team 2012-13

Saints 1 - 1 Swansea (0-0 HT)

Barclays Premier League

St.Mary's - Saturday 10th November 2012

Schneiderlin 64'
Dyer 73′
Ref: Marriner
Att: 30,501
For nine precious minutes it really looked as if Saints were going to get all three points. They had been playing well and the defence had dealt with everything Swansea could throw at them, including Nathan Dyer, who had come on as a substitute for Swansea in the 56th minute.

Then in a moment of madness Saints played the ball back from a forward position all the way back to Gazzaniga. Instead of booting it upfield he chose to pass it short to Yoshida who slipped before the ball got to him and in a flash Dyer was onto it and the ball was in the back of the net.

At the start of the game there were a few selection surprises. The first was 17 year old left back Luke Shaw, who became the youngest ever Premier League player for Saints. Jason Puncheon returned on the right and a most welcome sight was Jack Cork making his Premier League debut for Saints after his various injury dramas.

Right from the kick off it rapidly became clear that this was a huge improvement over recent performances. Not only was the team selection spot on, but the formation was working well. The whole team was playing with purpose, having apparently been taken away for a couple of days to The Four Seasons Hotel in Dogmersfield, to the West of Farnborough and just off the M3 (according to my source!), to try and get away from the constant attentions of the press.

Luke Shaw was playing well at left back and even though Swansea were clearly targeting Saints left flank, they were being dealt with by a combination of Shaw and other players coming across to help him. Although chances fell to Saints they failed to trouble the Swansea goalkeeper to any degree. At the other end Gazzaniga had to make one save from Ki Sung-Yeung, but was otherwise untroubled.

Halftime came and the general feeling amongst the fans was that this was a game that was there for the taking, although everyone was conscious of how many goals have been conceded so far this season.
Saints stepped up the pressure and Swansea responded by taking off the ineffective Routledge and replacing him with Nathan Dyer. The speedy ex-Saint was soon making his presence felt, but it was Saints, under the constant probing of Ramírez and the endeavour of Cork that was making the difference. The pressure eventually told when Rickie Lambert won yet another header and Schneiderlin was on hand to head past the Swansea goalie. The roar of relief from the crowd must have been heard miles away.

The most dangerous time for a team is said by some to be just after you have scored, but Saints seemed to up their game and for an all too brief few minutes they seemed well in control. Then came the wobble. Saints were attacking and for some reason played the ball back from the edge of the Swansea penalty area all the way to Gazzaniga. Gazzaniga and Yoshida might have got away with were it not for the fact that Dyer had already started his run and had built up a fair head of steam by the time he reached the floundering Yoshida. Dyer chose the right side of the Japanese and simply took the ball on and hit it beyond the back pedalling Gazzaniga. Even then it hit the far post, but bounced back into the goal.

Both sides then had chances to win the game, with Saints producing by far the most pressure, but without any end result. So the game ended in stalemate, which is far from satisfactory from Saints viewpoint. Still, as QPR lost it meant that Saints were off the bottom again.

This makes next Saturday's game at QPR look incredibly important, but I think everyone can take heart from the way the team performed. The fightback is under way.

Channonite 12.11.2012

Teams

Southampton

12 Gazzaniga
02 Clyne
03 Yoshida
06 Fonte
23 Shaw (Fox - 74' )
04 Schneiderlin Booked
10 Ramirez
18 Cork
20 Lallana Booked
42 Puncheon
07 Lambert

Substitutes
01 K Davis
05 Hooiveld
13 Fox
08 S Davis
16 Ward-Prowse
09 Rodriguez
24 Mayuka

Swansea

25 Tremmel
06 Williams Booked
16 Monk
22 Rangel
33 Davies
07 Britton (Shechter - 66' )
09 Michu
11 Pablo
15 Routledge (Dyer - 56' )
20 De Guzman (Agustien - 86' Booked )
24 Ki Sung-Yeung

Substitutes
13 Cornell
05 Tate
21 Tiendalli
12 Dyer
26 Agustien
17 Shechter
19 Moore

Match Stats


Possession
Southampton 60%
Swansea 40%

Shots
Southampton 11
Swansea 5

On target
Southampton 5
Swansea 3

Corners
Southampton 10
Swansea 6

Fouls
Southampton 11
Swansea 10