Huddersfield Town Away Won 1 – 3
Ralph named an unchanged team at Huddersfield, which was a bit of a surprise with several players reported to be fit again – indeed there were bench places for Stephens, Lemina and Obefemi, where they were joined by someone called Kayne Ramsay. No, me neither, and you also wonder what last week’s debutant, Johnson, did wrong in his 45 seconds or so of game time. After a cautious start, Romeu began to take control of midfield and his colleague Højbjerg was able to supply the ammunition for Redmond to fire Saints in front with a first time shot without breaking stride on 15 minutes. The visitors were well on top in the opening period and they were to turn around two ahead when Ings was fouled by Zanka when chasing onto a loose ball and sent Lössl the wrong way from the spot. A high shot by Mounié on the stroke of 45 minutes was Town’s best effort of the opening period and Southampton continued where they had left off as the match resumed, but then McCarthy was forced into a brilliant save to deny Zanka. From a point of professional pride, the keeper would probably have preferred that one to have gone in and then to have saved Billing’s shot from a ridiculous distance that swerved awkwardly but should nevertheless have been dealt with. We then entered an understandably nervy period and it has become apparent that the Hasenhűttl defensive technique is to kick the ball as far away from danger as possible when in doubt. That and some good blocking worked well, and Redmond was always causing problems at the other end. Obefemi and Lemina came on and the forward should have done better with a shot across goal: would Long (probably not) or Austin (probably) have done better? No matter as on 71 minutes Redmond robbed Schindler and set up Obefemi who had the presence of mind to find space and then get the ball out from under his feet to poke it past Lössl. The youngster ought to have scored again before the end, but there was no coming back by a poor Huddersfield team and the premature half time question of when we last had back-to-back wins became relevant. If the Carabao Cup is included it’s more recent than you’d think, but otherwise you have to go back to April 2017 and the golden era of Claude Puel. But when did we last score three in consecutive games? That’s 12 months earlier in the truly halcyon days of Ronald Koeman; 4-2 away to Villa and again at home to Manchester City.
LSSC Man of the Match: Nathan Redmond; a goal, an assist and a constant threat.
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