Newcastle Home Drew 0 – 0
Saints had to line up for a critical home game against bottom placed Newcastle without Højbjerg, arguably their best player so far this season. How much notice they had of the Dane’s illness is unclear, but Romeu did not fit happily into the vacant role and a general air of mistrust of both their own abilities and those of their colleagues seemed to spread through the side. It might have been very different had Elyounoussi made more of a fortunate early opening when a deflection fell nicely for him, but Dúbravka saved his attempt to set up Austin, who was clearly dismayed by his team-mate’s efforts. Elyounoussi, though, is the only first teamer to have found the net since October 2nd (unfortunately it was for Norway) and he isn’t the only one to blame for another inept display at the business end of the pitch, and this against opponents who were poor by any measure. In the first half Lemina hit the outside of the post and Stephens saw a header saved but neither efforts were likely to beat a goalkeeper of Dúbravka ‘s quality. The second half contained even less goalmouth action, with Redmond having a shot blocked and Long screwing one wide of the post, but again with the keeper probably covering the target. Right at the end, Stephens almost made contact with a fine free kick delivery by Ward-Prowse, and then the players trooped off to a chorus of boos – a familiar finale at St. Mary’s. It was a woeful performance up at Newcastle followed by a damning analysis by the boys in the TV studio that saw the end of Mauricio Pellegrino, and Mark Hughes’s position won’t have been cemented by similar feedback from this latest meeting… what will have concerned the decision makers more was the dissatisfaction of the paying public.
LSSC Man of the Match: Jack Stephens. Well someone must have been doing their job well as Newcastle were denied a single shot on target.
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