Brighton Hove Albion Home Lost 1 -3
After a too-early-to-judge game at Anfield and an unimpressive team performance against Lincoln, manager Jones faced his first true Premier League survival test against Brighton and he sent out a flat back four featuring Salisu and Lyanco at its heart, which left arguably our best central defenders on the bench. 90 minutes later, the latest set of poor defending had contributed to a damaging defeat, but maybe the real harm was done further forward and much earlier in the season: the decision to release Oriel Romeu (and probably not Ralph’s fault either). It hasn’t helped that obvious replacement, Lavia, has barely been seen since a match winning display in August, while the post World Cup restart has shown that the guy keeping McCarthy, hitherto the least able goalie in the Premier League, out of the side might be even worse. Certainly Bazunu’s miserable attempt to deal with Lallana‘s soft header contributed to the crucial opening goal and surely he should also have dealt with the low cross that led to Albion’s second, although that would have gone relatively unnoticed had Perraud not put through his own goal rather than complete a desperate clearance. In addition, Perraud’s inability to track back suggested a lack of fitness, leading to his early withdrawal, but by then the visitors were in total control and it was no surprise when the midfield allowed March time to line up a shot that gave Bazunu no chance. To my mind, most, if not all, of our young recruits have proven to be too slight, and that includes Edozie, but he showed some bright moments in his first PL start and a foul on him gave Saints an unexpected chance to at least reduce the deficit from the spot. A VAR delay allowed Sanchez to indulge in some dubious tactics that he’d learned from the World Cup but he might have thought his caution worthwhile had the save from Ward-Prowse counted for anything; as it was JW-P scored anyway by heading in the loose ball. Brighton would still have had to have done something stupid to let this one slip and Sanchez threatened to oblige by coming close to a second yellow after a spat with Adams and then for a bit of old fashioned time wasting. I’d rather have a stupid goalkeeper than a bad one, though.
Three LSSC Man of the Match candidates to choose from:
4. Lyanco Vojnoovic. He clearly likes a tackle and seems to have been selected for his ball-playing skills; might we try him further forward to shore up that lightweight midfield?
23. Samuel Edozie. Won a free kick in a dangerous position, as well as the penalty, but he goes down very easily and usually requires attention.
24. Mohamed Elyounoussi. Actually I should have put him on the short list for the last game, so here’s an opportunity to put that right.