Saints cruise past Rovers
Saints 2, Tranmere 0
With Schneiderlin required by the French squad, Chaplow was drafted in to the starting XI against Tranmere. However that straight swap would have reduced Saints’ creativity against opposition who were expected to adopt a defensive approach, so Guly Do Prado came in to play just behind Lambert – Barnard making way. As the player was on the bench, one assumes that had nothing to do with his hand injury or any club punishment for the well publicised punch (allegedly) that caused it. Southampton had the visitors on the back foot from the first minute, when a more confident Lambert might have shrugged off a goal saving tackle. Goalkeeper Gulasci was forced into several saves, often bravely, but he was beaten when Lambert headed Do Prado’s cross against the bar. On the basis of creating chances, the new system was working… but no goals again from a Saints team still looking for a first League 1 open play success at St. Mary’s this season. It eventually came on 42 minutes, with Tranmere’s over-stretched defence in no position to stop Lambert heading home Butterfield’s cross. A second goal came early in the second half, Do Prado the provider with a powerful run capped by a low cross that Lallana side footed home. The Brazilian had been hurt in the build up and he eventually retired on 63 minutes with no-one in the stadium doubting that the points were now in the bag. Tranmere had a few first half shots from distance, some near the goal and others ending up closer to their band of support tucked away in a corner (do we really have to treat our guests as an annoying irrelevance?). Even that threat had vanished in the second period, but at the other end, when substitute Barnard found the net, Chaplow was obscuring Gulasci’s view in an offside position, and Chaplow missed the best of several more chances by carefully placing the ball wide of not just Gulasci but also the post.
LSSC Man of the Match: Guly Do Prado, although he played for barely an hour. The game was well and truly sealed in that time, though
10 Puncheon (Chamberlain 79)
11 Guly (Barnard 63)
20 Lallana (Holmes 86)
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