It’s Back Norwich Away Won 0 – 3
It’s football again… but not as we know it. Yes, the Premier League is back, to maintain the integrity of the competition of course, and nothing whatsoever to do with the clubs keeping their claws on £760m of TV money. Borussia Mönchengladbach in Germany have been back for several weeks, but displaying a banner reminding us that “football without fans is nothing,” the irony of playing in an empty stadium seemingly lost. Whether to watch the TV coverage or not is easy, enjoying it is a bit more difficult. There are other protocols to consider: whether to continue with the match reports (I thought not, but, heck, you have to do something in lockdown); whether to wear colours in front of the screen (the companies seem to think that we would, so I didn’t); whether to shout at the screen (inclined towards ‘not’, but in the Norwich game I had to yell “get rid of it!” at Valery every time the ball came near); whether to get beered up in advance to numb the likely pain, or take advantage of intra-match drinking (the latter as the PL have introduced mid-half breaks – not quite long enough for a loo break, but they will be when someone realises there could be time for a word from the sponsors). We all know how the match at Carrow Road played out, with an awkward beginning overcome by forcing an inept home side into errors, and Ings nearly scoring in our first venture upfield before clipping the bar when given a glorious opportunity to reward some energetic pressing. No matter, Danny was playing well and early in the second period (or third quarter?) he lashed home the opener and then the equally effective Armstrong stroked in a second to put Saints firmly in control. Valery was still proving a problem and another error led to Pukki having a very presentable chance blocked by Bednarek before Vranĉić converted the resulting corner, but from an offside position. Redmond‘s embarrassingly easy third confirmed the biggest away win since Claude Puel and allowed Adams and someone called Nathan Tella to be introduced to find their first PL goals, but without success. A fine performance nevertheless – just a shame we weren’t able to celebrate in the attractive city of Norwich.
LSSC Man of the Match: Danny Ings, selected by an email peer group. I’d have gone for Armstrong myself. \lsdl