Arsenal Away Lost 2 – 0
A midwinter break to the Canaries allowed Ralph to have a good think about tactics for the remaining games, but maybe he’s been thinking too much? At Arsenal we had just Redmond up front and, more surprisingly, Gunn in goal and no place for Bertrand. Actually the Redmond move seemed reasonable enough and the lone forward broke clear of a busted offside trap on five minutes; with no support he did as well as he could but Leno made the block and within a couple of minutes Saints were a goal behind. Once again there was poor defending by the unit with Stephens first losing possession and then bundling Torreira over as his colleagues seemed to stop playing for fear of a penalty: no such decision but in any case Lacazette turned Mkhitaryan’s cross into the net from what would have been an offside position had Bednarek been paying more attention. Saints were actually threatening an equaliser but when a promising position came to nothing, play restarted with a drop ball that Arsenal booted forward; unfortunately they booted it to Stephens who made a mess of his control and ended up giving Gunn a difficult backpass that the keeper in turn dealt with badly, and a defence in disarray could do nothing to stop Mkhitaryan scoring. Two down after 17 minutes, Saints were lucky to survive until the break with the same scoreline. Stephens was removed at the interval to prevent further damage (at least that worked) while Austin and Obafemi came on to give more support up front (not much evidence for that, although Obafemi himself had to be substituted with 25 minutes left). Ward-Prowse had a couple of strikes on goal, but otherwise the second period was a stroll in the unseasonably warm sunshine for the Gunners, who should in fact have scored more: a ‘Lazy Sunday Afternoon’ for them suggested Chairman Mick… indeed so – ‘close my mind and drift away.’
LSSC Man of the Match: Jan Vestergaard. I’ve been waiting to give him the award for a few weeks actually, but heaven knows how many goals our centre backs have given away this season, Vestergaard included.