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Tottenham Hotspur v Southampton Your Report added at 18:45:13
I find it a mystery that Valery couldn´t even get in the team, when Cedric broke down in the warm up, and that Cedric´s injury resulted in Ralph changing the system (???), using JWP as right back and big Vestergaard coming in in a back three.
Why did he not just put Valery in as substitute for Cedric and keep the planned system with 4 in the back, 3 midfielders and 3 up front (Ings, Redmond and Boufal).!

We conceded 2 goals and only managed to score 1 despite playing against 10 men - and therefore dominating - for 2 thirds of the match, when brainless Aurier got sent off in the first half for 2 yellow cards.

Yoshida didn´t put a foot wrong and was by far our man of the match. He has never been better in his career, and I expect Ralph to ackknowledge that and keep him in the side.
Bertrand didn´t look match fit.
We need injured Djenepo back in our team, and I´d like Alex McCarthy - when fit again - as our preferred keeper.
Sheffield United v Southampton Your Report added at 23:37:23
Well done to all in the team. Not an easy game. Djenepo man of the match for me. He looks like a very good signing and scored a great goal. What skills he has. Great weekend to everyone.
Southampton v Manchester United Your Report added at 19:53:14
Very, very, very important point confidence wise and "season defining" wise. Good mood before the international break after which some very important winnable games will come.

Gunn: Good lad

Bednarek: Very reliable

Vestergaard: Best game in a Saints shirt. GREAT goal. Good timing. Good thinking. Focused for 96 minutes.

Soares: I really like the guy for his positivity and loyalty and obvious friendship-building skills, but his distribution today was not good. He didn´t look quick compared to Daniel James. I still think we need him, though.

Danso: Good game , Lad, a little unlucky with the second yellow as he actually DID touch the ball in that tackle! Looks like a very good signing. Can´t believe he can play left back so well AND take the ball forward with pace down the left hand side. Could ultimately have cost us the point but he didn´t!

Romeu: 3 years younger and 4 kilos lighter??? VERY good game.

JWP: Also approved performance but less brilliant than the 2 steel midfielders of ours. I think he deserves to stay in the team.

Højbjerg: Good game from our captain. But stop diving. Now.

Boufal: Good game. Very positive. He plays with a smile on his face and is dangerous. Well done Ralphy.

Ings: Well fought. I believe in him. We have not seen his best yet but I think it will come. I really do. Awesome assist vs Brighton in my book!!

Adams: Hmmmmmm. beter luck next time. I´d like Ralph to trust in him and keep him in the team for the next games, but I am beginning to worry a little bit because of his shitty finishing so far.

Long: Typical die hard fight, but stop bringing the ball to the corner in the final minutes and instantly give away a throw in. Take the ball inside and blast the ball in the net in stead. Honestly!

Yoshida: Great jump in. Several not so easy clearances. Seemed very confident and leading from first second.

Armstrong: I like him. Good engine. Good going forward and defending.

Happy weekend everybody.
Fulham v Southampton Your Report added at 16:49:53
Great understanding between Obafemi and Redmond for a great matchwinner.
2 clean sheets in a row now.
With just a little bit of luck Danny could have had a hattrick and even Long should have had a sitter.
We were aggressive and bombarded their goal in the second half with lots of shots.. Very satisfactory.
McCarthy had a great safe in the first half. I have no trouble with him deputising for Gunn in any match :)
Up the Saints. What is it - 3-4 points to a top 6 place? COYS.
Brighton and Hove Albion v Southampton Your Report added at 12:53:13
As nail-biting an event as expected. The match was played in a pretty high tempo and Brighton were good value for their money. Much more of a ball playing side than under Hughton. Saints managed to keep up with the tempo and things were pretty even when Andone made that maniac tackle just below Valery´s right knee, which took an awkward twist , and for a moment I geared the worst. Andone - the SoB - was sent off of course and the numerical advantage soon showed. Brighton were still figting to get something out of the game, but in the 54.thn minute Ralph H. put on Djenepo, and it didn´t take him more than a minute to to make 2 dribbles from the left side towards the middle where he found enough space to pull the tricker and fire a fierce shot from which the ball took a trajectory towards the far, upper corner. BANG. 1-0.
Later Boufal was sent on and he succeeded in taking the ball to the by line in the left side whereafter he sent a hard, precise, low ball across the face of goal past the keeper, which Redmond managed to put his right food to, which meant that the ball was hammered into the middle of the goal. 2-0. Game over. 3 points in the bank.
Southampton v Liverpool Your Report added at 15:31:04
My only critisism goes to Højbjerg for not putting in a bloody block/tackle when Mané scored.
Don´t tell me that he couldn´t put his foot in , or even better - his whole body - to prevent Mané (probably the most dangerous man with the ball at the edge of the box in the premier league) from shooting.
I hate to call Højbjerg a ball watcher, but ball watching was what he was doing in that situation.
I wanna see some bloody tackling/blocking when any player has the ball at the edge of our penalty box.
Otherwise a very good performance by Saints,
and Liverpool had their normal ever-present small-margins- luck, which is ultimately why they won.
Yoshida not heading the ball in the net in the first half from an otherwise fine header (which should have been headed more downwards) and Ings not hitting target and equalizing from the 6-yard box at the end, was painful to watch.
Saints Motm Gunn or Romeu. Good 20 minutes from Djenepo on his debut.
Burnley v Southampton Your Report added at 23:54:57
My starting line up for the Liverpool game:

Yoshida, Bednarek, Danso,
Valery, Jwp, Højbjerg, Bertrand
Djenepo, Adams, Redmond

Burnley v Southampton Your Report added at 21:23:56
We were ok for an hour and looked like the team in control. Them came a series of horrendous defending by first and foremost Jannick Vestergaard, and we lost 3 - 0.
He has to loose his place because of being heavily involved in all 3 goals.

First goal he misjudged his position when trying to clear a long ball with his head, and Barnes was one on one with Gunn.
Second goal he was at least 2 yards away from the man he should have marked, Barnes, and a cross came in for Barnes to volley home.
Third goal he cleared a cross very weakly with his head and the ball went towards Bertrand who didn´t expect to get the ball, and from, what I saw it seemed Bertie didn´t have time and balance to fight wholeheartedly for the ball and he was perhaps fouled in the duel for it. Gudmondsen, or whatever his name is, took the ball and ran into the box with it and finished into the far corner. Vestergaard should have run back faster and tackled Gudmondsen. Apparently VAR didn´t think Bertrand was fouled.
Southampton v Huddersfield Town Your Report added at 20:08:35
I didn´t see the game, unfortunately. I´m waiting for more comments on both the game and the post match atmosphere at Saint Mary´s. Did any players (Austin?) look like saying goodbye like Tadic did last year after the last game of the season?
West Ham United v Southampton Your Report added at 14:22:35
Decent first 15 minutes of the second half. Apart from that a game to forget as fast as possible.
Elyounouissi got a full game and the writing on the wall couldn´t be more clear: Thanks and goodbuy.
Stephens gave away too many balls, even for his standards.
Lemina tried hard but nothing came of it.
I guess the game what valuable for RH in a sense.
Southampton v AFC Bournemouth Your Report added at 09:56:44
Very entertaining match. Saints really came flyingfrom the start like RH has taught them, and we could have lead 3-0 after 15 minutes and 5-0 after 20. Instead it was 1-1 after 20 minutes as Bournemouth, totally against run of play, suddenly hit us on the brake with a deadly counter attack.
With 1-2 at half time I didn´t have much faith, as the last 5 times this scoreline has been the case in half time we have lost. But this time it ended 3-3 and we almost won it 3-2. Credit to RH´s ability to change tactics during a match. His match managing was excellent. With Cardiff loosing to Fulham one point was enough to secure PL football next season. Well done RH and Saints.
Redmond worked hard but couldn´t hit a barn door but he had a fine assist for Longys goal to 1-0.
Watford v Southampton Your Report added at 17:32:28
Good game. I thought Saints fought for the cause and gave it a good go in every challenge and played with a very high tempo. We should have killed the match in the second half with one or two of our best chances, but that didn´t happen, and then Watford scored in the last minute.
I honestly think we are save with that point, and I think we will get 7 poinst from our last 3 matches and end up with 44 points just below midtable.
Congratulations to Shane Long who immortalized himself with the fastest ever goal in the premier league. I will give him a new nickname, which is simply: Seven-Sixty-Seven (7.69).
Newcastle United v Southampton Your Report added at 08:32:02
Something that has not really been highlighted yet in anyone´s post match analysis:
Yoshida´s significant tendency to miss BIG chances.
For crying out loud: We should have won 4-3! I seriously mean that.
There is a reason for bringing Yoshida all the way up and into the box every time we have a corner. He has been a pro for more than a decade and expectedly trained at least weekly on making an impact on dead balls / finishing in the opponent´s box..
He is supposed to:
1) win headers in the opponent´s box and direct at target (and not too close to the keeper), AND
2) win second balls and direct the bloody thing at target (and not too close to the keeper)

He does win a fair amount of headers and second balls in the opponent´s box,
BUT WHERE THE HELL IS THE END PRODUCT? It´s almost time wasting to bring him forward for corners and stuff like that.... :(
Bl**dy fr*strating.
(Though, admittedly, he had a rare assist to Longy against Wolves).
Newcastle United v Southampton Your Report added at 23:25:03
Bad defending for the first 2 goals in a shitty first half performance by Saints, where we couldn´t get foot hold and keep the ball in the team.. Much better second half and - in particular - an inspirational second half performance by substitute and goal scorer Mario Lemina. We created good chances in the second half but couldn´t convert them.
On the whole a disappointing afternoon after 5 good matches with 3 wins and narrow defeats to Man. U. and Liverpool. Our 4 man midfield (PEH, Romeu, JWP and Bertrand) totally lost the midfield battle in the first half..
We missed Valery, JWP didn´t have a good game as RWB. We also missed Vestergaard who would have been a bigger task for Rondon than Stephens.
We should have decoded our opponent better beforehand and played Stephens as RB and played Lemina from the start with a very solid , physical midfield.
Southampton v Wolverhampton Wanderers Your Report added at 19:37:07
Interesting change in team selection and formation (3-4-3) with Simsy coming into the team in stead of Romeu. Sims certainly made us more goal seeking and threatening, and a third attacker in the team gave Ings the opportunity to show us how great he is in build up play and combining in the final part of the pitch getting a role similar to for instance Firminos role in Liverpools team. We had significantly more finishing than usually, which was nice.
Tough luck for Romeu, sacrificed on the table of tactics, but I´m sure he understands and accepts the value of tactical speculation and versatility.
It feels great to have a manager who so obviously seems to do his job very well in every department of managing.
Southampton v Liverpool Your Report added at 23:03:41
A rare off day for Bednarek who looked bad in all 3 goal situations, unfortunately. He is still very young, and I fully forgive him of course, and he will learn from it.
Only Højbjerg had a good game really, in my opinion. Liverpool were beatable today but we didn´t take our chance to beat them.
Unlucky that an off side was overlooked in the actions leading to their equalizer.

Still - a decent effort against a good side, I guess, and everybody tried I´m sure, though it didn´t always look like it.
Brighton and Hove Albion v Southampton Your Report added at 20:35:05
Great victory today. Even the darkest, most negative Saints fan will now admit, that it is now highly unlikely that we will be relegated this season.

We won today without playing particularly well; that´s something new :-)

7 victories, 3 draws and 6 losses in 16 games with RH as manager means RH point average = 1.5,

which is normally enough to land the no. 7 position in the premier league. Just lean back and think about it.

RH has done this with - at least on paper - a weakened squad compared to what Hughes had, beating 2 top 6 sides en route.

I think it´s fair to say that we have a very, very competent manager, and I hereby say cheers and share this great fact and feeling with all my fellow Saints fans. Have a great, continued week-end, everybody.
Southampton v Tottenham Hotspur Your Report added at 00:12:14
We should not forget to praise Stuart Armstrong for his efforts today; he was involved in both our goals. He is an intellligent player who offers much in combination play all over the pitch. Makes great runs. Has a sweet right foot. A great signing, really. ´Only` cost around 7 million. Worth every penny, I think.
Southampton v Tottenham Hotspur Your Report added at 20:53:50
Thank You Ralph for finally giving Simms a deserved chance and put Elyounouissi out of the squad, deservedly. What an impact Simms had when he came on in the second half. We need his speed.
I have been waiting for a victory like this, coming from behind and winning against a top 4 team.
Referee Kevin Friend tried his best for Tottenham, but, unlucky for him, they lost without him being able to avoid it..
Fantastic to see the same goal scorers from the Man. U. game score again. JWP has finally had his breakthrough in the PL with his free kick ability. Every keeper, every team, every manager will fear him from dead balls outside the box for the next 10 years. I love it.
Well done, Ralph. Well done, Saints.
Bring on Brighton.
COYS. <3
Manchester United v Southampton Your Report added at 09:22:30
Lukaku´s winning goal; What happened and how could it have been avoided?
He got the ball just inside the box, from a low, short, unblocked pass, with his back against center of goal. Yoshida was the closest marker but couldn´t find time to put in a tackle, and Lukaku turned around with the ball in his possession and put it inside the corner with a low shot, which Gunn - fully streched - couldn´t reach.
Bad defending? Bad goalkeeping? Just a matter of classy finishing?

I guess it was a combination of:

- classy striker ability,
- insufficient defending from Yoshida, AND
- lack of protection from midfield (Højbjerg should have tried harder to block the pass to Lukaku).

It´s all about awareness, timing and great fitness, and we can only learn from it and move on.
Under Hasenhüttl we will be better prepared in all departments next season.
Have a nice sunday.
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