Southampton At Swansea City The Pre Season Verdict
Sunday, 1st Aug 2021 11:12
Another comprehensive win to complete Saints training week in South Wales, now the team can return back to England having built some solid foundations and fine tune with the two home friendlies in the next week.
As predicted it was pretty much mix and match again for Saints with those who started on the bench at Cardiff in midweek stepping into the starting line up.
ALEX MCCARTHY (GK)
It started well for Saints and they had several good chances early on, but it was the home side who opened the scoring when Mohammed Salisu put through his own goal on 15 minutes, slicing an attempted clearance past Alex McCarthy from close range.
The lead for the Swans lasted barely a minute though and virtually from the kick off Saints attacked and a flowing move saw Nathan Tella slot home to put Saints back on equal terms working well with Che Adams to create the opportunity.
By the 25th minute Saints were in front, this time it was Nathan Redmond who got on the end of a weighted pass to beat the Swansea keeper.
The first half was all Saints and although it was only 2-1 at the break it could easily have been 5.
In the second half the pace slowed a little and the Welsh side could have got back in the game when Alex McCarthy showed the good and the bad in his game, first up he lost a little concentration and with the ball at his feet was caught in possession, the Swas got an effort in on goal but Jan Bednarek managed to clear off the line.
But the keeper redeemed himself a little later with a smart save.
The third and final goal for Saints came when Stuart Armstrong sent Shane Long down the right hand channel and when the Irishman got to the line and pulled the ball back it was the Scotsman who despatched the ball to make the game safe.
Overall Saints dominated and created a raft of chances, but the worrying thing was that they didn't convert as many as they should have, but Ralph Hasenhuttl will hope that in the two weeks before the season's opener at Everton the shooting boots will be fine tuned.
Again there was a lot to be taken from this game, but it did highlight the widening gap between Premier League sides and the Championship, we have to be careful not to get too excited just yet.
But we did look lively with plenty of running and teamwork with some lovely passing in the build up.
The hope is that both Nathan Tella and Moussa Djenepo will have learn't a little more last season and truly play a big part in the coming season, so far in his St Mary's career Ralph has worked with a smaller group of players, but now he seems to feel that he does need a squad and the word is that perhaps both Shane Long and Mo Elyounoussi will not go out on loan but will be part of the squad.
The Austrian will feel satisfied with this display, but he will be well aware that we are only half way in our pre season programme and we need to step up a few gears in the coming weeks.
Photo: Action Images
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