Saints 2-0 Crystal Palace
Steven Davis retained his place as Southampton moved from League Cup mode to Premier League tactics for the visit of Crystal Palace, thus limiting the starting XI changes over two games to just 21! The player to miss out was Rodriguez, thus we faced Palace with a more defensive line up than that employed against Liverpool – on paper at least.
Presumably this was a result of a scouting report, although Davis had looked good at Anfield, and Saints did eventually emerge as comfortable winners in this encounter. They could have ended up romping home but for an early clearance off the line to deny Schneiderlin, but the visitors forced us to endure a nervy opening period, and a very worrying few moments when Chamakh fell under Boruc’s challenge.
Referee Atkinson duly blew his whistle, but to award a free kick for ‘simulation,’ and the Palace management seem to think the decision fair. So that’s OK then – but to my mind, we could well have ended up winning the game simply because Chamakh can’t fall over convincingly as the only other possible decision was a penalty and a red card for the ‘keeper.
Things became a lot easier within minutes of the restart as Osvaldo started to repay his fee with a nice strike to record the team’s first league goal from open play this season. It was followed by another set piece goal in the next attack, with Lambert smashing home a superb free kick that found the net off the inside of the post, and Davis could have made it three soon afterwards.
Thereafter a nondescript game settled back into its normal pattern, with no more goals and few more chances.
LSSC Man of the Match: Jose Fonte, against his old club. At the other end, things still aren’t quite going according to plan.