London Saints

Burnley Home Lost 1 – 2

No Redmond to face Burnley, and Bednarek could only make the bench – maybe a result of his unexpected premature return at Spurs. Walker-Peters, though, was available for his Southampton debut and he played a small part in the third minute goal that was gifted to the visitors: the new W-P made sure he got out of the way of Westwood’s corner, leaving Ings as the last line of defence at the near post, and he assumed that the strong wind would take the ball out for a goal kick rather than directly into the net as actually happened… McCarthy might also have helped himself by not taking up a position behind the line. Still a good game to win, and Saints were well back in it when Ings atoned by persisting in his efforts to get in a shot, one which he drilled into the bottom corner. Burnley’s most prolific striker against us, Barnes, was already out of the game and in the aftermath of the goal, his partner, Wood, limped down the tunnel to be replaced by Vydra. The impetus should now have been with Southampton and Stephens headed a Boufal cross slap onto the bar before Boufal himself succumbed to a first half injury; we’re usually pleased to see Djenepo make an appearance but Boufal had been causing problems and somehow his replacement seemed unwilling to take players on. Bertrand shot into the side netting after the break but the Met Office’s Storm Dennis was now taking hold, prompting recollections of the disastrous reverse against Leicester in similar conditions. On the hour Vydra managed to turn and shoot past McCarthy in a manoeuvre reminiscent of Redmond at Selhurst and suddenly Saints were up against it. Walker-Peters was sacrificed as we moved to a back three in a bid to turn things round and Long, who was more puff than huff, also made way, but there was a distinct lack of urgency in Southampton’s play, at least until Stephens went up front and eventually Højbjerg forced Pope into his only save of the half. Yet another home defeat was deservedly greeted with a sadly familiar chorus of boos.
LSSC Man of the Match: Jack Stephens, although we’ll always wonder whether he could just have done more to prevent Vydra’s goal.

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