Crystal Palace 0-1 Saints
Clyne would have been pleased to return to the starting line up at Crystal Palace, his old club, but the change probably had less to do with sentiment and more with a decision to rest Chambers after international duty. The full back had a good afternoon, although it was one better remembered for some welcome fine weather than the quality of football.
Possession stats show Saints on top throughout, but territorially at least the split would have been a lot closer in the opening half hour or so and a crowded penalty area kept the home team at bay from a succession of corners.
It was one such situation that brought the game’s only goal, but on the breakaway: Puncheon’s misguided header served only to give Rodriguez an opportunity, and once the forward had just about won a 50:50 challenge with goalkeeper Speroni, he was the first to stumble to his feet and send the ball goalwards from a half seated position. As it turned out, direction was never an issue (although that was unclear to visiting fans) and the shot just about had the legs to get over the line.
Saints had chances to double their lead before the break, but Lambert was unlucky to see an improvised shot come back off the post.
Palace’s league position is still desperate and manager Pulis obviously decided that desperate times call for desperate means: the infamous long throw ploy was introduced with a vengeance in the second period.
It was a more controlled dart down the middle by Bolasie that brought their most dangerous moment, and Lovren would have been worried about the colour of the card he received for bringing down his opponent: he got away with yellow.
The fact remains, though, that Boruc was untroubled beyond a save just before the break, and Saints recorded their sixth away success in the league this term, all featuring clean sheets… a long list of cautions and injuries to Cork and Lovren balance the scales a bit.
LSSC Man of the Match: Morgan Schneiderlin, who broke up so much Palace possession.
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