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Saints V Everton The Verdict
Sunday, 25th Oct 2020 17:06

Saints took on the last unbeaten record in the Premier League exactly a year to the day of the Leicester City debacle, and put in not only the most comprehensive performance of Ralph Hasenhuttl's reign, but perhaps the best since the days of Ronald Koeman.

In the run up to the match the media were waxing lyrical about Everton's start to the season and how they might just be genuine title contenders, but by 4pm this afternoon although they stay top for the weekend, Saints are now only 3 points behind and that is a measure of the way that Ralph Hasenhuttl has transformed the side over the past two years.

Saints played everything right, they kept it tight at the back and then poured forward at speed, the final score was 2-0 but it could be easily have been 5, indeed it was a measure of their composure that as the game went on they didn't pour forward with abandon, but did so in a disciplined way, once we had got the lead the onus was on making sure we kept it and got all three points, not on racking up the goals.

When we made mistakes and gave away the ball we worked hard to get it back, I am quick to criticise the central defence but Jan Bednarek and Jannik Vestergaard looked the part today, they seemed to know their respective jobs and where they should be.

But that could be said for the whole team, there seemed to be an organisation and discipline not seen for a long time in a Saints team.

Alex McCarthy did not have a real save to make all match, but he did his bit and dominated the box when Everton mounted what seemed to be their only attacking moves either from corners or set pieces.

Everton will point to the players that they had missing, but in truth we were missing more players than them and we had a lot less in reserve to cover the loss than the Toffee's who spent almost £100 million in the summer .

Finding a candidate for man of the match is not hard, this was a team effort and virtually the entire side could stake a claim.

At the back the two central defenders were solid and the full backs not only defended but got forward quickly and linked up well.

In the centre of midfield Oriol Romeu was once again immense and alongside him James Ward Prowse scored a cracking goal in a move he started and finished.

On the flanks both Nathan Redmond and Stuart Armstrong battled hard, they struggled to find an end product, but they never shirked their task, if they lost the ball they worked hard to get it back, some may have been surprised that Sky Sports gave Redmond man of the match, but they made just those points, it wasn't for the spectacular it was for his work rate.

Up front Danny Ings had a hand in both goals and Che Adams scored for the second game running, to show that he might be the junior partner, but he will soon be challenging for joint billing.

All in all this was the most satisfying performance in a long time, we didn't win a game and have to look back at a moment when our opponents missed a chance we had gifted them, we deserved this win from start to finish.

My only criticism is a minor one in that I thought we could have brought on Diallo a little earlier to give him some real game time, but if that is the worst thing I can think of to say after a game I'm not complaining.

Photo: Action Images

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FrankSaint added 17:13 - Oct 25

Saintsforeverj added 17:15 - Oct 25
Yep, great performance all round. Very satisfying. Adams, Ings, Armstrong, Redmond looks cracking with Theo still to come in. Ves is showing why Leicester were linked with him, as he for me, is looking like a Fonte type player at the moment. Diallo looks class and can't wait to see more of him. 3 points off the top the league. Up the Saints!

erick added 17:16 - Oct 25
The only criticism I can find is partly hasenhuttle we were to dominant he could have brought younger players as subs to enjoy this much deservedly. Al round excellent performance

halftimeorange added 17:29 - Oct 25
An outstanding performance but, whilst Sky gave Redmond the MoM title, it was interesting to hear the Solent commentators, Blackmore and Merrington say he wasn't their man of the match and, if he doesn't up his game he will be on the bench "as he just isn't doing it". I couldn't fault anyone's work rate but, JWP and Romeu dominated midfield and that's where my award would have gone. I was also impressed by the cameos of Diallo and N'Lundulu.

IanRC added 17:31 - Oct 25
Excellent all round performance. More of the same please at Villa. Test for our defence will be Maxim against Newcastle.

Don’t know what Ancelotti is on but unless he is trying to make them into the dirtiest team in the league he was way off target with his comments on Diane’s red card, another reckless dangerous tackle.

IanRC added 17:32 - Oct 25
Digne, ruddy auto correct.

ItchenNorth added 17:41 - Oct 25
Certainly the best 45 minutes I've seen from Saints in a long time. Everton got their act together in the second half as they finally started to press our midfield. The sending off killed the game (which was welcoming!) as a contest. The final result was then never in doubt as they gave up and we could again, knock it around with a man advantage. An easy day at the office. Thanks Everton!

felly1 added 17:48 - Oct 25
Great to see some praise for our central defenders. Romeu was my MOTM, he's so strong and consistent and him and JPW are a great partnership. On our day we're a bloody good side and a match for anyone .
No doubt they'll be ups and downs this season but all I can say is Thankyou Ralph for inspiring this squad of players to play at their potential and treat us to fast , high risky attacking r

Scrappy2020 added 17:49 - Oct 25
Romeu man of the match
Superb performance by everyone, can't wait for Villa game,Armstrong to keep his place.

felly1 added 17:49 - Oct 25
meant to end that with ..high risk attacking football!

SaintPaulVW added 17:50 - Oct 25
I really don't like it when we make it look so easy!

Everton had a few chances but nothing substantial.

Great team performance from Saints. Everyone played their part. Vestergaard what a turnaround.

So proud, perfect antidote to the anniversary game that seemingly we will never be allowed to forget COYS!


underweststand added 18:43 - Oct 25
It was hard to find one MoM...but Vestergaard and Romeu suddenly look streets better than they were before. Overall it was our best performance in a very long time and we saw an extra dimension with Danny Ings turning provider with two great assists.

Sour grapes from Ancelotti who called the red card - a joke. Maybe someone should ask Walker Peters how it felt. He was an attacking threat on his own and mercilessly fouled on a number of occasions, and having got one yellow Bernard was lucky to finish.

Hopefully this is the start of a revival in fortunes, and with Walcott back on the bench next week, and fans still awaiting starts for Diallo and Salisu, we look to have the makings of a good squad. With Obafemi suspended, it was good to see yet another Academy product in (Dan N'Lundulu) get a lively few minutes at the end.

WestSussexSaint added 18:53 - Oct 25
Almost the complete performance. Although we were comfortable at 2-0, a goal for Everton would have given them a bit of hope so I was a little disappointed that we didn’t get a third to kill the game. As others have said Digne did that for us in the end.

As for MOM I agree Redmonds work rate was better than of late but he was still a bit too casual in his passing and there are still questions over the end product. As soon as he gets near the 18 yard box his decision making seems to go missing. For me Romeu was immense and nearly every Saints counter attack started with him. Vestergaard is starting to look like the £18m player we bought 2 years ago so Ralph can give Salisu all the time he needs as I can’t see him getting a game any time soon.

bornonthemiltonroad added 19:25 - Oct 25
What a great performance by a very disciplined Saints team, great to watch and for a change, not stressful in the last quarter. I disagree with the pundits though, my MOTM was Romeu, quietly went about his business with total control. Only weak link for me was Redmond, lots of work rate but no end product at all, so frustrating, how he got the plaudits from the SKY team I’ve no idea. If this team keeps growing in confidence??

A1079 added 19:29 - Oct 25
Good account Nick.

I cannot explain it any more simply as a consummate professional performance from start to finish. It is nit picking as there really isn't anything to nit pick about, but I would like to have seen us got a third. I cannot agree that MOTM was Redmond as he did work harder than of late but his final ball still left alot to be desired. Romeu for me as MOTM with JWP not far behind.

AirFlorida added 20:42 - Oct 25
Actually pleased we didn't push harder for a third. Our concentration levels have gone AWOL in recent games so it showed we've got the discipline to manage a whole game without switching off. Happy that we went backwards more often than forwards just to prove we can do it. OK Everton proved thier status in league is over hyped but they're still a good side and we stopped them from playing and played to our attacking strengths. I'd give my motm to Ralph! Tactics were spot on. Was Calvert Lewin playing?! :-D

davidargyll added 20:57 - Oct 25
I lost count of the number of times Redmond lost the ball so how he was made MOTM god only knows. Romeu or Danny or JV for me.
What impressed me initially - and made me dead nervous - was that Everton’s left side, Iwobi in particular, looked very dangerous in the first half and KWP looked somewhat at sea with huge gaps appearing which thankfully were not taken advantage of. And then Ancellotti took him off! I couldn’t believe it and praised God several times after that for what looked like an idiotic decision.
But let’s be honest the Toffees generally were woeful, mid-table at best on that form I reckon. They have been playing above themselves but today they’ve been found out. And they’re a team of dirty players too; they deserve to be on the slide.
But the really good thing about the Saints is that they are now playing really attractive football - I cannot remember the last time that virtually every time we went forward you felt we could score. That game today was positively....THERAPEUTIC!!!

TeamCortese added 21:24 - Oct 25
I'm putting it out there! I don't think this squad should be aiming for a top 10 finish.

I think we have enough depth (with maybe a couple of additions in January) to challenge for a top 7 finish. We really played Everton off the park today and the frightening thing is we looked very comfortable.

One pattern I've noticed in the last 6-12-months is the so-called big clubs aren't beating us comfortably anymore. On the contrary, they're losing or at best drawing.

With the quality we have on the bench I think we can challenge Wolves, Arsenal, Tottenham and Everton this season.

One player I want to single out is Che Adams. He's been brilliant so far this season.

If he carries this form on for the rest of the season I think he could get 15 goals (in all comps). For me, that would be a very good return for a relatively young player in his second season in the EPL. I also think Danny Ings will do a slightly higher amount too. Those two's goals alone along with the midfield chipping in will put us in good stead to challenge in the top half for sure.

We just need Theo, Diallo and Salisu (where is he?) to bed in along with the rest of the squad to keep up the healthy competition for places and I'm pretty confident we'll be safe from relegation for sure.

If we improve our home form and maintain our away form from last season this could genuinely be our best season since 2014/15. Up the Saints!

perazi added 21:49 - Oct 25
Can't remember enjoying a Saints performance more than that. Played Everton off the Park with attractive, free flowing Football, and resolute, organised defence. So many outstanding players today - the midfield was immense, Romeu in particular and JWP who has certainly backed up his break through previous season. Ings with his assists, Armstrong, Redmond, Adams all involved. Both FBs excellent and KWP in my mind is developing into the best RB we've had. Well done to both Vest and Bednarek for their calm, disciplined displays and what an impressive cameo from Diallo late in the game.

Saidou added 01:43 - Oct 26
I thought Redmond was our worst player today. IDC what you think, but the fact that we didn't push hard for a 3rd, fourth or even fifth goal in a 2nd half that we completely dominate tells me why we can't be a top team. Why do we set the bar for our team so low😩😠

Billeewithers added 03:02 - Oct 26
Lot of commentators said they thought the red card was too harsh. It’s mostly the top team bias effect.
Digne had a dig a couple of seconds earlier, then could Not be arsed to make a real effort to catch up so did the Sunday morning Soccer hangover tackle .... weirdly called professional. Made no effort to pull his foot out .... actually the reverse .... did show an innocent face though ... very old fashioned Italian tackle ... so his manager would have been impressed!

Consigliere added 08:59 - Oct 26
I agree with all of the above and only want to add how frustrating it was to sit through 20 minutes of boring Arsenal, five minutes of boring blather about boring Arsenal and five minutes of blather about how great are Everton before we actually got to see a short section of the game on MOTD2. Oh and they couldn't avoid mentioning the anniversary point (I know, I was there, I didn't need to be reminded). Do the producers of this benighted programme have any interest beyond their favourite six teams?

IanRC added 09:24 - Oct 26
I thought Redmond worked hard but his passing and shooting could have been better. If we scored a third I was hoping it would be him that scored as I am sure he just needs a bit more personal confidence.

SanMarco added 11:33 - Oct 26
I'd give the MotM to JWP for that seperbly taken first goal. Neutrals would say there was only one winner after that went in although, of course, it didn't feel like that to us - until the sending off at least. Talking of which I had the feeling there was some intention in it - even if the initial contact was accidental he did some 'raking' and deserved to go. The concept of 'intentional' will forever defeat VAR as well as all the rest of us but let players get away with things like that and others will think it worth a try.

I thought Redmond gave the ball away more than anyone but I am not in the mood for criticism - a good team performance from all. The good thing is that yes, Everton were there for the taking, just like Spuds were a few weeks ago, but this time we took them!! No silly errors to let them back in and in the end 3-0 always looked more likely than 2-1...

On Consig's point about MOTD why weren't we first on? Far, far better game than the Bumnal one. So what if Leicester hadn't won at Arsenal for 600 years - still a poor game put ahead of a good one.

geezershoong1 added 14:31 - Oct 26
Everyone seems to forget that EFC had key players missing. Still, not complaining!

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