London Saints

Vitesse Arnhem Away

Arnhem is a place name synonymous with a famous British rearguard action, dating back to when airborne troops were dropped (literally, by the RAF) into an impossible position. That was never going to be repeated in Southampton’s visit, and especially after Pelle turned neatly and finished decisively in just the fourth minute. That left the home team needing to score a minimum of five goals in less than an Australian first innings lasts. It also left us with time to reflect on Ronald’s selection which gave debuts to Martina, at right back, and Caulker, with Yoshida switching to the other full back position. It worked well enough, with Vitesse struggling to get meaningful strikes on Stekelenburg’s goal, while Mane missed a great chance to extend the lead. Saints also looked to have had a shout for a penalty for a foul on Wanyama, but a poor Greek official (not the guy from the first leg) saw nothing wrong. The whole day had a very festive atmosphere and although the combination of strong beers and 30 degree heat led to some spectacular examples of drunkenness, bad behaviour seems to have been confined to a local difficulty between fans of Vitesse and Feyenoord. The game resumed after an almost tuneful bout of half time singing that continued In praise of Victor Wanyama, “the mighty Kenyan,” for most of the remaining period, but Saints’ play was becoming scrappy as the game as a spectacle fizzled out, and we needed a Stekelenburg save to preserve the clean sheet. A full set of substitutions included a return for Rodriguez, who nearly scored, but it was Mane who finally put the tie to bed when he capitalised on a defensive error and went on to make it 2-0, and 5-0 overall, with almost embarrassing ease. So that completes a welcome return to European reports, with this being typed on the motorway back to the Channel Tunnel – apologies for any typos and the lack of accents on Pelle and Mane’s names… I can’t figure out how to insert them on this keyboard.
LSSC Man of the Match: Maya Yoshida, but the defensive unit will have harder games.

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