Fonte 21' Lallana 54'
Giroud 48' Cazorla 52'
St.Mary’s - 28th January, 2014
Referee : Lee Mason
Attendance : 31,284
What a fabulous game of football.
I went into this thinking we were going to get stuffed and almost from the 1st moment we were fabulous, I believe pooch called it "total football" in the 1st half and wasn't wrong about it, quite honestly we were breathtaking at times and it's just a shame we couldn't capitalise on those missed opportunities (another couple of goals were on the cards there in the 1st half) to win the game.
Nevertheless, fabulous stuff and our midfield was breathtaking in its mastery, all of them, fecking fabulous.
Onto the players
Boruc: Did his usual thing, I wondered whether he could have got to their 2nd goal but, at least from where I was sitting, it looked a bit of a scuffed shot and I wonder if he was wrongfooted, it certainly went right into the corner of the net so I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt here. No Cruyff turns and a nice solid performance with relatively good passing and distribution, a good game and hopefully just another step in the road to recovery from the broken hand.
Chambers: Wow, he was up and down the football pitch like he had a small nuclear reactor inserted in him, he was energy personified and did very, very well. I don't think there's much between him and Clyne now, I am massively impressed with his progress this year and although I think there is more to come and I think overall Clyne is probably better, this kid is the real deal and we are really spoilt to have both of them.
Fonte: Brilliant goal, defensively very good. I do need to mention the ridiculous pass to Arsenal in the last 5 minutes which gave me a bloody heart attack and was completely unnecessary, but apart from that, our rock. Great game and great goal.
Maya: First can I just say, I know that I have commented that Lovren is weak in the air, Maya's performance last night in this regard make me think that Lovren is an aerial giant! This guy is fecking awful at decision-making and carrying out defensive duties when related to heading the ball. He headed the ball across his own area (and not to a teammate) 3 times last night, twice he headed the ball straight to onrushing arsenal attackers in his own half, someone's got to sort this shit out. Now, saying that, I thought he actually handled himself okay in the other aspects of his play yesterday, he's definitely more mobile than Jos (who is 20 times better in the air), if only we could combine the 2 of them. Good but please sort out the aerial nonsense.
Shaw: If after yesterday night he doesn't appear in the next England squad as a 1st choice left back then, quite frankly, uncle Roy (who was sat behind me) must've been getting a blow job behind the rail, last night showed everyone just why this kid is being talked about in the way that he is. And crossing as well, there was a couple of times when he just ran out of steam, but that's because he had been running what seemed like forever, up and down and up and down, he made Chambers look tardy (and there is no way that's true). A simply staggering performance from him yesterday. For an 18-year-old you don't get more world-class than this as a left back.
Davis: What a great game he had, he was everywhere, covering for Chambers, clearing up in the middle, popping up in attack, 800 K of bloody phenomenal value, if we could get him on the scoresheet a bit more often he would just be amazing. As it is, I will have to say he was just excellent, between the 3 midfielders yesterday you couldn't put a fag paper, each in their own way, it made me proud.
Cork: "I'm not sure I've ever seen a better defensive midfield performance from a Southampton player, ever, than I saw Cork do last night", this is a direct quote from someone who knows their shit and I agree with it. He was everywhere last night, we've said it before and will say it again, if he could just do something going forward he would be playing for Manchester United or Bayern Munich, he was simply breathtaking and his anticipation and energy were something else… I honestly don't think Victor is better than this at the moment, it would be massively harsh if he loses his place. I'm running out of superlatives, he was that good yesterday.
Schneiderlin: The last and by no means the least of the midfield trio, he did everything he needed to yesterday, clean or dirty, he did it well and if he could just get his attacking game back (maybe last night wasn't the time?) He could play for Barcelona, truly awesome game from him and again, such wonderful partnerships with Cork AND Davis, he just makes us tick and every football team has to have someone like that.
Lallana: I thought if anything he was trying a little hard last night, even saying that he was really in good form, every time he went down under some lunging challenge I held my breath, if Schneiderlin holds us together and makes us tick then Lallana drives us forward and sparks our creativity, a very good performance from a great player who will be going to Brazil, even uncle Roy couldn't have missed how pivotal he was for us and could be for England.
Rodriguez: I think he had a bit of a funny game, I can't say I thought he was bad, you don't have the kind of performance we put in last night and have a bad player on the pitch or somebody having an off day, it's just I kind of think I expect more from him these days. He is growing into a good player, he could be a great player but there is still a step to make and I think last night if he made it we would have won. That does sound harsh though, and I don't mean it to be that way, he ran his guts out but it just kind of didn't come off for him without making him look like a plonker, another day it will all come together and he will be the hero again.
Gallagher: For me it was the right decision not to play Rickie even if he was available. We can stuff Fulham and we should (exhaustion allowing) on Saturday and we may need an experienced professional to help do that. Saying that, this boy really does have something, when he missed the sitter I suspect he had a bit too long to think about it but apart from that he ran a lot (quick for a big boy) handled himself reasonably well with experienced professional centre backs on him and made better runs than Dani ever has for us in only really his 2nd game starting. Very VERY encouraging. One for the future without doubt and I'm slightly less worried about how our supposedly lack of depth in attack now.
Ward-Prowse: Came on as a sub, did what he needed to, uneventful apart from an excellently taken corner, this boy can hit some dead ball.
Do Prado: Came on, we didn't lose, I'd call that a result. Didn't really do much, good or bad, was just present for a while and didn't cock it up or win it for us.
The first half was spectacular, then there was a five minute blip and then it was business as usual. We should and could have won this game, we didn't probably because we still need a quality striker, that being said, it was a corker of a football match and, if you're not an Arsenal fan, I bet it was fabulous to watch.
Anyway, we did well and if we can recover in time for Fulham we should do better there, we are still vulnerable in the air but that's nitpicking, we were quite awesome and if we can continue this form and put some goals in as they are created then we could still do something interesting this season to make sure that pooch and Katarina still love us at the end of it.
28th January 2014
40 Gallagher (Ward-Prowse 70' - Booked 90')
8 Davis (Do Prado 90')
21 Do Prado
44 Gnabry (Oxlade-Chamberlain 70')
20 Flamini - Dismissed 80'
12 Giroud - Booked 31' (Podolski 90')
19 Cazorla (Gibbs 86')
West Brom 47%
West Brom 7
Shots on Target
West Brom 4
West Brom 5
West Brom 4