Saints V Brighton The Verdict
Sunday, 20th Nov 2011 10:39
In a game of incorrect penalty decisions, Saints completely dominated a Brighton side from start to finish.
Brighton will go home moaning about the two penalties that were given against them, especially the first when television replays confirmed Fonte was a good yard outside the box when he was pulled back, however the Seagulls can count themselves lucky that two that really should have been given werent, on in the first half wen Lambert was clearly being held by his shirt and in the second when as he went for a far post header he was just bundled over, but the real facts of the matter were that Brighton were never in the game.
As predicted they started the first half as their away form stats indicated, tight at the back, making sure nothing was given away and hoping to catch us on the break and they must have felt all was going to plan when they went in at half time with the score still goalless.
That changed four minutes after the break when Rickie Lambert got on the end of a glorious cross and buried his header in emphatic style, to mean that Gus Poyet was going to have to re think his game plan.
The win for Saints was sealed less than ten minutes later when they where given an audacious penalty, it was definately a foul, no one disputes that, Fonte was hauled back, what was surprising though was that it was a spot kick and not a free kcik as the Saints defended appeared to be a good yard outside the box, Brghton were incensed and with Taricco sent off for comments made to the referee and Lambert despatching the penalty it was hard to see how Brighton would get back in it.
But even before this incident the visitors were barely an attacking force, they didnt muster a shot on target on goal all game and there only real attacking moment came in a brief flurry after Kelvin Davis dropped a cross, but even then Saints defended doggedly and blocked their attempt before it got anywhere near on goal.
For Saints the performance and the manner of the win was emphatic, the football was pleasing to watch and Saints now have a clear passing and moving style which the players seem to get more comfortable with, with each game.
At the moment there is a real belief about the side and if they can brush away a Brighton side who harbour hopes of promotion themselves this easily, it must send shockwaves through the league.
Perhaps the only real disapointment on the day was that Saints didnt press on and make it more than three, however on the other hand, they didnt lose their shape with the game won and go all out for goals, they kept doing what they do well and made sure that there would be no way back for the Seagulls.
Its hard to pick a real man of the match, Rickie Lambert will be an obvious contender having bagged a hat trick, but all over the park it was good to see 11 individuals who not only play well in their own position, but gel as a team, the two full backs should get a mention for the way they are comfortable with playing from the back and not only picking out more forward players with precision passing but delivering balls right into danger areas.
In midfield it was also pleasing to perhaps feel that we have more in our armoury than just Adam Lallana, in a game like this were the opposition are going to be defensive and tight it was good to see Cork directing operations from the centre and another fine display from Chaplow, the competition for places is intense in midfield and that shows in the determination of the players to put in a performance and keep their place.
Up fron Guly is still a little maligned from small pockets in the crowd, but he too adds dimensions to our attacking play and has the skill to make openings for others with deft touches here and there.
Photo: Action Images
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Knees-up Mother Brown #14 by wessex_exile
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Knees-up Mother Brown #13 by wessex_exile
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Knees-up Mother Brown #12 by wessex_exile
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Knees-up Mother Brown #11 by wessex_exile
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Knees-up Mother Brown #10 by wessex_exile
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