Saints 0-0 West Ham
Saints managed to include all of Lambert, Osvaldo and Rodriguez in their line-up against West Ham, and it looked promising when Rodriguez broke well down the left and supplied a low cross for Osvaldo only to be denied by a fine save from Jaaskelainen.
The visitors had threatened themselves early on, but with Carroll injured, and having ditched Cole in the close season, they are short of strikers able to play in their manager’s preferred system.
Southampton’s own goalscoring problems seem to stem from not knowing how to shoe-horn Osvaldo into the side, leading to speculation that he is a ‘trophy signing’ rather than a sound tactical choice.
Certainly the bright beginning faded away and the only other matter of note from the first half concerned an ill-advised tackle from Schneiderlin that the visitors, mainly through the very vocal Mark Noble, felt worthy of a dismissal, while referee Marriner failed to see even a foul.
Saints did get closer in the second period, notably with Lambert heading a corner against the post, Jaaskelainen continuing to belie his age and a goal-bound bicycle kick by Schneiderlin blocked by Reid. Ward-Prowse was tried instead of Lallana, but the nearest thing to a goal came at the other end as time began to run out: Saints were maybe fortunate that the loose ball after some nondescript clearances fell to centre-back Collins, who scooped it well over the bar.
According to the Saintsfc web site, Sam Allardyce “remains unbeaten as a manager against Saints,” which was never true, even before the kick off, but both sides could do with some goals to spice up their games a bit.
LSSC Man of the Match: Jose Fonte, with Boruc relatively untroubled but all creative players failing to do their job.
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