Crystal Palace Away won 0 – 2
The Southampton line-up at Crystal Palace was unchanged from the last league game, or, to put it another way, there were ten changes from the Carabao Cup team. We now know the manager’s preferred line-up, and after an excellent result, it would be a surprise if they didn’t appear next time out as well. It was a fine performance too, reducing a Palace side deprived of their talisman, Zaha, to hardly a threat in the opening period. From what could be judged at the worst seeing ground in the league, Saints didn’t threaten too much either, but they always seemed more likely to have a goal in them and just after the break Ings obliged by finishing neatly after a long ball from Soares. McCarthy had to ride his luck when a shot from near-namesake McArthur struck his bar just before Austin came on for the injured Long. This should have worked out well when Wan-Bassaka handled Austin’s goal-bound shot and Charlie stepped up to complete the formalities from the spot… except that this time he didn’t strike firmly into the corner and a rather weak effort was knocked away by Hennessey’s trailing leg. Elyounoussi also had a chance to put Saints two up when he was first to get to Hennessey’s parry from Redmond’s shot, but he could only clip the bar and was substituted by Targett soon after. Along with Austin’s miss, the initiative had been handed over and Southampton needed some determined defending to preserve a lead which looked to have gone when Benteke tried a close range header only to have it blocked by McCarthy. The game was well into added time when Van Aanholt’s run into the box was halted and Targett led a breakout – his forward pass found Højbjerg in support and the Dane was able to slot home as Hennessey found himself badly placed in no-man’s-land. How nice that Højbjerg’s suspension was served by missing a league cup game in which he was unlikely to play anyway!
LSSC Man of the Match: Mario Lemina who is. after all, our best player.