Crystal Palace Home Lost 1 – 2
There was some surprise expressed at Adam Armstrong’s continued omission from the team as we faced Crystal Palace. I’m not so sure, but it did seem odd for Long and Tella to keep their places in a line-up that was unchanged, other than for the injured Livramento; we got a goal nevertheless, when Romeu got on the end of a Ward-Prowse corner in the 9th minute and corrected the heading technique that caused misses at Burnley. Palace’s selection also looked odd, with their most effective players warming the bench and the game had an on-the-beach feel to it, with neither keeper troubled too much in their efforts to keep the score at 1-0 at the interval. In truth, though, Forster’s goal was the one more under threat and then what followed in the second half was horribly familiar: Southampton out-played on the pitch and out-thought tactically to eventually finish up with nothing after being in a winning position. For all Palace’s possession, the game really changed on the hour when Clyne pulled the ball back for Eze to fire through Forster – a more willing track back by Redmond would have helped as well. What a time for Zaha to make an entrance to the game, soon followed by Olise? Ralph’s response was to remove the willing but knackered Long and the struggling Adams and instead go with just Broja up front. It didn’t trouble the visitors that much, but the score remained level until well into added time when McArthur created space for Zaha to fire into the corner with not even enough time for visiting fans to start up the fire drill chant as most of the stadium swiftly emptied. Those who remained treated their team to an inevitable chorus of boos at the end and some considered criticism of the coach could be heard – don’t blame me, I’m only the reporter.
LSSC Man of the Match: Jan Bednarek at the heart of a defence that was pressed harder than it should have been.