Spurs Away Lost 2 – 1
It may all change with the likelihood of an April fixture pile-up, but the rotation policy is definitely on hold in the intermittent March schedule as Saints were unchanged for the fourth successive game, against Tottenham. That means no place for Cáceres, and there are good reasons for that, not least in terms of player relations… however, goals are being conceded, and there’s also a case for always fielding your best players. Saints looked dodgy at the back throughout the opening stages, with Son drawing an early save before Eriksen was given time to drill home his customary goal against Southampton, in the 15th minute. Threats at the other end were limited but on the half hour Gabbiadini reminded us of his presence with a left foot volley. Unfortunately that came at the cost of a groin strain and he was already off the pitch, but with Long still waiting to come on, when some truly comical defending by several players resulted in a soft penalty for a clumsy challenge by Davis on Alli; in the absence of injured Kane, Alli took the kick himself and duly converted. Saints play a more fluent game with Gabbiadini in the side, as Long often gambles on either defenders (or the assistant official) making an error with the offside tactic – he only has to succeed once in a game to make it worthwhile, but it’s a frustrating watch and it hasn’t delivered very often this season either. The team did reduce the deficit early in the second half when a well delivered cross by Bertrand eluded both Long and Alderweireld and Ward-Prowse‘s excellent first touch led to an easy finish. A further substitution introduced Rodriguez for Redmond, so we had three different attacking strategies in the game, but chances were limited for both sides – somewhat commendable after facing an early deficit against a good team in formidable form at home. On the other hand, that second goal was very preventable and the Southampton attack bore a worrying similarity to the misfiring outfit we had before Gabbiadini arrived. Had Tadić been rewarded for a passable penalty shout just before half time, things could have turned out better, but we didn’t play up to recent high standards.
LSSC Man of the Match: Oriol Romeu, not involved in the mess that led to the second Spurs goal.
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