West Ham United 4-1 Saints
Not that we’re panicking or anything, but Saints fielded their third goalkeeper of the Premier League season as a distinctly chubby Artur Boruc came in to face West Ham and try to stem the flow of goals against. Gazzaniga dropped out of the reckoning as Davis (K) retained his place on the bench, where he would have been surprised to find Lambert for company.
The BBC’s commentator may have been scathing about the first half entertainment, but you wouldn’t have found many Saints fans complaining at the interval, with the team enjoying a fair amount of possession and refusing to be bullied by an attack lead by Carroll.
Somehow, though, it all went wrong after the break, and if you listen to Big Sam’s post match comments, it was all down to tactical genius… but it’s difficult to see how he could have planned for the critical 46th minute free kick from Noble that found its way into the net from some distance; Boruc couldn’t bring himself to leave the near post unguarded as Collins stole in, only to be unable to cover the other corner when all those in front of him missed the ball.
A minute later the game seemed over as Yoshida hadn’t learned from recent experiences and didn’t expect the Southampton midfield to concede easy possession – he was horribly out of position as Benayoun raced clear and Nolan tapped home a low cross.
There was some life in the visitors, however, and Lallana lashed the ball into the net after what may have been a shot and may have been a pass from Rodriguez fell nicely for him. On came Lambert and his first action was to persuade Guly that a free kick on the edge of the box is the leading goalscorer’s territory: unfortunately the shot only found the roof of the net, and then the defence gave it all away at the other end.
Noble scored the Hammers’ third from the spot after Fonte decided that his best option was to punch a cross clear, and with time running out, Maiga made it four by running clean through the top flight’s most porous back line.
LSSC Man of the Match: Morgan Schneiderlin, after a very limited but nonetheless democratic vote.