London Saints

Hull Home Drew 0 – 0

Southampton are no strangers to the graveyard slot on Match of the Day, and surely everyone at the goal-less game against Hull, the Premier League’s worst travellers, expected a late night in front of the box. Instead, there we were on at 10:30, although if the highlights edit had started from the 90th minute, they’d only have missed Grosicki’s free kick against the post for the visitors and maybe the scheduling was to get it all over with quickly. Eventually, and with time just about up, referee Dean saw fit to penalise N’Diaye for his wrestle with Yoshida, and Tadić stepped up to take the spot kick, although I feel very few actually expected him to score. He didn’t disappoint either, with Japuković guessing right and going left to save. In added time Hull came awfully close from a corner but Soares headed away from somewhere near the line, and it has to be admitted that the visitors also had claims for a penalty or two of their own. And that’s about it really, a most dreadful waste of everyone’s time. So where did Southampton’s attacking ambitions go? They were actually there, evidenced by a selection that recalled Redmond while retaining Boufal, meaning no place for Ward-Prowse. Monsieur Puel isn’t the first Saints boss to tweak his selection to cope with a team expected to park the bus, but you need to get the ball first, and then find some space to play with it, but Hull showed they weren’t going to make either easy from the opening minutes when their pressure twice forced defence and goalkeeper into hasty clearances. Gabbiadini was having little joy, but his substitution after an hour caused some to question the coach’s competence, and he and his team eventually left the pitch to a chorus of boos. Only fair then to leave the last word (or rather ‘words,’ in what seems the longest sentence ever) to Claude’s unique interpretation of the English language: “It’s not the fault of Gabbi because the team was too slow on the play today to make the difference and my responsibility, our responsibility, and we are angry about this because it was not enough and the draw is normal and we have to accept this and play another game, a good game, against Liverpool.”

LSSC Man of the Match: Cédric Soares, although the overall MotM was clearly Maguire at the heart of the visiting defence.

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