone.
LSSC Man of the Match: Maya Yoshida. It could have been Angus Gunn but his defenders had protected him well. Yoshie is now off to the Asia Cup – what will he find at St. Mary’s when he returns?