Everton Away Lost 2 – 1
Southampton announced early on that Elyounoussi was unlikely to feature at Everton and they decided not to start with Armstrong, either as a result of his knock in the opening game or lack of Premier League experience. Also missing was Vestergaard through some sort of lurgi, maybe brought on when he heard of the club’s poor record at Goodison Park. There was to be no change of fortune this year and the team promptly fell behind on 15 minutes and further behind after another 15 minutes. The first goal came when Saints joined everyone in the crowd by expecting Baines to shoot or cross from a free kick; instead he instigated a clever move involving Schneiderlin and Walcott, of all people, which resulted in a goal for the latter. Walcott was also involved in the second, crossing for Richarlison to score, but arguably the game’s deciding moment came in between: Soares seemed to have planted a tame shot into Pickford’s midriff but England’s number one spilled it into the path of Ings for a simple tap in… only it didn’t go in, but rebounded off the bar. There is a suspicion that Pickford might actually have got his fingertips to the shot, but, heck, the ball should have been in the net anyway. Ings, though, does have an influence on Saints’ play with his clever movement and although this aspect didn’t contribute, he was rewarded with a neatly taken goal from a corner. That was early in the second half when Saints were playing better, but as in game one, they still weren’t entirely convincing and Walcott had a goal disallowed for the ball having gone out of play and then missed a good chance to sew up the game. As it was, the result remained in balance and the final whistle denied us the chance to throw the kitchen sink at a corner to try and rescue a point. According to Mark Hughes post game and Ian Wright on the telly, a challenge by Pickford on Ings should have brought a red card for the ‘keeper, but their reasoning wasn’t consistent and referee Mason had waved play on anyway. Mr. Mason had not left his yellow card at home, though, waving it five times at the away team as only Bertrand and Ward-Prowse of the tackling unit escaped punishment.
LSSC Man of the Match: Ryan Bertrand, who led several promising breaks.
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