Burnley Away Drew 1 – 1
Højbjerg played much of the Crystal Palace fixture wearing some sort of skull cap as protection for a head wound that now kept him out of the side at Burnley, while Ward-Prowse occupied the right wing back berth he had filled in the closing stages of the last game. This one always looked likely to be a tight encounter so maybe more was hoped from an early chance for Ings who left the field after 27 minutes, probably as a result of an injury incurred in his failed execution. The home side never looked very special, but Woods didn’t make the most of an opportunity he created for himself, and a key moment came when Barnes was upended by McCarthy and had more than an odd word to say to the nearby assistant who either alerted his referee to possible ‘simulation,’ or maybe simply failed to correct Mr. Taylor’s decision. All Barnes ended up with was a caution, presumably for dissent, meaning that he’d escaped punishment for the ‘dive’… but with the benefit of action replay, McCarthy was the lucky one. Southampton upped their game considerably after the break and came closest to breaking the deadlock when Bardsley hacked off the line to prevent an own goal. Saints soon took the lead anyway with a very fine unassisted goal from Redmond who picked up the ball in a deep position and made the most of the lack of any blocking by squeezing a 20yard shot just inside the post. At that stage it didn’t appear that the Clarets were likely to get back on terms, but they now have Crouch in their ranks and his appearance on 76 minutes inevitably caused panics at the back, not helped (in hindsight) by our own defence minded substitutions. Anyway, a point blank save from McCarthy and a Barnes shot clipping the bar seemed to have secured a maximum return as the game entered the last minute of added time… not so as Stephens decided to handle a desperate late, but not deep, cross instead of heading clear, or even falling under Crouch’s challenge. This time referee Taylor had no choice but to award Burnley their first penalty in 67 PL games; McCarthy seemed to choose to hold the middle ground for the crunch kick, which is often a good ploy, but Barnes has had nearly two years to think about what he might to with it, and that was to find the corner.
LSSC Man of the Match: Nathan Redmond after a close vote on the return train, with Vestergaard just beaten into second place.
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