Leicester Home Lost 0 – 9
Occasional light showers were forecast for the evening game against Leicester at St. Mary’s, but the rain turned to be torrential, with a strong wind to boot; pre-match football forecasts in the pub of choice also seemed pessimistic, but turned out to be mild compared to what we saw over 90 excruciating minutes. Saints had barely a touch in the first 10% of the game, but with the visitors goal-less, there was still a chance that the tide would turn. Instead things went from bad to worse in an instant: firstly Chilwell fed Barnes whose shot was parried by Gunn (a recurring defect) back into the path of the full back who tapped home – but then our attention was drawn to the big screen announcement that VAR was investigating a possible red card in the build up. This was the weekend when Stockley Park’s duty refs fully asserted themselves and Mike Dean’s reading of super-slo-mo reruns of Bertrand’s wet weather challenge on Pérez was that it was a sending off offence, which match referee Marriner confirmed, deciding that there was no need to consult the pitch side monitor. Everything rapidly went to pieces with a very good attack suited to the conditions up against a defence who not only couldn’t cope but also made a considerable contribution to their own downfall. It was Valery who set up Tielemans for the Foxes’ second, then a simple exchange of passes let Pérez stroll through a whole bunch of home players to put his side three up with less than 20 minutes played. With Valery eventually switched to the left, maybe not to fill the gap left by Bertrand but to keep him away from an exposed right flank, it looked as though, with a considerable slice of luck, we might make half time down but not totally embarrassed. Then Valery let a soft cross fall to Pérez for 0-4 before Ward-Prowse as emergency right back passed to Vardy who made it five. Apart from worrying about what to do with Valery, there was not much guidance for the players coming from the bench but what must have been a fraught dressing room at the break came up with a new defence: Vestergaard and Ings sacrificed to see how Stephens and Danso would get on at the back. That still left Yoshida who was having a nightmare within a nightmare and he didn’t seem to have much of a clue where Pérez was as the Spaniard completed his second hat trick against Saints. Within a minute, Yoshie was at it again, his effort to cope with Chilwell’s cross would have been embarrassing in park football, never mind from an international player in the Premier League: Vardy headed a very simple seventh. The eighth was from a Maddison free kick that TV showed to be better than many of us thought at the time, but Gunn was nowhere near it nevertheless. That gave Leicester a share of Saints’ record defeat, but they edged past Spurs and Everton with the last kick of the match, by Vardy from the spot after Bednarek had brought the same player down. This game was not the first time Leicester had scored five in a single half in Southampton: in 1967 they turned round a half time deficit in similar playing conditions at The Dell, with Peter Shilton amongst their scorers; Kasper Schmeichel would have fancied his chances up front against the 2019 Saints defence.
LSSC Man of the Match: Well it could have been Redmond who didn’t do much wrong and indeed might have had a goal, but there has to be collective responsibility for a team performance of record breaking ineptitude.
I left at 7 nil — John. I believe the team have donated their pay to charity a bit like the Leicester attack.