A rare Saturday 3 p.m. kick off for a visit from Swansea which saw Romeu left out as Saints still have concerns about turning possession into goals, despite a hat-full in the midweek cup tie. Mané might have broken the deadlock here but his fortunate shot rolled just wide, leaving Van Dijk to open Saints account for the day with his personal first goal for the club when he headed home a corner with almost embarrassing ease on 15 minutes. The visitors attacked with a bit more purpose from then onwards but our back line looks more secure now Bertrand has returned at left back: Targett remains a promising footballer, but we have had most of our defensive problems this season down his flank. It was in midfield, though, that Saints were keeping their guests at bay, although Wanyama’s booking left us thankful that referee East had not exercised a caution already for an earlier heavy challenge. Ex-Saint Gary Monk made two changes from the bench at half time, including an exit for Jack Cork, but Saints soon struck again after Pellè found Tadić in space, and a cross intended for Mané ended up in the goal off Ki Sung-Yeung – to my mind an own goal as the ball was hitherto travelling in the opposite direction. There was an element of luck about the team’s third as well after Pellè’s shot was blocked into the path of Mané who was able to take a touch before scoring with ease. The Swans completed the 3-1 scoreline late on when a penalty was awarded despite the ball finding its way into the net after an ineffectual effort from Stekelenburg – Sigurdsson converted from the spot to save the blushes of both referee and goalkeeper, and punish what was probably a handball offence by Fonte, although it was by no means clear. Ronnie professed himself happier with the result than the performance, which is harsh but fair comment.
LSSC Man of the Match: Virgil Van Dijk, with solid defending ensuring maximum value for his debut goal.
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