MK Dons v Southampton
Stadium:mk, Wednesday 23rd September 2015
> 2 goals each for Rodriguez, Mané and Long
> Reappearance of Gastón Ramírez
Well that was a good antidote for the disappointment of Sunday.
Saints really took the game to Team Franchise, right from the off and didn't let up all game. Two goals each for Jay Rodriguez, Sadio Mané and Shane Long. Job done. Villa at home next.
The team looked very attacking, but the thing that caught my eye was the name Ramírez on the bench. I was under the impression that he had played his last game for the club, but it seems not. Long before he came on as a 65th minute substitute, the Saints fans at the game were chanting his name.
The first goal was not long coming. In the fifth minute Jay Rodriguez went on one of his direct challenging runs that we used to see before his injury. He finished with a sublime curling shot into the corner of the net and it was 0-1.
Within another five minutes it was 0-2 as Mané charged into the penalty area and with a lovely right footed chip past the keeper, scored his first goal of the night. Appalling defending though.
There was then a long wait, until the 25th minute for the next goal, when JRod turned provider by crossing across the face of goal to Mané, who turned and sent a lovely left footed shot into the back of the net. 0-3.
That was it on the goal front until after half time.
Almost from the kick-off Saints drove at the MK Dons defence and Mané played back to Cédric from the byline. He steadied, looked up and played a wonderful cross into the box, where Shane Long was unceremoniously hauled to the ground. Penalty. JRod stepped up and slammed it straight down the middle with the goalie diving to the left. 0-4.
Shortly after this came the welcome sight of Ryan Bertrand making his first appearance this season, when he came on in place of Matt Targett. Bertrand has obviously had no pre-season and will no doubt take a while to get up to speed, but 35 minutes here, in a match that was already won, can do him no harm at all.
The next goal had more than an element of comedy to it. A beautiful pass over the top of the defence from Ramírez, who had only just come on for Mané, fell right at the feet of Juanmi, who squared it for the lurking Long and JRod. A defender got a foot to it, but only succeeded in hitting Long on the chest and the ball rebounded into the net. 0-5.
The last goal, on 75 minutes came from an exquisite through ball from Davis, right to the feet of Shane Long, who ran on and slotted the ball past Martin in the Dons goal. 0-6.
Although the MK Dons were pretty poor, there were plenty of positives to take from this match.
The goals for the strikers were welcome. 6 goals from 8 shots on target. That is more like it. I noticed that Mané scored with both left and right feet. I feel that this could be a really great season for him.
The defence was hardly tested, which probably gave Cédric the room to impress going forward. I like his ball control. Van Dijk is more than just a defender. His free kick was not so far away.
The midfield was organised with an iron fist by Romeu (What a snip he looks. Cheers Chelsea), assisted by Davis and Juanmi.
Gastón came on and looked effective, will we be seeing him more regularly this season?
But, the best thing was the way the front three moved around. Mané in particular, is looking virtually unplayable at the moment.
Even when several goals ahead, Saints didn't let up. No wonder Ron was purring after the match.
Thursday, 24th September 2015
18 Aguza (Reeves - 57' )
23 Benavente (Hall - 36' )
11 Church (Maynard - 58' )
17 van Dijk (Yoshida - 79' )
33 Targett (Bertrand - 55' )
10 Mané (Ramírez - 65' )
MK Dons 0
- Rodriguez 5′, 48′ (pen)
- Mané 10′, 25′
- Long 68′, 75′
Referee : Keith Stroud
Attendance : 10,189
- MK Dons 44%
- Southampton 56%
- MK Dons 4
- Southampton 20
- MK Dons 3
- Southampton 8
- MK Dons 5
- Southampton 2
- MK Dons 7
- Southampton 9
- 2015-16 News
Saints win the last match of the season
In what was ultimately a party atmosphere, Saints qualified for the Europa League by finishing in 5th place, equal on points with Manchester United, but ahead on goal difference. That could change, with the Manchester United v AFC Bournemouth game abandoned. If ManU win, or draw the rearranged game, then Saints will finish 6th, which is still a Europa League qualifying place.
Heck of a way to end the season.
- Premier League
- Europa League
Saints won the Qualifying Round 3 against Vitesse 5-0 on aggregate.
In the Play Off Round Saints faced Danish Champions, Midtjylland. The first leg was played on Thursday 20th August at St.Mary’s, ending in a 1-1 draw.
The decisive return match was on Thursday 27th August in Denmark, which ended in a poor 1-0 loss and ultimate exit from the competition.
- The League Cup
Saints drew MKDons away on Wednesday 23rd September, which ended in a straightforward 6-0 win.
The next round was on Wednesday, 28th October at home to Aston Villa. This was a more comfortable win than the scoreline suggests
The final outing in this season’s League Cup was at home when Saints were comprehensively thrashed by Liverpool
- The FA Cup
Well, that was short and not very sweet.
Saints faced Crystal Palace in the 3rd round of the 2015/16 FACup, but lost 1-2 on the day.
- 2015-16 Signings
Saints signed nine players this season. Two on loan and seven on long term contracts. Read more about them by clicking the button.
- Kelvin's Testamonial
Kelvin is retiring after being central to the club's rise through the divisions. Saints awarded him that rare thing these days, a testimonial which enabled him to have a great evening with current and past colleagues, while raising a lot of money for charity.