Barnard brace stuns the leaders
Norwich 0, Saints 2
A return to league action at Norwich meant an end to the cup tying rule, and only long term injury victims Murty and Connolly were unavailable for selection. Saints have a large squad so some very able players didn’t even make the bench, but you got the impression that this was Mr. Pardew’s favoured line-up, with Barnard recalled and Puncheon making his second appearance.
The players selected duly obliged with a thoroughly efficient performance, but the first goal that gave Saints an ascendancy that they never lost was vital. Once again it came from Lambert’s cannon, with a long distance free kick bouncing down off the bar for Barnard to head into an unguarded net. A solid pairing of Jaidi and Fonte were protecting Davis well by keeping the dangerous Holt quiet but it needed a mixture of goalpost and goalkeeper to preserve the lead just after the break. However Saints also had a golden chance at the other end, but Puncheon seemed to be in two minds about whether to shoot or take the ball round Forster when sent clear.
You sensed that it would take a touch of fortune for Norwich to preserve an unbeaten home record that went back to their seven goal opening day drubbing, and it might have come when Smith’s shot looped goalwards after a deflection, but Davis managed to turn it onto the bar.
The match turned decisively in Southampton’s favour when Schneiderlin was flattened by Russell who was dismissed for his recklessness. Schneiderlin was on the end of some rough treatment throughout the game, but the sending off was a surprise, as was Paul Lambert’s tactical response of withdrawing his centre back. Chances to seal the game began to appear immediately and Lallana managed to hit the post twice in a frustrating period. Finally Puncheon got round the back and delivered a low cross for Barnard to grab his second, and not even a generous helping of added time caused any further problems for the visitors.
Alan Pardew had waited over 90 minutes before making a substitution, with Antonio eventually appearing, but for once we went a whole game without a Southampton long throw. A good day all round, then.
LSSC Man of the Match: Lee Barnard, as democracy amongst LSSC travellers returns to the awards. But Barnard ahead of Jaidi, who did such a good job on Holt? Are you sure, lads?
Alan Pardew: “Our attitude was to attack Norwich, knock them out of their stride a little and until the sending off they weren’t really in the game.
“(on Lee Barnard) He needed those goals, and I thought he was man of the match.
“It’s good for us because we now have him and Rickie Lambert.”
19 Schneiderlin (Antonio 90+6)