Sunday, September 15

Saints stifled

Southampton 0 West Ham 0
The World’s End seems an appropriate pub to watch this in after Andy Carroll’s injury. Matt and Lisa are at St Mary’s, singing in the rain. A scrappy first half in terribly wet conditions is what Big Sam would have hoped for. Diame uses his power to cut in from the right and fire against the keeper, Jussi makes a great save with his legs from Osvaldo. Nolan does have the ball in the net with a fine curling shot after Jarvis’s shot is blocked, but the whistle has already gone. Morrison also curls an effort just over. Big Sam goes mental as Schneiderlin’s two-footed lunge at Diame goes unpunished. Maiga still looks isolated and off the pace up front.

In the second half the Saints increase the pressure. Lambert hits the post with a header from a corner and Jussi excels, thwarting Lallana in a one-on-one and turning aside Lambert's curler. His best save is a superb one-handed stop from Schneiderlin. It’s another resolute performance from the defence with O’Brien, Reid and Collins excelling, though the lack of creativity going forward (does Collins have to lob every free kick into the mixer?) is worrying. Vaz Te comes on as the false centre forward to replace Maiga — Spain watch out. Bizarrely we nearly win it when Noble pulls the ball back low for Collins to blast a great chance over the bar. Matt concludes: “We will wring out our clothes and respect the point.”

More soporific than Super Sunday but a decent away point and magnificent stuff from Jussi, although the worrying thing is we haven’t scored for three games and without Carroll our whole strategy unravels. And West Ham have won only one in 16 of their last away matches. Points away are good if we can win at home. But can we conjure a goal from somewhere, anywhere, against Everton?

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