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Southampton 2 v 2 Derby County
FA Cup
Wednesday, 16th January 2019 Kick-off 19:45
Saints V Derby County The Verdict
Thursday, 17th Jan 2019 14:24

The theme of this FA Cup 3rd round tie has been the word "Overturned" two 2-0 leads and a Derby County goal disallowed by VAR.

The 14,651 who turned out for this game witnessed a Saints performance that after 70 minutes looked to be a near perfect one although just before half time it took VAR to spot an offside in a Derby goal that although was correct was a matter of inches.

Saints had been in control before the break missing several good chances, but after they took command with Elyounoussi who seemed to be the whipping boy on the night and on social media since taking the ball from the right which he chipped perfectly for Shane Long to head home, only he didn;t with a defender managing to scramble it off the line but Stuart Armstrong headed home the clearance from close range.

A coupe of minutes later it was two with Nathan Redmond again showing he can take games by the scruff of the net.

So with 20 minutes left it was cruise control for Saints with the game looking in their pockets, with 14 minutes left it was much the same with a third looking likely but then came the usual problem of defending.

A free kick went right across the goal with no our defence rushing out and leaving Derby offside but the ball went straight across the goal into the far corner, but that wasn't the worst, on 82 minutes another cross and Ramsey and Stephens were ball watching to allow Waghorn a complete free header from six yards out, a complete feeling of deja vu here, how many times have we seen that happen in the last two years.

In truth at times Saints held on in the final minutes and in extra time, but they also had some good chances to win the game, they didn't and penalties saw us out of the FA Cup after spurning a two goal lead against Derby not once but twice.

Elyounoussi was the whipping boy, but truthfully he wasn't the worst player on the pitch and in the second half looked quite lively including that inch perfect cross for Long to have the header that led to us opening the scoring, he wasn't great but he at least contributed something positive.

This defeat will tell Hasenhuttl a few things, firstly that some of the youngsters are not ready for the first team yet, Tyreke Johnson had some good moments, but mainly he looked rash and uncomfortable and was taken off at half time after a booking could easily have seen a second yellow leading to his dismissal.

Ramsey didn't look like he knew where he should be at any given time playing as a third defender, but in mitigation Stephens and Vestergaard were not helping him as they seemed to be unaware of the need to mark people in our penalty box or to tell him where he should be.

Sam Gallagher tried hard but too often he ran into corners and lost the ball, he missed several headers that he should have won and I won't go there with the overhead kick, however he was not alone and I do not think I have ever attended a professional football match where so many of our players mistimed headers jumping for them and completely missing what should be simple tasks for players of this standard.

There were plus points though, Ward Prowse, Romeu and Armstrong dominated the centre, Shane Long again worked tirelessly and was involved in the opener and Nathan Redmond looks a class act that could get a recall to the England squad if he keeps this up.

But it was the same old story of our central defenders, no matter who they are being unable to organise keep their concentration and quite bluntly mark players that cost us dearly.

If Ralph Hasenhuttl truly thinks that a defensive partnership completely within the club at the moment is viable going forward then I would be very surprised, I have nothing against Jack Stephens or Vestergaard but again they failed to do the basics, for much of the game they looked OK, but i'm sorry I'm sick of deja vu again and again where one of our defenders is left floundering and watching the man he should have been marking score a completely unchallenged goal from close range, if it stopped happening then I wouldn't be able to keep bringing it up like a broken record.

It was a disappointing night, but not the first we have ever had and it won't be the last, we now need to learn from last night and learn fast.

Photo: Action Images

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DPeps added 15:04 - Jan 17
How many more times will we throw away 2 goal leads? It's getting ridiculous!

This game had all the staple ingredients of a Saints game: chucking a 2 goal lead, Long missing a sitter, Redmond missing a sitter, unmarked headers given to the opposition in our box, Cedric firing crosses into the stand... I could go on.

Redmond should have started, as he was the only player who caused Derby problems over the 2 games.

Elyounoussi looks a bit shot. He reminds me a bit of our old friend Gaston Ramirez - good technical player but not up to the speed of English football. I hope he can turn it around.

Armstrong came to us with a mixed reputation, and I can see why. Occasionally he looks good, but most of the time he's totally anonymous.

The kids looked ok. Johnson looks the most promising, especially going forward.

codge added 15:13 - Jan 17
I to am afraid that the club thinks that our centre of defense is ok its not and should be obvious to all with any who have watched the last few seasons.To keep repeating the same mistakes over and over is becoming a joke but its not funny and is very worrisome. We need to get in at least two players one in the back for sure and one up front hope it happens soon.

skiptonsaint added 15:29 - Jan 17
Good sum up and with all the injuries and suspensions and against a decent championship team this is not a disaster especially with the need to focus on the league

Overall there were a few young ones and squad players who played ok to well again and really it was getting closer to a third 11 once again at certain points. Good in Ralph for trying these kids.

To clear up the frustration fans are feeling with Moi and I was there. He has had quite a few chances now against premier league b teams and championship teams resting players and he has had very very little impact overall. He is going to have to really step it up in the second half of the season to be worth being anywhere near the match day squad when against battling premier league teams and can we afford to risk him again now we only have premier league games left ?

When Redmond comes on we start to look very imbalanced , Ings back will help but unless we spend (which I think looks unlikely) we are going to let a few in at the back so we need a potent front 3. Hope he can get some form and confidence but at the moment that looks most likely if he goes on loan.

saintmark1976 added 16:11 - Jan 17
Firstly good luck to Derby. They deserved to win especially after having the opening goal disallowed. If that's what V A R is going to do then I for one don't want it.

We were are usual shambolic selves, missing chances at the front and conceding soft goals at the back. As for the penalties, as soon as Redmond stepped up I knew he would miss.His body language was all wrong and he clearly thinks that he is a better player than he actually is. He has pace and good close ball control but not a trace of even an half acceptable footballing brain. J W P was his now usual ineffective self and his dead ball kicking (apart from his penalty) was beyond poor all evening long. As for Elyounoussi, is he in the team just to make the others look good?


ItchenNorth added 19:04 - Jan 17
Pretty dire game from start to finish, despite VAR, 4 goals and a penalty shootout !
Even though VAR cancelled out a Derby goal, it was farcical in the stadium. Supporters had no idea what was going on. And there after it kills celebrating a goal as you can no longer celebrate with any degree of certainty.

underweststand added 19:41 - Jan 17
Ralph had something right when he said that if Saints couldn't beat Derby twice over 90 minutes we didn't deserve to go further in the competition.. They may not be proper Prem.quality but Derby put up a good show in both games...and they don't have £15 million players in their side either.

There were good points in Saints' performance. Romeu, Armstrong and JWP showed some good touches, but despite a well-taken goal Redmond missed several easier chances, and sadly he looked like the only player really likely to score.

Our penalty shoot out record is almost as bad as England's, and with the same problem.
Most teams have one or two designated players who take (and most often) score from rarely-taken penalties. When you need to find half-a-dozen tired players who've run themselves into the ground for 120 minutes it's no wonder some miss. Derby found 5 , but clearly with so many changes in personnel each game Ralph should get everyone practicing as one never knows when we will get the next one, and who is likely to take it.

The one good thing from last night's defeat was - we didn't lose 3 points in the process.
Mistakes like that in forthcoming games could cost us considerably more.

bstokesaint added 19:48 - Jan 17
That was embarrassing. Again. Twice we’ve let a 2 goal lead slip against Championship opponents. That’s simply not acceptable. We had a chance to try and salvage something from the season, other than scraping relegation. Our throwing away of leads is ridiculous. No one fears us. It’s amazing Leicester didn’t come back against us. But we had a chance to put that nonsense to bed and turn a corner but we didn’t. Defensively we are still shocking and every time I seem to watch a goal conceded replay these days Stephens is on the floor or miles away from his man. He simply can’t mark and Vestergaard isn’t much better. As for Elyonussi I’m not sure what he’s supposed to be. He doesn’t score, assist, isn’t that quick, isn’t a great passer and often makes the wrong decision around the box. Those players aren’t alone in not being up to scratch by any means as we give the ball away far too easily.

SanMarco added 20:02 - Jan 17
Two quotes from the verdict say it all: "then came the usual problem of defending" and "in mitigation Stephens and Vestergaard...seemed to be unaware of the need to mark people in our penalty box". Also bstokesaint's summing up of Elyounoussi rounds it all off expertly.

The only thing I would add is that when you see youngsters come into the team you know very quickly whether they are possible future superstars. Sadly I saw no Bale, Walcott or Shaw on that field last night - the best youngster by far was Mason Mount.

KriSaint added 21:15 - Jan 17
When we scored to 2-0 we should have (put Bednarek on and) parked the bus.. If we had done that - parked the bus - and defended half as well as we did against Leicester, we would have been in round 4.
Very, very, very disappointing. + I don´t want to see Redmond take a pen ever again.
Classy pen by Vestergaard by the way. He has more ball controle than most of us will give him credit for. He is two-footed btw.

Wembley76 added 07:23 - Jan 18
Jack Stephens...... a centre-back, NOT!

Ball watches too often. Shows little awareness of where opposition players are in the penalty area and is, at best, a fullback..... worthy of an occasional place on the bench!

SaintBrock added 17:25 - Jan 18
Everyone why so negative? There was some good instinctive passages of play from us in the period leading up to us being 2-0 up, fast run and pass and penetration through their lines and the second goal was a peach. OK we were let down by Steven's and solely Stevens but he is not a first pick anyway and had Yoshi been on hand all would have been well.

Accept for a moment that Hasenhüttl couldn't give a monkey's toss about the outcome but used the time to blood more youngsters and gain experience for the players with his new playing system and you will be nearer the mark.

I'd rather he did that so that we gain overall as a team and a squad than be too bothered about not going to Accrington. We might have won this game and the next but would eventually crash out to one of the big boys, so what is the point of wasting time and energy on a discredited competition that we can't possibly win anyway.

Fans dream of the FA Cup? Doubt it, none that I know give a stuff and didn't go and it was obvious from the TV that the stadium was half empty so we were not alone.

From the TV, I liked what Romeu did particularly and as a seasoned perennial Ward Prowse critic was surprised how well he did, Armstrong also impressed in patches and the new kid at RCB showed real promise and looks more talented and controlled than hot-head Valery. Gallagher ought to settle for a Championship club if he can get a decent offer despite Hasenhüttl's encouraging words at his presser. He's got this one wrong.

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