Lukaku 22′, 45′
Referee : Michael Oliver
Attendance : 30,966
Southampton v Everton
St.Mary’s, Saturday 15th August 2015
> Five goals conceded in two games
> Substitute Romeu impresses
First home league game of the season and I woke up excited for the game ahead.
A 12.45pm kickoff meant an early start. Lots of running around to do, before getting to the Old Farmhouse at the required 2 hour before kick off time. There seemed to be traffic everywhere I went, meaning I didn't get to the the pub till gone 11am. Met up with Everton fans that I know. They were telling us about their protest against the clubs owners, which still doesn't make any sense to me. I think the general feeling between us and the Everton fans was that Saints were going to win this one comfortably, so onto the ground we went. I am ashamed to say that I didn't get to my seat until kick off time, so missed the tribute to Marcus Liebherr.
The game kicked off with Saints starting the brighter of the two sides, a cross from Targett found Pellè who knocked it down well for Long, but the Everton defender, Stone blocked the shot. A couple of minutes later, Tadić got behind a defender and picked out Pellè who mishit an attempted volley.
Everton then gave a warning with a breakaway from Lukaku, who ran towards the goal. Targett bought him down right on the edge of the area and got booked for the foul. The free kick comes to nothing and saints go back to dominating the game, but missed chances from Tadic Pelle and Mane proved costly. Everton brake away, Kone putting in a great cross and Lukaku scored with a great header, but this was really undeserved on the balance of play.
Saints 0 Everton 1
Everton now had a lead to protect and started playing an aggressive pressing game, Saints really struggled to handle this and lost their previous domination of the game. As a side we lost all shape, Tadic and Long as the wide players seemed to go missing, and it was no real shock when Lukaku scored a second just before halftime, after being put through by the impressive Ross Barkley
Half Time : Saints 0 Everton 2
At Half Time it was impossible to get a coffee, I spent the whole time in the queue, but gave up as I heard the players coming back out. In the queue the chat was all about Saints missed chances. It should have all been so different, but as it was, Saints were being muscled out of the game. So, it was no real surprise when Oriol Romeu came on for Tadić to make his Saints debut at the start of the second half.
Saints started the second half well. Romeu was well involved and looked impressive, if slightly over enthusiastic. He set up a chance for Pellè, but then got booked with a quite nasty tackle on McCarthy. Saints tried to push forward, but Tim Howard looked unbeatable. He made a couple of great saves, one from a volley by Pellè and the other was a long shot by Mane. After that, although Saints were trying to push forward, they were up against a very solid defence and totally run out of ideas in the final third of the pitch. The introduction of Jay Rodriguez and JWP for the ineffectual Long and Davis made little difference. Everton then broke away and Barkley was given too much time and scored a curling shot into the far corner.
Final Score : Saints 0 Everton 3
Despite the score, it was actually a good game of football. We really have to make our chances count, this game could and should have been buried in the first 20 minutes. After that, we lost it in midfield and defended poorly. Early days and I have faith in the squad to get it right. Romeu looks to be a good signing, we really are missing Bertrand, we need a quality centre back urgently, Tadić and Davis need to re-find their form, or be replaced and whilst Shane Long is a great sub to have, he does not warrant a starting place.
Sunday, 16th August 2015
33 Targett Booked
08 Davis Booked (Ward-Prowse - 79’ )
11 Tadic (Romeu - 45’ Booked )
07 Long (Rodriguez - 72’ )
19 Pellè Booked
32 Galloway (Browning - 88’ )
16 McCarthy Booked
09 Koné (Naismith - 80’ )
20 Barkley Booked
10 Lukaku (Deulofeu - 89’ )