English Premier League

Burnley 3

  • Barnes 63', 70'
  • Berg Gudmundsson 75'

Southampton 0

    Intro & Team News

    Intro & Team News

    |First match of the season and as usual, hopes were high. Saints have had a good pre-season, looking good and scoring goals. What was not to like? However, all of this ignores Saints traditional rubbish start to a season, no matter who is manager, but today, feck me, we excelled ourselves. After a reasonable first half, Saints produced a second half collapse of the sort that the England Cricket team seem to specialise in.

    But, I am getting ahead of myself.

    Ralph Hasenhüttl had already said that he was going to have to make some difficult decisions and he had another to make when Højbjerg fell ill on the morning of the match. So, without the captain and most influential midfield player, the midfield was reduced to just Romeu and Ward-Prowse. The decision was made to play three centre-halves, the manager choosing to go with Bednarek, Stephens and Vestergaard and sacrifice the extra midfirlder. Either side of them were the two wing-backs of Valery and Bertrand. The front three were Ings in the centre and Redmond and Che Adams either side of him.

    The Saints bench looked experienced and strong, with goalkeeper McCarthy, full back Cédric, centre half Yoshida and the forwards Djenepo, Obafemi and Boufal. Yes, Boufal, remember him? Although still ill, Højbjerg was the lone midfielder available and so he took his place alongside the other subs.

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    Saints Summer Signing, Che Adams made his first Premier League start


    • 1 Pope
    • 2 Lowton
    • 5 Tarkowski
    • 6 Mee
    • 23 Pieters
    • 7 Berg Gudmundsson
    • 4 Cork
    • 18 Westwood
    • 11 McNeil (Lennon 84')
    • 9 Wood
    • 10 Barnes (Rodriguez 84')


    • 13 Hendrick
    • 14 Gibson
    • 19 Rodriguez
    • 20 Hart
    • 25 Lennon
    • 26 Bardsley
    • 28 Long


    • 28 Gunn
    • 35 Bednarek
    • 5 Stephens (Højbjerg 73')
    • 4 Vestergaard
    • 43 Valery
    • 14 Romeu
    • 16 Ward-Prowse
    • 21 Bertrand
    • 9 Ings (Obafemi 66')
    • 22 Redmond
    • 10 Adams (Boufal 73')


    • 1 McCarthy
    • 2 Cédric Soares
    • 3 Yoshida
    • 12 Djenepo
    • 19 Boufal
    • 20 Obafemi
    • 23 Højbjerg

    Match Report
    Embed from Getty Images

    The highlight for Saints was new signing, Djenepo appearing on the bench, if not the pitch

    Match Report

    |Oh dear, this didn't unfold as expected. After a decent pre-season and with some good playing staff additions, whatever else, I expected to see Saints give a good account of themselves and for the first 45 minutes that is exactly what happened. Chances were missed, but they were giving as good as they got. The second half was a different story however, or at least it was after the 60 minute mark. After the break Dyche changed tactics and had his team bypass midfield at every opportunity. Crude, but very effective, with Saints conceding at 63, 70 and 75 minutes.

    From the kick-off Saints were neat and incisive and from almost the first move down the left, the ball was worked across to Valery on the other flank. The young French wing-back sent a great pass across the face of the goal and there was Adams racing in, but just failing to get more than a touch, the ball harmlessly going behind wide of goal.

    The only controversial incident in that first half was when Wood got the ball in the Saints net, but the linesman had already flagged for offside and it went to VAR, which simply confirmed the original decision. So, not that controversial really. The officials were proven correct.

    The rest of of the half was fairly even, with both teams probing, but not really testing either keeper. Saints were looking organised at the back, with Stephens in the centre of the three CB's, Vestergaard wide on the left and Bednarek wide on the right, with the two FB's operating in front of them. Stephens was being very vocal, organising the defence.

    At the beginning of the second 45 minutes, it quickly became apparent that Burnley had changed tactics and were lumping it over the top. Unfortunately we didn't react quickly enough to this new development and Romeu was quickly transformed into a bemused bystander, as the ball kept passing him overhead.

    Now, Vestergaard is not the quickest of players in either thought, or deed and a lot of the attacks were coming down that side of the pitch. Bertrand was often caught up the pitch and because of the extra defender, the midfield was too stretched to offer much defensive cover. Eventually that defence cracked. A hopeful lob over midfield eluded Vestergaard, who fell over and Barnes was in like a flash, cracking the ball between Gunn's feet into the back of the net. 1-0.

    Hasenhüttl reacted by taking Ings off and sending Obafemi on to hopefully inject a bit of pace, but before he could make a difference, Saints were even further behind. This time it was a long pass from Pieters wide on the left found Barnes, who had got in behind two Saints defenders and from close range volleyed the ball past Gunn. 2-0. Just like that and there were still 20 minutes left.

    Again Hasenhüttl reacted. Off came Stephens and Adams. On went forgotten man Boufal and the still unwell Højbjerg. Saints reverting to just the two CB's in a back four. Once again, there was no time for the change to have an effect before another goal was conceded. This time Gudmundsson beat Bertrand to a long clearance from the Burnley keeper and took it all the way, cracking the ball home from a tight angle. 3-0. That was that and Southampton were a spent force.

    That was as depressing as the dismal weather. It rained and rained and rained. Then it rained some more. If I was unhappy at the way the team cracked, you can only guess what Ralph Hasenhüttl was thinking, as the rain drenched him and with a face like thunder. He has a massive task to sort the team out before the visit of Liverpool to St.Mary's next weekend.

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    Nathan Redmond was one of the few bright spots of a very wet, dark afternoon

    Match Statistics

    Match Stats

    Referee: Graham Scott

    Attendance: 19,784


    • 46% Possession
    • 10 Shots
    • 4 Shots on Target
    • 3 Goals
    • 2 Corners
    • 6 Fouls
    • 4th in Premier League


    • 54% Possession
    • 11 Shots
    • 3 Shots on Target
    • 0 goals
    • 7 Corners
    • 12 Fouls
    • 18th in Premier League

    Embed from Getty Images

    Not a happy man after that display, especially with Liverpool at St.Mary's next weekend