Aston Villa Home Lost 0 – 1
Southampton aren’t the only bottom half club to have dipped into the January transfer market and it is noticeable that most have thrown their acquisitions in at the deep end (including Lemina at Wolves) while ours only get pitch time off the bench. Maybe Jones-the-boss isn’t that impressed with what he’s been given, but there is a case for not interfering too much with a squad that has broken a string of defeats with successive wins. That streak caused an attendance of more than 30,000 to watch Aston Villa at St. Mary’s, and purists will have been pleased that the figure seemed to represent the number that turned up as well as tickets sold. There wasn’t any suggestion of home crowd negativity we’ve heard at recent games, even though putting the ball in the net was again a problem. Technically it was a problem that was overcome, but Adams and possibly Walker-Peters as well we’re adjudged offside when the latter ended up converting after Martinez saved from the former. After the break there was an even bigger disappointment when Ward-Prowse’s shot looped over Martinez off Konsa. As Saints celebrated, Villa players immediately surrounded the referee, although it was the VAR man who persuaded him to disallow the ‘goal’ for a foul by Elyounoussi: Jacob Ramsey’s post-match explanation that he felt a touch and thought it enough to go down was maybe too honest for his own good as it does call into question whether there had been a ‘clear and obvious’ refereeing error. Mara and Djenepo were introduced as Jones rightly went for the win but unfortunately Mara’s defensive naivety cost us the game as he conceded an unnecessary free kick that Watkins headed home in the 77th minute, despite a VAR review for offside and again with concerns about whether Bazunu, who had earlier saved well from Ramsey, could have done better. At the other end Martinez’s right boot had denied Adam Armstrong, and late on he tipped Djenepo’s shot over – the fine margins that had gone our way at Everton most definitely did not for this game. A peculiar break in play before a drone hovering over the Chapel End flew off in the direction of the Itchen Bridge was long forgotten as fans continue to suffer life at the bottom.
Three LSSC Man of the Match candidates to choose from:
4. Lyanco Vojnovic. If nothing else, his attitude his making him a fans’ favourite.
6. Duje Ćaleta-Car. The manager said he was frustrated that we conceded from a set piece after otherwise defending well, and C-C seems to be the one organising that defence.
27. Ibrahima Diallo. I may have been going out on a limb to put him on the short list last week, but he did everything asked of him then, and maybe even a bit more this time.