Barclays Premier League
St. Mary's - Saturday 30th March 2013
- Rodriguez 23'
- Lambert 35'
- Terry 33'
Yet another wonderful game from Saints. This really is turning into a great season and Mauricio Pochettino has made a huge difference, both to the way the team plays and their self-belief. Once again Crash tells it like it is.
What I have been waiting for has just arrived, your friend and mine, consistency, And by this I don't mean consistently crap.
Also, a new-found belief in our defensive resilience, the ability for the coach to say "actually, we will keep them out, we won’t continue to press them and make our self exhausted, we will just not let them score." Brilliant.
That being said, there were a couple of disappointments but by and large, an excellent performance with a couple of big hitters missing (although some would say lallana is not regularly enough a big hitter?)
Boruc: Did well although not really presented with a lot in the way of things he had to do in the half he played, 6/10, no goals got scored and his kicking was as crap as ever but for some reason he does give me confidence.
Yoshida: He had a really good game, he has the unfortunate tendency to do something really idiotic at least once a game but thankfully yesterday it didn’t really matter. When he came out to get that ball and missed it entirely which let them through for a well taken goal (which thankfully turned out to be offside) I did think to myself “no please, not one of those games today Maya” but I was worrying for nothing. His pace was more than adequate to keep out Torres (who was quite obviously lost without his horse trigger… Boom boom). 8/10, I would have given him a solid nine if he learned to pass the ball properly.
Hooiveld: Jos did well although I was surprised that Torres beat him in the air as often as he did, still, not really troubled and covered well for a surprisingly badly playing Shaw. Good game and nice and solid 8/10.
Clyne: Carried on his excellent form from the Liverpool game, he is really starting to show just what a bargain we got when we got him to come to us. I like him a lot and I can tell why Chelsea like him too, pace, directness, willingness, intelligence… Some of the things he showed at the beginning of the season under Nigel, a lot of them he is now demonstrating on a much more regular basis playing for Pooch. 9/10, excellent and only beaten to man of the match by somebody we fecking love.
Shaw: This was the first game I can remember in a long time where he looked out of his depth from the first whistle to about 70 minutes he was okay going forward but hopeless defending. He demonstrated a distinct lack of motivation in getting back to his own position after running forward and by and large was Moses bitch. Saying that, the last 20 minutes he suddenly got his shit together. Ended the game on a bit of a high with the appearance of Foxy in front of him (brilliant substitution by the way) so not all bad. I think he just showed his Age a little bit against Chelsea, he caught it and got better so I’ll just leave it as a 6/10 for his attacking performance and fully expect him to be his normal mechanical brilliant self in the next match.
Davis: Very very solid, where he was needed and generally tried to get Shaw out of a hole as much as he could, still needs to work on his shooting but put in a good central midfield performance complementing Morgan and Corky well. If he keeps doing this I can’t see lallana or possibly even Ramirez getting much of a look in, this is the player we were hoping to see originally, simple play, lots of energy, box to box, actually, a good captain’s performance 7.5/10
Jack Cork: I’m running out of things to say about him, excellent performance, not perhaps as smooth as he usually is as he got some hassle from fat frank and co but still the glue that holds us together. Is there a better English midfielder playing at the moment?
In all honesty I don’t believe there is, there are limits to his game but as long as you don’t need him to score goals why the hell isn’t he a full international yet? All good for Sts though, if he goes to England that’s usually the end of the good performances for Southampton so I’m not complaining all that much. 9/10.
Schneiderlin: Very controlling yesterday, excellent performance, there’s no point in wasting any more words, this guy is just brilliant and knows where to be and what to do. 9/10, only beaten for MOM by an even more imperious performance.
Puncheon: Just when you start to think “new contract, old Punch” he comes back in and put in an excellent shift. Not quite as fluid as when he left the starting lineup but certainly showed enough that I wouldn’t be at all disappointed to see him starting the next match as well (in fact I think he would chop through Reading given half a chance). Slightly lacking in cutting-edge and still exhibiting slightly peculiar decision-making but very good nonetheless. 7/10
Lambert: Brilliant centre forward performance, dominated their centre backs, ran the game from the front and generally was, as far as Chelsea goes, unplayable, quite simply they just could not stop him. The freekick was just wonderful and I will just finish with “Rickie Lambert, we fecking love you. 9.5/10 MOM
Rodriguez: More consistency, J Rod was brilliant and frankly, is putting in performances now that make me eat my words of earlier in the season, and I don’t mind one little bit. He has learnt, he is growing all the time and quite frankly I think £7 million may be a bit of a bargain if he keeps going like he is doing. Someone else has already said, under Pooch (careful IM™) he has come on in leaps and bounds and I would heartily concur. A superb performance that just needs a little more consistency in finishing, although his goal was wonderfully taken, 9/10, superb.
Davis: Kelvin came on, settled in and made two fabulous saves, albeit one of them was offside anyway. I think the team just trust him to be steady, all those people worrying about him not being able to cut it in the Premier league, and I admit to being one of them, what he did against Chelsea should put everyone’s mind at ease. He is comfortable with himself and his abilities and that one-handed tip over the crossbar just shows the boy still has it. 8/10, very well done.
James Ward-Prowse: Came on to inject some energy and after a few fiddles with the formation did just that. I think this boy still has a way to go but he has the ability to go all the way in professional football. Lovely cameo, 7/10.
Fox: The substitution of the match for me, could have been a touch earlier but essentially filled in the gap that was being hammered out by Chelsea. A great performance that didn’t stress him and settled down Luke, nice and simple and no major dramas but solidity and a good left foot. 7/10, it was a very important move and it worked brilliantly.
Not really much else to say, interesting to note the complete change of emphasis from one half to the other and the fact that both the players and the coach seem comfortable either attacking or defending, something we haven’t really seen from Southampton much over the years.
Rickie was superb and with J Rod providing the direct running and flashes of the old Punch and some directness from Clyne as well, Chelsea didn’t really know where the next threat was coming from. We should have made it safe long before the second half but in the end apart from making me miserable for 45 minutes it was fine. I can’t get my head around us being defensively competent, I’m sure I can learn to love it though
Roll on the demolition of Reading, it’s very important we kill them, not because they can come up behind us, they can’t pretty much at this point, it’s just important for us to keep the consistency going.
04 Schneiderlin Booked
08 S Davis (Fox - 85' )
42 Puncheon (Ward-Prowse - 62' )
07 Lambert Booked
01 K Davis
11 Oscar (Benayoun - 76' )
12 Mikel (Ramires - 71' )
21 Marin (Hazard - 60' )
09 Torres Booked
04 David Luiz
- Southampton 53%
- Chelsea 47%
- Southampton 13
- Chelsea 7
- Southampton 8
- Chelsea 4
- Southampton 7
- Chelsea 7
- Southampton 12
- Chelsea 6