Referee : Mike Jones
Attendance : 29,087
Shots on Target
Southampton v Swansea
St.Mary’s - Sunday, 18th September 2016
> Just the one goal, after umpteen missed chances
> That man Austin scores again
> Good performances all over the pitch
IBO Reporter : OneBeat
My first match report of the season and it falls on the day B is moving into her Uni Halls, so I had a lot going on and a lot of sorting out to do. But I did get a stream working at kick off, and managed to watch the first 35 minutes or so, before I had to jump in the car and listen to trusty old Radio Solent.
From what i saw we looked in control, Swansea had a few attempts, but nothing that caused our defence too much trouble. Fonte made one good block and Forster easily dealt with everything else.
Going forward Tadic and Redmond looked sharp, and we passed it well as we probed for an opening. Van Dyke, Davis and Long had chances to open the scoring and it only seemed a matter of time. Also, Long was upended in the area, but instead of a penalty, Swansea go the free kick and he was booked for diving, it was a little unfair I thought.
Switching to the radio and it seemed that Blackmore and Merrington had been watching a completely different game to me, they were already moaning about how boring the first half had been. They seem to be obsessed with getting the ball forward quickly and viewed any period of possession as dull.
Redmond broke into the area and blasted over the bar, Long was in the middle but I can see why he took the shot on, soon after Redmond was found on his own in the area by Tadic, he switched the ball onto his right foot, beating the one defender who'd got across and only had to lift it over Fabianski into the net, unfortunately he lifted it over the bar as well. Blackmore and Merrington immediately started banging on about how a “proper” centre forward forward in that position, instead of a winger, would have scored. Having seen it in the extended highlights, it was a bad miss, but not a glaring open goal Solent were making it out to be.
We ended the half well on top and looking really good. Yet Solent''s summing up was about how dull it had been, and their pre-second half talk was about how they wanted changes made, reading out a couple of texts that supported these views.
The second half continued in the same vein, we were dominating the game and coming very close to scoring on several occasions; Long and Tadic, went close, with the ball running along the line. Romeu then fed Redmond who was harshly flagged for offside before squaring for Long to score.
Ten minutes in and Saints made two changes with Austin and Højbjerg (who’s name they pronounce Hoy-by-air) came on for Long and Clasie. But Blackmore and Merrington still weren't happy because this just wasn’t the right change, Redmond should have gone off so Long and Austin could play together up front.
Romeu had a good change from a corner, heading the ball down only to see it bounce over the bar, and it wasn’t long before Blackmore had something else to moan about as Austin (one of those proper centre forwards) hit the bar with a thumping shot from close range, after a great controlled cross from Redmond, the ball bouncing back and hitting Fabianski on the head, but unlike last week, it didn't then go in. Still we peppered their goal, it wouldn't go in but the team didn't lose focus and kept playing the ball around and looking for that elusive opening.
Eventually Austin did get his goal, controlling the ball on his chest and volleying in from a Tadic cross, after a nice passing move where we'd got the ball after Swansea had kicked it long, giving us back possession. But still the old duffers in the commentary box moaned about how we weren’t playing a “typical English” game, it was all too “Continental” apparently, and Merrington disgustedly spat our the words “Passing” and “Possession” like they were a personal insult. Playing that passing, possession football presented us with lots of chances in a performance that was the opposite of the one being described on the radio.
From what I did manage to see, on the stream and the extended highlights, Redmond, Tadic and Romeu were the stand outs in a very good team performance. It was a shame that most of my enjoyment of it was ruined by one of the worst commentaries I've ever had the misfortune to hear.
Hopefully people will see the progress we are making and stick with the team, ignoring the mind boggling narrow-minded grumblings of two out of touch old dinosaurs employed by the local radio station.
17 van Dijk
23 Højbjerg (Ward-Prowse 82')
8 Davis - Booked 47'
11 Tadic (Long 67')
10 Austin (Rodriguez 74')
22 Redmond - Booked 29'
3 van Aanholt
8 Rodwell - Booked 90'
46 Gooch (Love 77')
20 Pienaar - Booked 65' (Lens 67')
9 Borini (Watmore 64')