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ebfatz
18-01-16, 01:22 PM
Not sure?

Thought it was only first and second. I may be wrong.

Mark
18-01-16, 02:18 PM
I think 4th is qualifying round, 3rd should be OK.

Redknapp69
18-01-16, 03:17 PM
aye - think 3rd is fine

samsami
19-01-16, 08:47 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Struggling Saints long for summer holidays

On Wednesday 17th May we had to travel to Manchester again, this time to play Man City.

http://s6.postimg.cc/iass5495d/City.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Götze is finally back from his injury and Van Dijk is back from his suspension, but Rodríguez is now injured and Forster and Ward-Prowse are still banned. In addition, Clasie has just suffered a twisted knee in training.

We have had a season with very few injured players, but lately that scenario has changed. And to-day's performance indicates that we are desperately longing for the summer holidays! In the first half both teams only had one shot on goal and the fans were clearly getting bored.

Five minutes into the second half Bertrand almost scored with a fierce left-footed strike, but Hart saved superbly. And then Man City took control of things and immediately David Luiz scored with a great header!

We brought on Juanmi for Mitrovic and Davis for Tadic but even though both Juanmi and Götze tested Hart's reflexes, it was City's Alexis Sánchez who found the net with a banana shot that caught Stekelenburg by surprise.

http://s6.postimg.cc/nggi02o29/City.png (http://postimage.org/)

Our lads really seem tired and to-day they were too easily prepared to resign to their fate.

http://s6.postimg.cc/jvkmgujip/City_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/xucqfkjf5/City_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

Meanwhile, Chelsea defeated Derby (3-1) and Man Utd defeated Watford (2-1). And two days later, on Friday 19th May, Chelsea had to play again and they defeated West Brom as well.

http://s6.postimg.cc/dqt43irf5/Table37.png (http://postimage.org/)

So it is still a tight race for third place, especially as Man Utd will have to play Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in their final game of the season!


Saints defeat Swansea by the skin of their teeth

On Sunday 21st May we played our final League match of the season at St.Mary's against Swansea.

http://s6.postimg.cc/ykiy80jtd/swan.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Ward-Prowse was back but Rodríguez, Clasie and Forster were still unavailable.

We had to win this final match and we played with some passion but it was obvious that our lads were nervous and Swansea actually created more chances than we did. But after Ayew had tried a superb volley and put it just wide it was our turn. It started with Götze who sent the ball into the area for Mitrovic and he controlled it well and scored!!

In the second half Swansea remained dangerous. Shelvey tried a long range volley, but fortunately for us the ball hit the woodwork and bounced clear. And after a freekick by Ki Sung-Yong the shot took a deflection off the wall and Barrow pounced on the rebound but Stekelenburg got his body round the ball.

Stekelenburg also saved well and held the ball after a great header by Ayew and so we won this match by the skin of our teeth - and all we can do now is wait for the result of the Chelsea vs Man Utd game.

http://s6.postimg.cc/76qbx6de9/Swansea.png (http://postimage.org/)

We played reasonably well and Stekelenburg was named Man-of-the-Match. In fact, he may even have secured direct Champions League qualification for us with his quality saves to-day.

http://s6.postimg.cc/5vikophsh/Swansea_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/5b3jm0ok1/Swansea_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

Arsenal and Man Utd both won their matches again, but surprisingly Chelsea lost to Stoke City (1-2) so Arsenal have now officially won the title for the first time since 2004!

http://s6.postimg.cc/q45yafh3l/Tabel38.png (http://postimage.org/)

Three matches remain to be played. On Wednesday it's the Champions League Final between Chelsea and Real Madrid! Then on Friday it's Liverpool vs Chelsea in the Premier League and finally on Sunday it's Chelsea vs Man Utd. So we could still end in third place, but it all depends on Chelsea and they will have lost their motivation after their shock defeat to-day.

Mark
19-01-16, 10:57 AM
Stoke did you a favour :ok: All rests on Man Utd now though, let's hope they don't win!

Redknapp69
19-01-16, 11:07 AM
Man U draw means they get 3rd due to better GD?

Lucky win v Swans as well ;)

samsami
19-01-16, 11:14 AM
Stoke did you a favour :ok: All rests on Man Utd now though, let's hope they don't win!

Not if Chelsea would send their players on holiday because the last match vs Man Utd no longer matters to them.


Man U draw means they get 3rd due to better GD?

You're right, of course. Even a draw at Stamford Bridge is enough for Man Utd now!
And yes, we were lucky against Swans :)

samsami
19-01-16, 02:42 PM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Saints qualify for Champions League

When Chelsea lost the Champions League Final to Real Madrid on penalties on Wednesday 24th of May and drew their match with Liverpool at Anfield Road on Friday 26th of May, we hardly dared to hope that they would defeat Man Utd just two days later, on Sunday 28th of May - but they did!

http://s6.postimg.cc/fkjg7xcgh/Chelsea.png (http://postimage.org/)

Willian scored the deciding goal in the 18th minute and it was that goal which secured direct Champions League qualification for us after a long and (too) demanding season!

http://s6.postimg.cc/ehlu9atsh/Table39.png (http://postimage.org/)

Although the season seemed too long for us, we actually accumulated no less than 81 points which is 15 points more than in our first season when we reached fourth place! It's amazing that 66 points was sufficient to make the qualification phase of Champions League football last year!

http://s6.postimg.cc/8zt8lhykx/History.png (http://postimage.org/)

So we have made considerable progress this year, thanks partly to Mario Götze. The Board always maintained that Götze is our (one and only) star player this season.

http://s6.postimg.cc/k55mmuw5t/Board.png (http://postimage.org/)

Now the Board have also said that they will expand the stadium, so hopefully this will happen this summer! They made it clear that they not want me to bring up the topic again, though.

Van Dijk will most likely lose his place to Kongolo, next season. Kongolo will join us on a free transfer. But we definitely need at least one additional world class player if we want to have a successful European campaign next season!

Wanyama had a very disappointing season, especially since expectations were so high after the first year. Soares, on the other hand, continues to amaze us all!

http://s6.postimg.cc/v3gw51kr5/Squad.png (http://postimage.org/)

These are the full stats for the past two seasons.

http://s6.postimg.cc/nz3o9r2vl/Capture.png (http://postimage.org/)

So the question is, what do we need most? A world-class striker or another world-class midfielder?

ebfatz
19-01-16, 03:29 PM
Well done on securing third. Or thanks to Chelsea for getting you there more like.

Seem to be mirroring your time at Spurs. Improving on position by 1 place each year.

2nd next season??

Mark
19-01-16, 04:05 PM
Great stuff, always good to improve on your previous season just as you had done at Spurs!

An amazing point haul too.

Replacing van Dijk seems to be a good move. Wanyama has indeed been disappointing.

Overall, it looks like all of your signings for this season settled in nicely apart from John Terry.

Hope expanding the stadium doesn't leave you too much short of cash? It may well be the difference once again between being able to sign a Costa or a Gotze.

kuy
19-01-16, 05:02 PM
Very well done! Not sure about the next signing, for some reason I just don't rate Tadic... :ohwell: Although I definitely think you should stick to your usual strategy of spending the money necessary to bring in top-notch players.

Mark
19-01-16, 05:15 PM
Oi, kuy! Leave Tadic alone! He's probably more pacey in this one :D

samsami
19-01-16, 05:20 PM
Well done on securing third. Or thanks to Chelsea for getting you there more like.
Seem to be mirroring your time at Spurs. Improving on position by 1 place each year.
2nd next season??

That was with Suárez and Lewandowski!


Very well done! Not sure about the next signing, for some reason I just don't rate Tadic... :ohwell: Although I definitely think you should stick to your usual strategy of spending the money necessary to bring in top-notch players.

That's the plan, with a core of true Saints players.

samsami
19-01-16, 05:28 PM
Shortlist of interested players:

http://s6.postimg.cc/ny7ilk575/Short_List.png (http://postimage.org/)

kuy
19-01-16, 06:16 PM
Oi, kuy! Leave Tadic alone! He's probably more pacey in this one :D

Yeah, I realised after I posted that my thoughts on him were probably affected by his appearance in your story too - I get confused sometimes :D

Redknapp69
19-01-16, 09:20 PM
Congrats on 3rd!

Brilliant season all in all - I think the great start got you there - somewhat a stuttering end but that doesn't matter now

Worldie striker needed

I would say Kane would fit best with Saints

Coys
19-01-16, 09:21 PM
He would fit best with my CML team too Redders...

:D

samsami
19-01-16, 09:55 PM
Success with Spurs came after we sold Kane and replaced him by Suarez. So it would be interesting to buy Kane now and see what he can do for Saints. If Tottenham will let him go that is.

And how about Lallana?

Redknapp69
20-01-16, 01:39 AM
Kane will have had an upgrade since last DB you were on

Lallana very good if playing regularly but in game he goes off boil if squad rotating from my experience

samsami
20-01-16, 08:13 AM
Kane will have had an upgrade since last DB you were on
Lallana very good if playing regularly but in game he goes off boil if squad rotating from my experience

Well, we'll see if the clubs want to sell and how much they want.

samsami
20-01-16, 12:35 PM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Saints look at the future

Saints fans have voted Mario Götze Player of the Year.

http://s6.postimg.cc/ub1d3daa9/Fans.png (http://postimage.org/)

And Saints can look at the future after the Board has just officially announced that they want to enlarge St.Mary's Stadium!

http://s6.postimg.cc/6lbxeobwx/Stadium.png (http://postimage.org/)

We need that if we want players like Götze to stay at Saints and not be tempted to leave us for one of the big English or European clubs!

samsami
20-01-16, 01:28 PM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Lallana returns to St.Mary's

Half a year after Lallana left Saints and joined Liverpool he said that he regretted the bitterness of his exit from Southampton. And now he is back!!!

http://s6.postimg.cc/q70eavec1/Lallana.png (http://postimage.org/)

And not just the club, but the fans, too are more than delighted!

http://s6.postimg.cc/yb8ifm0r5/Lallana_Fans.png (http://postimage.org/)

Lallana is a superb midfielder and much needed in our European campaign. And if by chance we would fail to sign a world class striker it will be very good to have Lallana and Götze as attacking midfielders right behind Mitrovic, scoring goals for us!

http://s6.postimg.cc/pk6jignrl/Lallana_CV.png (http://postimage.org/)

And then we signed Kongolo on a free transfer.

http://s6.postimg.cc/jqrfks5sh/Kongolo.png (http://postimage.org/)

Kongolo will probably replace Van Dijk and play alongside Van Beek as central defender. But whereas Van Beek can play as right defender as well, Kongolo can play as left defender if needed.

http://s6.postimg.cc/j57ilsh1t/Kongolo_CV.png (http://postimage.org/)


And finally, Terry announced his retirement!

http://s6.postimg.cc/celzf8nkh/Terry.png (http://postimage.org/)

Mark
20-01-16, 01:36 PM
Decent signing. Lallana will drive you dizzy with his spins though :lol:

Good to see the club moving forward with the stadium plans too, what is the capacity now?

Bye bye, JT. He won't be missed! Would that mean you'll keep hold of van Dijk after all?

samsami
20-01-16, 01:54 PM
Decent signing. Lallana will drive you dizzy with his spins though :lol:
Good to see the club moving forward with the stadium plans too, what is the capacity now?
Bye bye, JT. He won't be missed! Would that mean you'll keep hold of van Dijk after all?

1) We'll see about Lallana. Hope we can keep him happy!
2) 48,689 all seater with under-soil heating
3) Van Dijk will stay on as backup for Kongolo and Van Beek

Redknapp69
20-01-16, 02:05 PM
Good that Terry has retired - was prob taking up a big wage

WOW - massive stadium expansion :)

Good news on lallana dn Kongolo with a great improvement in att's

Future looks bright (any cash for a top striker?)

samsami
20-01-16, 02:09 PM
Good that Terry has retired - was prob taking up a big wage
WOW - massive stadium expansion :)
Good news on lallana and Kongolo with a great improvement in att's
Future looks bright (any cash for a top striker?)

1) He was!
2) Yes, just what we needed, but it cost a few pounds!!
3) Midfield and defence will be stronger now, I'm sure.
4) Less available for a striker than I had hoped for because of the expensive stadium expansion

samsami
20-01-16, 02:24 PM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Götze about to sign with Real Madrid?

Breaking news!!!

http://s6.postimg.cc/5e31jks41/Madrid.png (http://postimage.org/)

Götze is one of the most talented midfielders of the Premier League and he is still only 25 years old. The question is, can Saints keep him for another year or so? Or, with an offer like this, should they even want to keep him?

http://s6.postimg.cc/qc97hnryp/Gotze.png (http://postimage.org/)

Mark
20-01-16, 03:33 PM
It just goes to show that you've a rare talent on your hands and did well to get him in the first place :ok:

Definitely don't part with him, he'll be crucial to your plans!

Just hope he doesn't get unsettled if you reject the offer.

samsami
20-01-16, 03:43 PM
It just goes to show that you've a rare talent on your hands and did well to get him in the first place :ok:
Definitely don't part with him, he'll be crucial to your plans!
Just hope he doesn't get unsettled if you reject the offer.

I agree! And Götze thinks that the club had a good dressing atmosphere and he is happy to stay at the club!
The best thing is probably to make sure that he has a long contract without clauses. His contract expires on 27/6/23 :)

Beardo
20-01-16, 04:18 PM
Get the deal negotiated up ! Is there a player exchange available, you might end up with another good player and money for the top striker you need.

samsami
20-01-16, 04:25 PM
Get the deal negotiated up ! Is there a player exchange available, you might end up with another good player and money for the top striker you need.

I've done that so I'll wait for another bid. But having said that, we'd have to hit the jackpot twice to find someone to replace Götze and another one to replace Mitrovic. Between them they scored 28 goals last season! And both of them can only get better considering their age, even though Mitrovic may never be world-class.

Coys
20-01-16, 04:35 PM
Sell him, preferably for more, and invest the money in 3-4 new players.

samsami
20-01-16, 04:44 PM
Sell him, preferably for more, and invest the money in 3-4 new players.

Only if I can trade him for other Real Madrid players like Beardo said. The new football season is just about to start and then they come with this bid :)
Besides, it's nice to have a player that Real Madrid really wants to have!

kuy
20-01-16, 10:34 PM
I disagree with the others, I think you need to keep world-class players like Gotze. Don't sell!

Glad to see a substantial stadium expansion - even though it's cost a lot of money it's definitely good news long-term, both for the finances and for the reputation and attractiveness of the club :ok:

Looking forward to seeing how Lallana gets on - will he play central midfield with Gotze in your preferred XI, or will one (or both) of them be on the wing?

samsami
20-01-16, 11:06 PM
I disagree with the others, I think you need to keep world-class players like Gotze. Don't sell!

Glad to see a substantial stadium expansion - even though it's cost a lot of money it's definitely good news long-term, both for the finances and for the reputation and attractiveness of the club :ok:

Looking forward to seeing how Lallana gets on - will he play central midfield with Gotze in your preferred XI, or will one (or both) of them be on the wing?

I think I agree with Mark and you here, unless Götze becomes unhappy.

As to Lallana and Götze, they can both play as wingers or as AMC. I think we'll start with (from L to R): Rodríguez, Götze, Ward-Prowse, Lallana. So Lallana as right winger, replacing Tadic. But it's nice that most of our midfielders are multi-functional!

Redknapp69
21-01-16, 03:05 AM
Don't sell

Suarez with us IRL :( :cry: :frusty:

It is always tempting to counter back though :)

samsami
21-01-16, 08:37 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

The new season starts! No further transfers?

With the expanded stadium and the signing of Kongolo and Lallana we have made a big step forward. But we have not signed a world-class striker! Tottenham was not prepared to let Kane go. And we simply do not have the money to sign Diego Costa, unless we sell some players - like Götze to Real Madrid. But then we would have to use that money to buy both that quality striker and an attacking midfielder to replace Götze! And that would be near impossible. And besides, Götze is still perfectly happy to play at St.Mary's.

So we turned down Real Madrid's Ł30M bid and played our friendly against Ajax Amsterdam. And if that game showed us one thing it is that Götze and Mitrovic are both more motivated than ever! Between them they scored no less than five goals, all of them in a fifteen minute period!

http://s6.postimg.cc/cz62f1n4h/Ajax.png (http://postimage.org/)

So for now we shall have to rely on Mitrovic as our striker and Götze will remain our star midfielder! Although, who can tell how well Lallana will perform?

http://s6.postimg.cc/b8n1dk5ld/Ajax_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

Now unfortunately we drew Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League Third Qualifying Phase. There had been some considerable confusion about this as many fans had expected us to qualify directly but like Man Utd we have to play a qualifying round first. Man Utd have drawn Celtic Glasgow.

http://s6.postimg.cc/5uo960fv5/CLDraw.png (http://postimage.org/)

But we're ready for this new season, come what may! So it's off to Lviv next for the first game in our 2017-2018 European campaign!

http://s6.postimg.cc/nw7e3t9w1/Fixtures.png (http://postimage.org/)

Redknapp69
21-01-16, 09:46 AM
Just the 1 pre season game?

I really think you need a top striker so disappointing not see any business there but perfect opportunity for Mitrovic to show nobody else is needed!

Maybe IRL no qual is needed but it's not in CM yet?

Pig of a draw again v Shaktar

samsami
21-01-16, 10:11 AM
Just the 1 pre season game?

I really think you need a top striker so disappointing not see any business there but perfect opportunity for Mitrovic to show nobody else is needed!

Maybe IRL no qual is needed but it's not in CM yet?

Pig of a draw again v Shaktar

Mitrovic will get his chance. In January we will decide if he is good enough to finish the season or not. We can always sell a couple of players and get a striker, but let's see first.

ps) The other pre-season game vs Feyenoord was cancelled.

Mark
21-01-16, 11:32 AM
A very good performance there which will hopefully bode well for the season ahead. Nice to see Mitrovic getting a hat-trick to show that maybe you don't need a new striker after all. He will have a lot of pressure on his shoulders though!

kuy
21-01-16, 12:24 PM
I'm pretty sure that at the start of a save in CM, the top three qualify for the CL directly and only the fourth-placed team has to play a qualifier, but you're a few seasons in now so if English teams haven't done very well in Europe then England might have slipped down the coefficients list and lost a direct-qualification place

samsami
21-01-16, 04:16 PM
A very good performance there which will hopefully bode well for the season ahead. Nice to see Mitrovic getting a hat-trick to show that maybe you don't need a new striker after all. He will have a lot of pressure on his shoulders though!

Well, well, well. Who would have thought you'd ever say that :)
But you're right of course that it's a lot of pressure for a young, inexperienced striker.

Včrkűh
21-01-16, 10:23 PM
'Just' qualify for the Champions League, earn some extra money because of that performance and buy yourself whoever you want! :whoo:

samsami
22-01-16, 08:34 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Saints' Champions League dreams survive Ukraine trip

On Wednesday 9th August 2017 we played Shakhtar Donetsk at the Arena Lviv in the Ukraine (when will that war end and when will they be able to play in the Donbass Arena again?) in front of a capacity crowd of nearly 40,000.

http://s6.postimg.cc/47z1ks3td/lviv_front.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Kongolo, Mitrovic and Wanyama were all banned for this first European match of the season. In addition, Van Beek is out for about two weeks with a chest injury. So we had Van Dijk and Fonte replace Kongolo and Van Beek as central defenders while Juanmi replaced Mitrovic.

As was to be expected, Shakhtar played with an attacking formation as they needed to win this first leg. For us, survival was all that mattered! In the return match Kongolo and Mitrovic will be available again, but we should not already be two goals down then!

The first scoring oppportunities were for Shakhtar. Elm blasted the ball goalwards with his right foot and when Forster fisted the ball away the rebound fell to Elm, who found Kokorin in the area. But Kokorin ran into Van Dijk who succeeded in clearing the ball to safety.

There were several more chances, including one or two decent ones for Juanmi, but there were no goals. However, Elm had to go off injured and he was replaced by Fernandes.

In the second half we seemed to have increasing problems in our quest to keep a clean sheet, so we tried a double substitution. We brought on Mané for Rodríguez and Romeu for Clasie and that seemed to help a bit. In fact, in the 85th minute we almost scored when Juanmi lost his man and tried a volley, but he put the ball wide of the goal.

And just as we thought we'd get away with a goalless draw, Bernard put a low cross into the far post where Wellington Nem was ready to head the ball and score! Our scouts had already warned us against Bernard and they were not mistaken!

Of course this was a major blow in the 89th minute, but the game was not over yet! And three minutes into injury time Van Dijk passed along the floor for Ward-Prowse to pick up the ball. Ward-Prowse moved upfield with the ball and hit it ahead of Juanmi in the area, and Juanmi got up to head at goal and found the net!!

That unexpected late equaliser was exactly what we needed and it made us feel like we had just won the match! And perhaps you might say we have!

http://s6.postimg.cc/ys3dcwk7l/Don.png (http://postimage.org/)

We were lucky to get away with a draw and extremely lucky to score that all-important away goal! Of course it did not help having three or four of our first team players being unavailable for this first European game of the season.

http://s6.postimg.cc/rau5xouoh/Don_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/6t97m1ikx/Don_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

Meanwhile, Man Utd also won their qualifying match as they defeated Celtic (4-2) at Old Trafford.

Our next match will be in ten days away against newly promoted Preston. It's always good for the morale to start the Premier League season with a victory so we should not make the mistake of underestimating them!

ebfatz
22-01-16, 10:07 AM
even though Mitrovic may never be world-class.

:hand::pout:

Thought I was right about the 3rd Place/3rd Qualifying Round.
But it doesn't matter now. All safely negotiated. I fear a tough first group though having had to come into the competition that way.

samsami
22-01-16, 10:10 AM
:hand::pout:

Thought I was right about the 3rd Place/3rd Qualifying Round.
But it doesn't matter now. All safely negotiated. I fear a tough first group though having had to come into the competition that way.

Erm.. the fat lady hasn't sung yet!
But yes, you were right about the qualifying round so I hope you're right about reaching the group phase as well (though not about it being a tough group!)

Mark
22-01-16, 10:45 AM
Damn, I thought 3rd place was automatic qualification too. I guess it's because of the co-efficients for England, we've done so badly in Europe in the last few seasons that it's changed.

Tough draw as well so to score at their place, however late, will be important for the 2nd leg! Typical that Mitrovic was banned when you really need him :D

Redknapp69
22-01-16, 11:39 AM
A deserved draw and a great result given some of the players out

Hope you can see it out in 2nd leg but they are a good team so won't be easy

kuy
22-01-16, 03:04 PM
Good to have an away goal, and a draw away at Shakhtar is a good result - just got to do the business at home now!

Coys
23-01-16, 02:29 AM
How is Lallana so good on your save?

samsami
23-01-16, 09:00 AM
How is Lallana so good on your save?

I don't know if he will turn out to be all that good, but I know one thing: PA's are vastly overrated!
Soares has a PA of just 148 and yet he was one of our best players in the first two seasons.
I have sold everyone with a PA lower than 160 except Fonte (153) and Soares (148) and I'll keep Soares as long as he delivers. There must be something about him (or about the click with Saints) that makes him perform so well as DR.

Lallana has an unimpressive PA of 165 so he's okay for our team but hardly an improvement (in theory) but I wanted him because of his past. And he may be a failure or he may over-perform. You never know. I mean, Wanyama (164) had a great first year and a terrible second year. It's just like IRL :)

samsami
23-01-16, 09:05 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Saints outclass the Lillywhites

On Saturday 19th of August we had to play Preston North End at the Deepdale Stadium.

Way back, in 1887, Preston delivered the biggest beating in English football history, crushing Hyde FC 26-0 in the FA Cup, but to-day was the club's first Premier League match ever, although they did play in the Football League First Division for many years, of course.

http://s6.postimg.cc/peb7yc85t/deepdale_464x34449_249300.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Van Beek and Ward-Prowse are injured so Van Dijk and Wanyama replaced them.

Preston started their very first Premier League match positively but their plans backfired within ten minutes when Götze picked up the ball and chipped it into the penalty area ahead of Mitrovic who hit a hopeful looking shot and found the back of the net!!

Preston dropped the pace a little after that goal but there was no stopping us now! Mitrovic scored his second goal of the day with a high and hard shot and just two minutes later Bertrand struck a freekick through the wall, but it hit the upright and rebounded away!

We did score a third goal though, just before half-time when Rodríguez powered a header at goal after a devastating cross by Lallana. Obviously, that third goal settled it!

In the second half we instructed Mitrovic to take it easy on the tackling since he had already received a yellow card and we did not want him to take any risks. Soares was also shown a yellow card and a little later he received a talking to from the referee so we brought on Fonte to replace him, with Van Beek moving to the right defender position.

There were no further goals, but we could hardly have asked for a better start of the new Premier League season!

http://s6.postimg.cc/f1oxc9emp/Preston.png (http://postimage.org/)

We outclassed Preston but we had mercy on them in the second half. Mitrovic was superb and he was named Man-of-the-Match. Lallana also played brilliantly and just like Götze he provided his first assist of the season!

http://s6.postimg.cc/su3c7w5e9/Preston_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/43dnu2q1d/Preston_R.png (http://postimage.org/)


Saints European campaign begins in earnest

Four days later, on Wednesday 23rd August, Shakhtar visited White Hart Lane for the 2nd leg of our Champions League Qualifying match which was played before a new record high attendance of 38,529 !!

http://s6.postimg.cc/hygjqa9u9/stadium.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Because Van Beek and Ward-Prowse are still injured we had Van Dijk and Wanyama start again. And a remarkable game it was!

It began with a very early goal, scored by Bertrand. Kongolo had passed the pall into the area looking for Lallana, who got to the ball before Pyatov did. Lallana then knocked the ball down for Bertrand who bore down on goal and found the back of the net!

Now an early goal is always nice, but what do you do next? And Shakhtar have a very strong team! So we decided to not defend but go for a second goal and Götze was the first one to come close with a freekick which was deflected by the wall so that the ball went just wide. Rodríguez also attempted a fierce shot as did Bertrand a few minutes later, but both times Pyatov did brilliantly to turn the ball away. On the other side Fernandes came very close to scoring a freekick, but the ball went just over the bar!

In the second half Shakhtar clearly became stronger and they had just brought a fresh face into the game when Elm pushed Wanyama in the chest and was immediately sent off!!

That brief moment of madness totally changed the match and Bertrand came close to scoring another goal, but the shot took a deflection of one of the defenders. We kept attacking, although we had to watch out for Shakhtar's counters. But in the 72nd minute it was Soares who received the ball from Wanyama and tried a low drive and scored that all-important second goal!!

Two minutes later Lallana also almost scored when he attempted a long-range shot, but Pyatov once more saved and held the ball brilliantly. And so we won the match with the goals scored by our wing-backs!

http://s6.postimg.cc/8vs2j9a35/Shak.png (http://postimage.org/)

A fantastic team effort! Lallana played brilliantly again and was named Man-of-the-Match, although quite a few people felt that Bertrand would have deserved that honour.

http://s6.postimg.cc/gzvla974h/Shak_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/vbjosweoh/Shak_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

We received Ł1,8M for qualifying for the Champions League Phase One, in addition to gate receipts of Ł847,638 which is another club record!

So at least we have some money in hand again, albeit not enough yet for a quality striker.

http://s6.postimg.cc/dk82efz9t/Finances.png (http://postimage.org/)

We have been drawn in Group C along with Benfica, Paris SG and... Ajax Amsterdam. This means that Pellč will visit St.Mary's soon!

http://s6.postimg.cc/mqqd1q4i9/Group.png (http://postimage.org/)

Man Utd also qualified by defeating Celtic (0-3) in the return match in Glasgow. They have been drawn in Group F along with Juventus, CSKA Moscow and Lech Poznan.

Chelsea have been drawn in Group E along with Porto, Marseille and FC Twente.

Redknapp69
23-01-16, 12:39 PM
Nice bit of history about Preston!

Solid and convincing win to start the season!

The red card comes back to help you in CL Qualifier!

That looks like a tough group to me but no big travelling - you're not getting much luck with Euro fixtures but you are in the big boys competition now!

TheBigBad
23-01-16, 03:40 PM
First time here, great story so far Sam. It's a tough group but I can see you qualifying from it :ok:

samsami
23-01-16, 03:44 PM
Thank you, sir! Stay tuned :)

kuy
23-01-16, 05:18 PM
Good to see Lallana settling in quickly :ok:

PSG should walk that group, but the other three of you seem to be evenly matched - going by reputation at least. How have PSG, Ajax and Benfica performed in Europe recently?

samsami
23-01-16, 05:45 PM
Good to see Lallana settling in quickly :ok:

PSG should walk that group, but the other three of you seem to be evenly matched - going by reputation at least. How have PSG, Ajax and Benfica performed in Europe recently?

PSG: 2015/16 Phase 2 Group Stage, 2016/17 Semi Final
Ajax: 2015/16 Phase 1 Group Stage, 2016/17 Quarter Final
Benfica: 2015/16 Phase 2 Group Stage, 2016/17 Phase 1 Group Stage
We: 2015/16 UEFA Cup Final, 2016/17 UEFA Cup Second Round / CL Third Qualifying Phase

kuy
23-01-16, 07:00 PM
PSG: 2015/16 Phase 2 Group Stage, 2016/17 Semi Final
Ajax: 2015/16 Phase 1 Group Stage, 2016/17 Quarter Final
Benfica: 2015/16 Phase 2 Group Stage, 2016/17 Phase 1 Group Stage
We: 2015/16 UEFA Cup Final, 2016/17 UEFA Cup Second Round / CL Third Qualifying Phase

Okay, going to be tough then!

ebfatz
23-01-16, 10:10 PM
Sorry.
Cursed you with a tough group.

Was bound to happen as a qualifier though.

samsami
24-01-16, 09:54 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Saints shock Man City as Lallana scores winner

On Tuesday 27th August we had to play Man City. So unlike in the previous two seasons we had to face one of the bug guns early on already!

http://s6.postimg.cc/ovu2c2a1d/city.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Ward-Prowse is still injured so Wanyama got to play once again. Our defence is complete again though, since Van Beek is back from his injury.

Man City started very positively. They made it perfectly clear that they wanted to win this match. But our counters were dangerous and Hart did very well to turn the ball away after Soares struck it with fury and almost scored the opener after just eight minutes! On the other side Agüero tried a long range effort and it was a good thing that Forster managed to get his fingertips to the ball!

So the game was in balance when, just before half-time Kongolo played the ball long to Lallana who brought it down well and used his skill to go past David Luiz. And to the crowd's horror Lallana hit the ball in low and scored his first goal for Saints since his return to the club!

We escaped a few minutes later when Agüero almost equalised; he attempted a pot-shot at goal on his left foot, but Forster did well to parry it!

In the second half Man City again were the attacking team but our counters remained extremely dangerous. In fact, Lallana almost scored a second goal when he got free in the penalty area and drove the ball in low, but it went just wide.

A little later Forster had to show his skill again when Delph picked up the ball and because he had no space to shoot he fed Agüero who drove the ball in low but Forster saved and deflected the ball clear. However, Delph got to the loose ball first and he fired it in low and hard, but again Forster did well to turn the ball away and this time Soares cleared the ball from danger.

There was another chance for Lallana who attempted a diving header but he was denied space by Clichy and so he ended up putting the ball horribly wide.

In injury time Agüero made one final attempt. He moved forward with the ball and bent it from lang range, but it went just over the bar and immediately the final whistle was blown!

What a match - and what a start of the season! Two away games and two clean sheets! We almost feel invincible now!

http://s6.postimg.cc/b1dot6s7l/City.png (http://postimage.org/)

A very solid team performance. It was especially good to see Kongolo play so well alongside Van Beek! Kongolo seems to already have settled in nicely. Of course he played alongside Van Beek before, at Feyenoord.

http://s6.postimg.cc/lphfs126p/City_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/mubhxeonl/City_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

Our next opponent will be Ajax Amsterdam so we shall be travelling to the Netherlands very soon now!

http://s6.postimg.cc/uyjm25b2p/Fixtures.png (http://postimage.org/)

Mark
24-01-16, 01:38 PM
Well that's a cracking start to the season! Fantastic result over Shakhtar (who will surely be favourites in the UEFA Cup now) and a fine start to the league too. A win over Man City this early on will surely be a boost to the confidence.

A decent run of fixtures coming up in the league as well so a good chance to build up a lead at the top!

kuy
24-01-16, 05:30 PM
Great result! It sounded from the description that Man City had battered you and Forster might be man of the match, but looking at the stats that's not the case - you thoroughly deserved to win! Hope you can keep up the good form and get a result in Amsterdam :ok:

samsami
24-01-16, 05:39 PM
Great result! It sounded from the description that Man City had battered you and Forster might be man of the match, but looking at the stats that's not the case - you thoroughly deserved to win! Hope you can keep up the good form and get a result in Amsterdam :ok:

I think they had the more spectacular and dangerous scoring chances. At least that's how it felt like, from the bench :)

Redknapp69
25-01-16, 12:21 AM
Great win against one of the rivals - sets a marker down early doors

Guwon Lallana! :lalala:

samsami
25-01-16, 08:28 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Saints win in Amsterdam - Pellč invisible

On Tuesday 12th September we played Ajax in Amsterdam.

http://s6.postimg.cc/f67li9b9t/Arena.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Everyone was available for this match, so we could start with our strongest possible formation while Ajax played with a 4-5-1 formation with Pellč as their lone striker.

And within ten minutes we had already created three decent scoring chances, but Rodríguez, Bertrand and Ward-Prowse all failed to find the net. Ajax was clearly struggling and both of their central defenders, Viergever and Timisela, received a yellow card within the first twenty minutes of the game!

And sure enough, it was Jordy Clasie who scored the opening goal after Bertrand had half volleyed the ball into the area in front of him and Clasie lost his man and shot the ball in low and hard! A dream start in the Amsterdam ArenA!

Ajax recovered and did what they could and Younes almost scored with a low drive but Forster parried it. Forster also managed to turn the ball away after a header by Pellč and when Maher hit a ferocious right-footed strike, it came back off the crossbar!

But we had created chances, too. Just before half-time Rodríguez tried a pot-shot at goal but he hit the post!

The second half had barely started when Lallana lofted the ball 50 yards upfield where Mitrovic took control of it and scored with a fierce strike!

After the post had denied Götze and Clasie had been sent off for shoving Klaassen (a very harsh decision!) it was Fischer who almost scored for Ajax. He drove the ball in low but Forster did well to parry it and so not only did win win our first group match but we also kept a clean sheet again!

http://s6.postimg.cc/p0tord8wh/Ajax.png (http://postimage.org/)

Another great team performance. Ajax have a strong team but we certainly deserved to win to-day. Van Beek was named Man-of-the-Match.

http://s6.postimg.cc/h5j5cjz9t/Ajax_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/orw41fw41/Ajax_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

Meanwhile, Paris SG defeated Benfica (2-1) in Paris. PSG will be our next opponent in this group!


Saints defeat Leeds as well

Four days later, on Saturday 16th September Leeds visited St.Mary's for our third Premier League match of the season. The attendance of 40,025 is a new record high for our club, but we can actually seat 48,689 now, so we're not there yet! Still, it's good to see more and more fans find the way to St.Mary's.

http://s6.postimg.cc/cdedy8axd/stadium_exterior_news148_251433.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Van Beek is out for about three weeks with a damaged shoulder so Van Dijk played alongside Kongolo to-day.

And it was one-way traffic as we were by far the stronger team, but we failed to score until just before half-time when Clasie smashed the ball in low and Schmeichel could not gather it cleanly. And it was Mitrovic who got to the loose ball first and scored in the rebound!

The second half was a mirror image of the first half. Again it was one-way traffic and again we took forever to score. This time it was Rodríguez who tried a low drive and Schmeichel pushed the ball away so that Götze was left with a simple finish and he had little trouble scoring his first goal of the season!

http://s6.postimg.cc/e2if96kb5/Leeds.png (http://postimage.org/)

Not our best match as we seemed slightly less motivated for this game than for the previous one, but we still played well enough as a team and Mitrovic was important again. In fact, Mitrovic has done well so far. He has actually scored four times in our first five matches this season!

http://s6.postimg.cc/coqsdvl1t/Leeds_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/d4226w6z5/Leeds_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

A great start of the season, but of course it has only just begun and already we have two games in hand. This could be one of those seasons again!

http://s6.postimg.cc/kwxrvzj9t/Table3.png (http://postimage.org/)


http://s6.postimg.cc/cxod3sxu9/Fixtures.png (http://postimage.org/)

Mark
25-01-16, 02:14 PM
Always good to see the opposition fail to register a shot at all. Two good wins there, shame you're hit by injuries and suspensions already. Looking solid!

samsami
25-01-16, 02:39 PM
Always good to see the opposition fail to register a shot at all. Two good wins there, shame you're hit by injuries and suspensions already. Looking solid!

Yes we have a solid team, but the squad depth is probably our biggest concern as we have to play so many games this season! And the biggest question is, will Mitrovic play this well the whole season? If he gets injured Rodríguez might be the one to replace him and not Juanmi.

ebfatz
25-01-16, 08:06 PM
Very good start and very tight at the back.

Could be the foundations of something here.

Redknapp69
25-01-16, 09:14 PM
Great start from Mitrovic

Looks like a run of winnable league fixtures as well - could build an early lead like last season :ok:

samsami
25-01-16, 09:23 PM
Great start from Mitrovic

Looks like a run of winnable league fixtures as well - could build an early lead like last season :ok:

And the one before that. The thing is the seasons last too long in England :)

kuy
25-01-16, 09:39 PM
Some winnable games coming up in the league, how far can Southampton go with a 100% record?

samsami
26-01-16, 08:44 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Forster superb against superior Paris SG

On Wednesday 20th September Paris Saint-Germain visited St.Mary's. A real test for us! We were a little disappointed with the low attendance of only 35,423 though. Perhaps the weather was to blame for this?

http://s6.postimg.cc/bm999cj81/p1020179.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Wanyama replaced Clasie, who was banned for this match, and Van Dijk replaced the injured Sven van Beek as central defender.

Paris SG made a treacherous cagey start to the match but we were very careful not to step into their trap. The crowd seemed to accept our strategy even though it meant there were few scoring chances, but there was certainly enough tension to make up for it.

It took no less than forty minutes before we finally had a shot on goal! Thiago Silva lifted the ball ahead of Pastore in the area and Pastore tried a volley, but Forster did well to parry it. Pastore then took the corner and Lichtsteiner headed the ball down for Turan who drove it towards the goal and found the net! This time there was absolutely nothing Forster could have done about it.

The crowd was silenced, but our lads actually seemed inspired by that goal! Kongolo played the ball to Bertrand who found Ward-Prowse in the area and Ward-Prowse drove the ball low towards the goal, but Sirigu got across to tip it wide! Two minutes later Rodríguez found a way past Kurzawa and shot for the top corner, but Sirigu turned the ball behind! Götze swung the corner into the box and Ward-Prowse tried his luck, but again Sirigu saved! The last chance in the first half was for Embolo, though. He struck the ball with fury, but Forster jumped and fisted the ball away.

In the second half PSG remained the stronger team and Forster had to save twice when first Pastore and then Embolo attempted fierce shots on target. So with half an hour remaining we decided to replace Wanyama and we brought on Romeu. It's very nice to have options when Clasie is banned - and Romeu actually did very well!

We even got a decent scoring chance now! Lallana drove the ball towards the goal but his effort went inches wide. But after that it was PSG again who created the chances and it was a very good thing that Forster was in top form to-day!

But then, all of a sudden our full-backs showed their value for the club again! It was Bertrand who chipped the ball forward to Soares who showed Kompany a clean set of heels, and when he got into the box he hit a fierce shot and scored the unexpected equaliser!! It was more than we deserved perhaps, but the crowd did not mind!

We then made a double substitution and brought on two fresh players but even so PSG created the best scoring chances. Pastore tried a spectacular bicycle kick, but he put the ball clean over the bar. Embolo tried a header, but Forster turned the ball behind. And three minutes into injury time Verrati attempted to hit the ball in low, but he was frustrated by Forster who made a superb save and fisted the ball away!

http://s6.postimg.cc/vtui70gnl/PSG.png (http://postimage.org/)

We are still not quite sure how we did it, but Forster was named Man-of-the-Match and Kongolo and Soares were invaluable as well!

http://s6.postimg.cc/tqk2zcgup/PSGS.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/jhwnqmz4h/PSGR.png (http://postimage.org/)

Meanwhile in Lisbon Ajax held Benfica to a goalless draw. Benfica actually failed to impress our scouts. Both teams now have one point while PSG, like us, have four points.


Saints crush Watford at Vicarage Road

On Saturday 23rd September, just three days after the Paris SG match, we had to try and motivate our lads for the Premier League match against Watford at the Vicarage Road Stadium.

http://s6.postimg.cc/y9oifhys1/Vicarage_Road_2015.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Van Dijk replaced the injured Sven van Beek again, but other than that it is too early in the season to experiment so we started with our regular line-up. Truth is, apart from the DMC-position where we have Wanyama and Romeu as backup for Clasie, we don't have any players who can match the ones in our first XI.

The game had a slow start and it took some twenty minutes before anything of significance happened, but when it did we immediately scored the opener! It started with Mitrovic who played the ball past Trippier and hit it with his left foot but Lewis saved, only he could not hold the ball so Ward-Prowse had the opportunity to score in the rebound!

There were further chances then for Rodríguez, Götze and Ward-Prowse, and eventually it was Rodríguez who scored our second goal, just before half-time.

Mitrovic played brilliantly again and he found the net in the second half, but it was ruled out because Götze had strayed off-side. A few minutes later Rodríguez scored his second goal of the day. And two minutes later, after Mitrovic had smashed the ball in and it had hit the woodwork and bounced clear, Götze was first to the ball and drove it in low and found the net as well!

http://s6.postimg.cc/4o553el3l/Watford.png (http://postimage.org/)

We were on fire today and Mitrovic was named Man-of-the-Match for the third time this season already!

http://s6.postimg.cc/jitqhkuoh/Watford_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/b5o1mwvgx/Watford_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

We have had the best possible start this season with Forster being the clean sheet king of the Premier League!

http://s6.postimg.cc/re49we4b5/Table4.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/picw7hq35/Fixtures.png (http://postimage.org/)

ebfatz
26-01-16, 11:56 PM
Watford smashed.

Mitrovic putting in the performances!

Redknapp69
27-01-16, 12:13 AM
Great draw v PSG - god bless Forster!

Nice to see Rodriguez on the scoresheet as well

samsami
27-01-16, 07:52 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Saints stun Benfica at Estádio da Luz

On Wednesday 27th September we played Benfica at the Estádio da Luz in Lisbon and it was a sensational match!

http://s6.postimg.cc/h313v7rdd/16492101_R1_Rh_J.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

With Van Beek still injured and with Fonte out for about three weeks with a groin strain we had Jack Stephens(!) on the bench for this important European game. Stephens is 23 years old but he has little or no experience; however, we simply had no other options.

Now there is no other way of explaining what happened tonight than by saying that Benfica had a total off day. It certainly was not for lack of trying, though. After their disappointing 0-0 draw with Ajax, Benfica needed to win this match and they looked to push forward in numbers from the very start, but it simply wasn't their day.

And because we countered efficiently, we were the team that created the scoring chances and not Benfica. Ward-Prowse and Mitrovic both got decent chances in the first few minutes already. And when Götze intercepted the ball and hit it towards Ward-Prowse in the area it was Rodríguez who picked up the ball before Ward-Prowse could get to it and he hit it high and hard towards goal and found the net!!

That goal really seemed to affect the fragile morale of the Benfica players and by half-time we already had nine shots on goal whereas Benfica still had none!

Perhaps they had hoped to recover in the second half but within five minutes Rodríguez had already scored a second goal! All he had to do was pick up the loose ball after a poor goal kick and hit it high and hard towards the goal!

That second goal had a devastating effect on Benfica and in the end they could only count themselves very lucky that we had not scored more than just two goals!

http://s6.postimg.cc/j4wzvpzyp/Benfica.png (http://postimage.org/)

An unforgettable evening! Rodríguez was absolutely fantastic again and he can hardly have failed to draw the attention of the large number a scouts present tonight!

http://s6.postimg.cc/qfsi7ugcx/Benfica_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/pu3jbqlap/Benfica_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

As was to be expected, Paris SG defeated Ajax so it would seem that we should be able to qualify for the next round without too much difficulty now; especially since we shall still be playing both Ajax and Benfica at St.Mary's.

http://s6.postimg.cc/5lg5q0lzl/Table.png (http://postimage.org/)

Meanwhile we got one very tough assignment in the League Cup Third Round!

http://s6.postimg.cc/ymkhzf6fl/League_Cup.png (http://postimage.org/)

But first things first. Our next opponents in the Premier League will be Newcastle, Leicester, Derby and Arsenal. Four League matches in a brief two-week period. At the end of those two weeks we shall have a better idea of where we are.

Looking at the average player ratings though, we can - very tentatively - say that our defence is performing better than ever. Mitrovic is also doing a lot better than most of us had anticipated while Rodríguez is the revelation of the season, at least so far. But we obviously have a long way to go yet and things could easily change around dramatically yet.

http://s6.postimg.cc/lavw3yssx/Ratings.png (http://postimage.org/)

ebfatz
27-01-16, 10:31 AM
Arsenal will be a tough one.
I'd be tempted to put the likes of Jack Stephens and the fringe players in for that one.
League Cup certainly not the priority anymore is it?

samsami
27-01-16, 10:48 AM
Arsenal will be a tough one.
I'd be tempted to put the likes of Jack Stephens and the fringe players in for that one.
League Cup certainly not the priority anymore is it?

That would be fun, yes :)
But let's see how we do against them in the League match first.

kuy
27-01-16, 01:16 PM
Absolutely flying! Three winnable games coming up in the league too, then a tough one against Arsenal but hopefully if you're in good form you can get something out of it :ok:

Redknapp69
27-01-16, 11:47 PM
Wow - what a win at Benfica - qualification looking sown up now with 1 more win

Tough League Cup draw :frusty:

Defence ratings are phenomenal - and Forster :hail:

Nice back ups in squad now with Tadic and Mane not being able to get a game

Roriguez on a hot run :flame:

samsami
28-01-16, 08:25 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Sloppy win over Newcastle

Three days after the Lisbon game, on Saturday 30th September we had to play Newcastle United at St.Mary's.

http://s6.postimg.cc/4kgdk9lxt/St_Mary_s_Stadium_Panorama.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

With Van Beek and Fonte still injured we had Stephens starting on the bench again.

Now perhaps we have become a little overconfident, or perhaps we had less luck today than we have had lately, but this time it was not so easy to score goals. It was only because of Ward-Prowse's one moment of brilliance just before half-time that we actually won the match. Rodríguez found Ward-Prowse with a low cross into the area and Ward-Prowse used his first touch to create space and hit a fierce shot to score and cap of a wonderful Southampton move!

There were countless further chances for Mitrovic, Lallana, Götze, Ward-Prowse, Rodríguez and Clasie but they were either frustrated by Diego Cavalieri, who was absolutely fantastic today, or they were simply unlucky like when the post denied Rodríguez in the final minute of the match. Or perhaps they were even sloppy.

Be that as it may, we won the match and we kept a clean sheet again and ultimately, the result is what matters!

http://s6.postimg.cc/j3ix7xpox/New.png (http://postimage.org/)

We played very well as a team, but we simply failed to score more goals.

http://s6.postimg.cc/f5vnij2vl/New_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/o3gdfvvbl/New_R.png (http://postimage.org/)


Leicester holds Saints to a draw

On Wednesday 4th October we played Leicester City at St.Mary's.

http://s6.postimg.cc/6qaoerpe9/saints.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Van Beek and Fonte are still unavailable so Stephens started on the bench again, hoping for game time.

When Cataldi scored his goal it put an end to Forster's clean sheet period that lasted no less than 567 minutes. But that goal also made it perfectly clear that we're not there yet!

Fortunately for us Ward-Prowse fired in a late freekick to score the equaliser from 20 yards out, but that was all we could manage, cancel out Cataldi's opener. Even though we played well again and created plenty of chances, we never managed to score that second goal.

Unfortunately Mitrovic had to go off injured, so we brought on Mané to play as left winger with Rodríguez as striker for those final 15 minutes or so and we came close but we failed to find the net.

Rodríguez shot on the volley but missed the target as he put the ball just wide of the goal. Mané squeezed through a shot on goal and he was close too, with the ball skimming the top of the bar! Götze attempted to hit the ball in low but Roberto saved and Huth cleared the ball. Rodríguez tried another volley but Roberto made a fingertip save to divert the ball wide and when Götze took the corner in the dying seconds of the game Inler simply headed the ball upfield.

http://s6.postimg.cc/4oa70irf5/Leic.png (http://postimage.org/)

We actually continue to quite play well, but for the second time in a row we had difficulty finding the net and this time it cost us two precious points.

http://s6.postimg.cc/vxlkf0si9/Leic_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/lelkpupu9/Leic_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

In addition to losing two points today, we were informed after the match that Mitrovic will be out for no less than three weeks with strained knee ligaments!!

http://s6.postimg.cc/nkfvkctap/Table6.png (http://postimage.org/)

Our next match will be our one game in hand against Derby County and after that it's the current League Champions at the Emirates Stadium! And we shall have to play them without our striker.

http://s6.postimg.cc/a0z1enfbl/Fixtures.png (http://postimage.org/)

Mark
28-01-16, 03:37 PM
Caught up after a few days. Some great wins there, continued clean sheets in the Premiership until the Leicester game and some excellent games in the CL.

Shame to lose Mitrovic for 3 weeks. Time for Juanmi or Rodriguez to step up?

samsami
28-01-16, 03:45 PM
Caught up after a few days. Some great wins there, continued clean sheets in the Premiership until the Leicester game and some excellent games in the CL.

Shame to lose Mitrovic for 3 weeks. Time for Juanmi or Rodriguez to step up?

Yes, Juanmi will have to do it. Lallana is also injured now (in training) so if Rodríguez would be the striker then both wingers would have to be replaced!!

Včrkűh
28-01-16, 06:07 PM
Too bad that one conceded goal immediately cost you two points...

Redknapp69
29-01-16, 01:28 AM
Amazing clean sheet run from Forster
Not too clinical in last 2 games

Some tough fixtures coming up

Games in hand and flying already in league

Can Juanimi live up to the pressure?

samsami
29-01-16, 09:16 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Juanmi scores as Saints defeat Derby

On Wednesday 11th October we had to play Derby County at the iPro Stadium.

http://s6.postimg.cc/w2lndp8b5/Pro.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Mitrovic is out for two more weeks with strained knee ligaments and now Lallana will also be out for about two weeks after he just suffered a chest injury in training!! The good news is that Van Beek is back from his injury.

So with Juanmi for Mitrovic and Tadic for Lallana we played the team that is currently residing near the bottom of the Premier League and it was no surprise that with Mitrovic and Lallana's absence it was Mario Götze who scored the opener after almost half an hour! A much-needed goal after these last two matches when we had difficulty finding the net.

However, five minutes later Götze's goal was already cancelled out by Weimann who found the net with a high and hard shot! We did not let that discourage us, though. Rodríguez almost scored several minutes before half-time, but the post denied him! But when Bertrand hit the ball towards Tadic in the area, Tadic got up to head at goal and Szczesny fisted the ball away only for Juanmi (!) to score in the rebound!!

In the second half we brought on Mané for Rodríguez and it was Götze again who came closest to scoring when he blasted the ball towards goal but it hit the bar and went out of play. A third goal was in the making but it did not happen. However, we never gave Derby much chance either so the three points were in the bag!

http://s6.postimg.cc/vu1e9miq9/Derby.png (http://postimage.org/)

We played well enough again and Juanmi certainly did what he had to do which is score! But we don't seem to find the net as easily anymore as we did a week or two ago.

http://s6.postimg.cc/jgok2pt1t/Derby_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/aaaut6d75/Derby_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

The bad news is that Ward-Prowse will also be out for two weeks with a twisted knee. He is our third injured key player after Mitrovic and Lallana...


A predictable result at the Emirates

Three days later, on Saturday 14th October we had to play Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium. Now it's always a huge challenge to play the League Champions in the lions' den, but Arsenal have drawn no less than five of their eight League matches so far and they have won only one of them!

http://s6.postimg.cc/kc7pwbfip/emirates_stadium.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Perhaps we had dared to hope that we would not lose this match, even without Mitrovic, Lallana and Ward-Prowse, because Arsenal has had a rather disappointing start of the season. On the other hand, Arsenal obviously hoped to win this match because of their home advantage and the fact that Mitrovic and two of our key midfielders are injured.

At least Arsenal started positively and they claimed a penalty when Soares clattered Paulista, but the referee turned down their claims. A little later Bellerín out-jumped Clasie and powered a header at goal, but Van Beek got across to clear the ball off the line!

After Clasie had been shown a yellow card we brought on Romeu to replace him (Romeu needs all the game time he can get!) and when Özil barged Soares in the back it was our turn to claim a penalty, but the referee turned down our claims as well.

In the second half Wanyama, who did a fine job replacing Ward-Prowse, had three shots on goal but without any luck. Fortunately Arsenal's midfielders and forwards are still very much struggling to find form, so the game ended in an almost predictable goalless draw. The sixth draw for Arsenal in just nine League matches!

http://s6.postimg.cc/bt68y5jrl/Arsenal.png (http://postimage.org/)

Again, we played well enough, even without three of our key players, and if it had not been for Petr Cech we might even have won today!

http://s6.postimg.cc/gcihjo1n5/Arsenal_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/lg9r7vcr5/Arsenal_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

We have some more tough games coming up now so we have given our players two full holidays before the match with Benfica. With three of our key players injured we want the rest of them to be 100% fit for that match. A win would mean qualification for the next group phase already!

http://s6.postimg.cc/yvwrxbl8x/Table8.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/6ghek0vv5/Fixtures.png (http://postimage.org/)

Redknapp69
29-01-16, 09:49 AM
4 from 6 a good return there

Still a tough run in games coming up but already you have built a 4 point gap

Mark
29-01-16, 12:22 PM
Glad Juanmi bagged against Derby and you didn't slip up against Arsenal so great to pick up a point there and a clean sheet too.

ebfatz
29-01-16, 10:22 PM
Take a point and a clean sheet away at the Champions any day.

4 points ahead of third already. Defence is fine. Just need to continue bagging a few chances.
Technically, only need to score 38 gols in a season as long as you don't concede any.

samsami
30-01-16, 07:58 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Saints hold strong Benfica to a draw

On Tuesday 17th October we had to play Benfica again. We had defeated them in Lisbon (0-2) with both goals scored by Rodríguez, but the very last thing we should do now is underestimate them in the return match, especially since we are still without Mitrovic, Lallana and Ward-Prowse!

http://s6.postimg.cc/b2s9nvvwx/Southampton_FC_Stadium.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

The first chance in the 15th minute was for Tadic who blasted the ball towards the top corner, but it went just over the bar. Benfica then abandoned their defensive stance a little and Toto Salvio tried to curl one in from long range, but he put it wide of the goal.

However, Benfica remained the stronger team and it was Otávio who found the net by unleashing a superb volley on goal. Forster never had a chance!

In the second half we thought for a moment that we had equalised within the minute when Götze sent the ball into the area for Juanmi who got up to head at goal and scored, but unfortunately Bertrand was in an offside position so Juanmi's goal was ruled out.

And immediately Benfica took control of the match again. Jiménez almost scored, but Forster saved and held the ball well. Dzeko came close with a fierce shot, but it was just over the bar. And right after we had brought on Van Dijk for Soares Benfica claimed a penalty when Van Beek tackled and knocked Jiménez to the ground, but no penalty was awarded.

We were just about to replace Juanmi and have Rodríguez play as striker in the last ten minutes or so when Juanmi received the ball from Clasie and played a one-two with Rodríguez, lost his man and hit the ball high and hard towards the goal and scored the important equaliser!!

We immediately made a double substitution to bring on some fresh players, but even so Benfica created a couple more decent chances. Fejsa attempted a header, but Romeu and Götze did well to close down the space so he put the ball just wide of the goal as. Dzeko also had one final chance as he tried to float the ball over Forster, but he blazed it over the bar and so the match ended in a lucky 1-1 draw.

http://s6.postimg.cc/b91dd8fo1/Benf.png (http://postimage.org/)

Benfica should have won today! They had more than enough scoring chances, but fortunately our defence was as solid as usual. Van Beek was named Man-of-the-Match.

http://s6.postimg.cc/v2dh5xt1t/Benf_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/tpvs41vm9/Benf_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

Meanwhile, Ajax succeeded in defeating Paris S-G which all of a sudden makes the group quite interesting again!

http://s6.postimg.cc/clj2f4d3l/Group_C.png (http://postimage.org/)


Saints lose to Swansea - Götze injured

Five days later, on Sunday 22nd October Swansea visited St.Mary's.

http://s6.postimg.cc/zcjvcsh8x/Southampton_Stadium_Wallpaper.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Swansea made an extremely cagey start to the match, but as it turned out they had little to fear today. Götze almost scored in the 25th minute, but he was denied by the post and that was our only decent chance in the first half. Ayew almost scored with a header but Forster saved and held the ball well.

In the second half we brought on Van Dijk for Bertrand and Juanmi actually tried a shot on goal but it hit the outside of the post and went wide. And then the inevitable happened. Ki Sung-Yong roamed forward unmarked and scored with a vicious strike!

And things got worse when Götze had to go off injured a minute later. And without Götze, Lallana and Ward-Prowse our midfield simply was not good enough to stop Swansea and it was Ings who decided the match with a fabulous shot.

http://s6.postimg.cc/wrmke08r5/Swansea.png (http://postimage.org/)

A poor performance and - even though we have so many injured players - we only have ourselves to blame for this first loss of the season.

http://s6.postimg.cc/3vlze9vm9/Swansea_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/gbnalrec1/Swansea_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

Unfortunately Man City, Man Utd and Chelsea all keep winning their games.

http://s6.postimg.cc/fneg2tfm9/Table9.png (http://postimage.org/)

Ajax will be our next opponent in the Champions League. And that is one match we simply cannot afford to lose now!

http://s6.postimg.cc/vo2g21o41/Fixtures.png (http://postimage.org/)

Redknapp69
30-01-16, 09:20 AM
I think that fantastic defensive display will prove to be a valuable point v Benfica

As long as you do not lose to Ajax then you qualify

But if you lose it will be s tough final game v PSG!

The super Swans looked clinical :)

It's more and more looking like results will be by a single goal as you are not scoring much but generally your defence is very good

samsami
30-01-16, 09:36 AM
I think that fantastic defensive display will prove to be a valuable point v Benfica
As long as you do not lose to Ajax then you qualify
But if you lose it will be s tough final game v PSG!
The super Swans looked clinical :)
It's more and more looking like results will be by a single goal as you are not scoring much but generally your defence is very good

....unless Mitrovic delivers again when he is back from his injury. But even he doesn't score all that many goals...
Still, before all those injuries we defeated both Benfica and Ajax away from home!

Mark
30-01-16, 02:12 PM
A bad day out at Swansea overall, Gotze is a big blow!

Shame you didn't beat Benfica, could have qualified with 10 points and 2 games left!

samsami
30-01-16, 02:14 PM
A bad day out at Swansea overall, Gotze is a big blow!

Shame you didn't beat Benfica, could have qualified with 10 points and 2 games left!

Bit of a dip :(

ebfatz
30-01-16, 09:47 PM
Need to recover from that defeat quickly.

Gotze loss could be worrying for you though.

samsami
31-01-16, 08:40 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

This time Pellč not invisible!

Not too long ago we defeated Ajax in Amsterdam (0-2) in match where Pellč had been invisible. Now we had to play the return match at St.Mary's on Wednesday 25th October.

http://s6.postimg.cc/g9quf0aj5/Southampton_FC_Stadium_7.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Mitrovic and almost our entire midfield (Götze, Ward-Prowse and Lallana) are injured so Juanmi, Romeu, Wanyama and Tadic replaced them. And although they are all decent players it should not be surprising that we have been struggling lately.

Ajax had defeated Paris S-G last week and they had not come to England to be beaten by us again, but we had the advantage of the home crowd and Clasie almost scored when he rifled in a half-volley, but Cillessen did well to parry it.

After twenty minutes Ajax started to put less emphasis on the defence, but they created very few chances. However, we did not have any scoring opportunities, either.

In the second half Ajax started extremely well! Vlaar headed the ball upfield and Fischer picked it up and hit the ball in search of Pellč's run. Pellč stretched to reach the pass and hit the ball on the half-volley and scored with a lovely strike! Forster was rooted to the spot...

We tried hard to get back into the game and to at least cancel out that goal, but we desparately missed Götze, Lallana and Ward-Prowse. In fact, as it turned out Juanmi never had the chance to produce a shot on goal in the entire match! Wanyama did have three shots on goal, but none of them were on target.

So the unlikely thing happened. After winning away games in Lisbon and Amsterdam we fail the win both of the return matches at St.Mary's.

And as if to rub it in, Klaassen even scored a second goal for Ajax in injury time!

http://s6.postimg.cc/rj9wz3jv5/Ajax.png (http://postimage.org/)

We are missing too many of our key players so Ajax grabbed their chance and won. Graziano Pellč was certainly not invisible this time. In fact, he was named Man-of-the-Match.

http://s6.postimg.cc/q1ognjf4h/Ajax_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/j68ti6a1d/Ajax_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

In Lisbon Benfica held Paris S-G to a draw so three teams are still in the race for qualification for the next phase.

And it had seemed so easy to qualify from this group after the first three matches had been played...

http://s6.postimg.cc/5lg5q0lzl/Table.png (http://postimage.org/)

All of a sudden Ajax now seem to have the best chance to qualify. They will play Benfica in Amsterdam while we have to travel to Paris for our final group match!

http://s6.postimg.cc/6heiyi3wx/Group_C.png (http://postimage.org/)

And to make matters even worse, we shall have to play Man Utd at Old Trafford next!

Redknapp69
31-01-16, 09:42 AM
Eek - terrible result but you do have a raft of injuries

I thought you might have got the draw though being at home

Assuming Ajax win next, Would a draw see you through v PSG? Does it go on head to head or GD?

Maybe Benfica will help you outcast they just drew with PSG

But maybe you just to rally the team to see the job done themselves

samsami
31-01-16, 10:45 AM
Assuming Ajax win next, Would a draw see you through v PSG? Does it go on head to head or GD

A draw would mean we're through, I guess, as we also drew the home match and we're leading the group now, so a draw would mean we'd still be listed above Paris S-G right?

It's not likely, seeing the dip we're in (home losses to Swansea and Ajax) but you never know.

Mark
31-01-16, 04:32 PM
Oh crap! Curse of the ex-player! Stumbling a bit now, hope you get back to winning ways!

samsami
31-01-16, 05:14 PM
Oh crap! Curse of the ex-player! Stumbling a bit now, hope you get back to winning ways!

I admit we should not have sold him. But I thought the money Ajax paid for him would help pay for Diego Costa - and as you know, then the Board decided against it.

samsami
01-02-16, 08:36 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Penalty and red cards in Old Trafford thriller

Three days later of losing to Ajax we had to travel to Manchester to play Man Utd at Old Trafford. Not a match we looked forward to with much confidence...

http://s6.postimg.cc/ayll55k5t/oldtrafford8.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

We still have the four injured key players so we had very little to hope for and obviously Man Utd came out with an attacking formation.

After just two minutes Valencia chipped the ball in the direction of Pogba who went down after a trip by Kongolo. Fortunately only a freekick was given and the shot hit Van Beek and went wide. However, it seemed that Man Utd were a little careless and we actually had some chances as well when we tried to counter. And when Man Utd did not score we gradually began to hope for a good result.

Then, after about half an hour Pogba showed Wanyama a clean set of heels. He continued to bring the ball forward and looked to go past Bertrand who went in hard on him, playing the man instead of the ball! The referee did not hesitate but pointed at the spot; Jones ran up to take the kick and he had no trouble scoring the penalty!

So what we had feared - a first half opening goal by Man Utd - had happened, but we still almost equalised when Romeu hit the ball high and hard towards the goal, only De Gea managed to put it behind!

Then, just before half time the incident happened that changed the match. Blind pushed Juanmi away and Juanmi reacted by shoving Blind to the floor. And to everyone's surprise the referee immediately showed both players a red card!!

Things got rather unpleasant for a bit but then, just before half-time Clasie aimed a corner at the far post and Tadic fired it in low and hard and scored his first goal of the season!! Tadic could not possibly have chosen a better moment!!

In the second half it seemed that Man Utd was happy with a draw after all the excitement of the first 45 minutes. And so were we. Until Romeu suddenly played the ball into the area for Bertrand who lost his man and finding himself with plenty of room he struck the ball with fury and found the net!!

Man Utd reacted by bringing on Schweinsteiger to replace Pogba and they did create one or two decent scoring chances, but our defence did well and just at a point in time when things are beginning to look bleak for us we manage to defeat our rivals at Old Trafford!

http://s6.postimg.cc/5mndyq6oh/Man_Utd.png (http://postimage.org/)

Man Utd had a rare off day and we took full advantage of it. Van Beek, Tadic and Bertrand were invaluable today!

http://s6.postimg.cc/yxz8rh5qp/Man_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/egeafttn5/Man_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

This totally unexpected win keeps us in the title race, at least for now!

http://s6.postimg.cc/wlr8tvt5d/Table10.png (http://postimage.org/)

Juanmi is banned for one match as is Bertrand who has collected 5 yellow cards now.

The good news is that Mitrovic, Lallana and Ward-Prowse have all begun full training again!! The big question now is, should we have them play against Arsenal in the League Cup 3rd Round? Or should we make sure they are fit when we have to play Everton, just three days after that League Cup match?

http://s6.postimg.cc/jx1jnycep/Fixtures.png (http://postimage.org/)

Redknapp69
01-02-16, 08:53 AM
A fully justified win there!

Good to see Tadic make an impact when given a chance

I would play the players v Arsenal and then in the big match v PSG and potentially play a weaker team in the league game

Depends what your priority is though

Mark
01-02-16, 11:26 AM
That's a big win for you to get back to winning ways.

Shame about Juanmi's lack of discipline in the game though. Lucky that Mitrovic is fit now, great timing.

samsami
02-02-16, 08:28 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Arsenal 0 - Saints 0: Saints advance on penalties

Four days after the remarkable match at Old Trafford we had to play Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium in the League Cup 3rd Round.

http://s6.postimg.cc/uq5u4uj4h/Emirates.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Only Götze is still injured, but Juanmi and Bertrand were both banned for this match.

Now Arsenal has been suffering a major dip in form since they won the title last year, so we decided to not just have Mitrovic play again, but also Lallana and Ward-Prowse. We really wanted to win this match! Rodríguez started on the bench, though, as he clearly needed rest.

Very recently our League match ended in stalemate but we felt we had a chance now, with three of our key players back from injury. And this time we were indeed the attacking team and we definitely should have defeated Arsenal today. Mitrovic did not play all that well, but Lallana and Tadic especially had several shots on target and it was a small miracle that there were no goals after ninety minutes.

Nor did we find the net in extra time so once again the match ended in stalemate, only this time it went to penalties!

And for a change it went our way!! While none of our players failed to score from the spot, Galinda put the ball just over the bar and Debuchy put it wide so justice was done and we advance to the next round!

Obviously there was a lot of rejoicing after the game, but what with the extra time and the penalties this was a very demanding match and our players need a little break now!

http://s6.postimg.cc/5qqupu7v5/Arsenal.png (http://postimage.org/)

After these last two games against Man Utd and Arsenal it looks very much as if we are back on track, especially now with Mitrovic, Lallana and Ward-Prowse all back from their injuries!

http://s6.postimg.cc/3xny1imoh/Arsenal_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/msjorxmq9/Arsenal_R.png (http://postimage.org/)


Record crowd watch Saints defeat Everton

Three days later, on Saturday 4th November we played Everton in front of a record-breaking crowd of over 40,000(!). It is good to see the number of fans finding their way to St.Mary's finally beginning to increase!

http://s6.postimg.cc/z4sk5aes1/Attendance.png (http://postimage.org/)

Wanyama replaced the injured Mario Götze again. Aside from Götze we have no other injured or banned players. Our lads have all enjoyed a couple of holidays and most of them are more or less fully rested now.

Everton started with a defensive outlook and of course we have a very solid defence so it was no surprise that there were precious few goals today. In fact, when we finally did score it took not just quite a bit of skill but also considerable luck. Lallana brought the ball forward and ran up against the challenge of Coleman who dispossessed him with a superb sliding tackle, but somehow the ball ended up at Clasie's feet. So Clasie took control of it and took the ball past Raúl Garcia before driving it in low to score the deciding goal!!

In the second half we replaced Soares by Van Dijk and Mitrovic by Juanmi. We stayed in control of the match and were never in any real danger so even though we did not score, the game was ours and the three points were in the bag.

An important win, but most of our players are thinking about nothing but Paris already...

http://s6.postimg.cc/eyp26ej4h/Everton.png (http://postimage.org/)

Another very solid game. Clasie was named Man-of-the-Match this time.

http://s6.postimg.cc/d4c7onw41/Everton_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/ate5khlch/Everton_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

Man City keep winning their games as well. They would seem to be the team to beat this season! For Arsenal it already seems a lost case to try and defend their title this year.

http://s6.postimg.cc/d9fyyc3f5/Table11.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/grryuq4b5/Fixtures.png (http://postimage.org/)

So it's Paris S-G next! We shall need at least a draw in Paris, unless Benfica would lend us a hand by beating Ajax in Amsterdam.

Redknapp69
02-02-16, 09:46 AM
Would have been a travesty if you went on in pens in the league cup

Brilliant stuff to stop Everton having any chances as well

Massive game next . . . . .

Mark
02-02-16, 09:57 AM
Two great results there! Looks like you are well and truly back on form now :ok:

Thought the players would be tired after going all the way to penalties but they've done well there.

samsami
02-02-16, 10:25 AM
Would have been a travesty if you went on in pens in the league cup
Brilliant stuff to stop Everton having any chances as well
Massive game next . . . . .

I don't think we have a chance, really. But Benfica might just win in Amsterdam :)



Two great results there! Looks like you are well and truly back on form now :ok:

Thought the players would be tired after going all the way to penalties but they've done well there.

I sent them on holiday after the Arsenal match and they still were not 100% rested after three days :)

samsami
03-02-16, 08:14 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

"It was not to meant be"

On Thursday 7th November we played our final Champions League Group Match in the Parc des Princes in Paris while Ajax received Benfica in Amsterdam. Assuming that Ajax would not lose to Benfica we would need at draw in Paris to qualify for the next CL-phase.

http://s6.postimg.cc/79j1373v5/67326.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Götze is out for just one more day with a gashed leg, so we had to rely on Wanyama once more.

Now after just six minutes Marquinhos' part in the game was already over as he came off the field injured. That gave us some hope and Mitrovic was the first one to almost score. Van Beek passed the ball into the area and Mitrovic met the ball with a diving header, but Sitigu just managed to fist the ball away.

Then, in the 18th minute Benfica actually scored in Amsterdam! That was almost as good as if we had scored ourselves! But nine minutes later Pastore dashed our hopes when he scored his 50th goal for Paris S-G with a fabulous long shot.

Two minutes later Bertrand got free in the penalty area and looked certain to score, but he was frustrated by Sirigu. And nine minutes after that Ajax equalised in Amsterdam. So that totally changed the scenario again.

Anything could still happen of course. After all, this is football. But in the second half Paris S-G gave us a soccer lesson, while Ajax continued to find the net in Amsterdam. It simply was not meant to be...

And while Ajax was already leading 4-1 it was Matuidi who scored the second goal for Paris S-G and so the doom scenario had come true.

And to top things off, in the very last minute of the match Bertrand had to go off injured...

http://s6.postimg.cc/5nz5xn49d/PSG.png (http://postimage.org/)

Both teams had two shots on goal after the first 45 minutes, but in the second half Paris S-G ruled!

http://s6.postimg.cc/e3oqf574h/PSGS.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/ao17jbz9t/PSGR.png (http://postimage.org/)

To make matters worse, Bertrand will be out for a full month with a twisted ankle! We can have Targett replace him or, alternatively, Kongolo can play as left defender with Van Dijk as central defender.

http://s6.postimg.cc/8gsdho4lt/Group_C.png (http://postimage.org/)

And while Arsenal, Chelsea and Man Utd all managed to qualify for the next Champions League Phase, we will have to play Zorya Luhansk in the UEFA Cup 3rd Round. It does not feel very good!

Redknapp69
03-02-16, 09:26 AM
Were you not tempted to play/bench Gotze?

Very disappointing end to the campaign

I though Benfica may help you out but to no avail

And PSG pummelled you

Good draw in UEFA though and although it may not feel like it the players can take this experience of last couple of CL campaigns

samsami
03-02-16, 10:12 AM
Were you not tempted to play/bench Gotze?

Actually I was. Not sure if it would have helped though as he will be lacking "match rhythm", of course.

ebfatz
03-02-16, 11:52 AM
Have to agree.

Would have played Gotze personally. One day and a gashed leg is nothing.

UEFA Cup adventure to come then.
Should have a decent chance as long as it doesn't deflect you from league matters.

Mark
03-02-16, 12:05 PM
I wouldn't have played Gotze. Chances are you'd aggravate the injury and he'd be out for even longer.

Unlucky, destined to struggle after those results before facing PSG.

At least you can make a good go of it in the UEFA Cup now.

samsami
03-02-16, 12:20 PM
Interesting ideas about Götze :)

The UEFA Cup is not interesting to me, only if we win the trophy!

The Premier League is the most important!

samsami
04-02-16, 08:43 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Saints defeat Hammers

Five days after Paris, on 12th November we played West Ham United at the Boleyn Ground.

http://s6.postimg.cc/6cclubscx/Boleyn_Ground.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Götze was finally back from his injury, but he obviously lacked match practice. Matt Targett replaced the injured Bertrand.

After just three minutes Mitrovic finally scored again! It was his fifth goal of the season. And after that opener we stayed in control of the match, even though we did not play exceptionally well.

There was one moment of brilliance though, in the second half. Kongolo gathered up the loose ball and played the one-two with Soares. He then went on to bring the ball forward and got past Sakho first. Next he jinked past Cresswell. Roberts also could not stop Kongolo from going past him and last of all Kongolo jinked past Reed and shot hard and low and found the back of the net!!

A magnificent individual effort and Kongolo's first ever goal for Southampton!

http://s6.postimg.cc/l5r9f3041/Ham.png (http://postimage.org/)

So we were not brilliant perhaps, but West Ham did not have a single shot on goal! Kongolo was named Man-of-the Match and he definitely deserved it, if only because of his superb goal.

http://s6.postimg.cc/4gptj63ip/Ham_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/g8dotyy4x/Ham_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

A much needed win for us as we want to refocus and concentrate on the Premier League again - while none other than Chelsea will be our next opponent!


Chelsea leave St.Mary's empty-handed

A week later, on the 19th of November Chelsea visited St. Mary's. A match that we could hardly afford to lose now.

http://s6.postimg.cc/4nhrauxqp/Southampton_FC_Stadium_4.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Matt Targett replaced Bertrand again. All of our other first squad players were available for this crucial match.

And we played very well, but Chelsea was extremely dangerous with their two-striker formation! In fact, both Negredo and Diego Costa score in almost every single game they appear in! However, after just 27 minutes Negredo had to go off injured, so Chelsea changed to a 4-5-1 formation and they brought on an extra midfielder (Hazard) to replace Negredo.

And a few minutes later we scored! Targett made a forward rush and crossed the ball low and hard and Lallana was left with a simple finish! The crowd was ecstatic and judging by their enthusiastic singing they considered this a big step towards winning the title!

Now we realised very well that Chelsea had not been beaten yet. Nor did we want to lean on our defence too much, but Chelsea's strong five-men midfield was in control and we created precious few scoring chances. We played well enough though, and we managed to make it very hard for Chelsea to reach Diego Costa.

And to the crowd's extreme delight we actually managed to score a second goal in the 76th minute! Götze aimed a corner for the near post where Rodríguez had the beating in the air of Van der Wiel and Rodríguez powered a header at goal and found the net!!

So we got what we had hardly dared to hope for and for the time being few fans are talking about the Champions League anymore!

http://s6.postimg.cc/q5ycxw1g1/Chelsea.png (http://postimage.org/)

We did not need many scoring chances to find the net today. With all of our key players finally fit again we play like we did at the beginning of the season! Lallana was named Man-of-the-Match, but actually it was a superb team effort!

http://s6.postimg.cc/jofgedr2p/Chelsea_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/an5ieiij5/Chelsea_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

Man City is clearly the team to beat this year. Now in fact we have already beaten them at the Etihad Stadium (0-1) at the beginning of the season, so we are definitely hoping to stay in the race for the title as long as we possibly can! At least our defence and our midfield should be good enough for it - as long as we don't have too many injuries.

http://s6.postimg.cc/tqu8h45zl/Table13.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/8re4pm4b5/Fixtures.png (http://postimage.org/)

Our next opponent is Zorya Luhansk. This means another trip to the Ukraine for our lads! And even though the Premier League is now our highest priority again, we are keen to win any kind of trophy we possibly can!

http://s6.postimg.cc/rv7g5yh5d/Manager.png (http://postimage.org/)

Mark
04-02-16, 11:17 AM
Amazing that Mitrovic has only scored 5 goals this season after looking so sharp at the start of the season. Bloody injuries!

Good to see Gotze back too, surely no coincidence for these wins and a thumping one too over Chelsea!

samsami
04-02-16, 12:41 PM
Amazing that Mitrovic has only scored 5 goals this season after looking so sharp at the start of the season. Bloody injuries!

Good to see Gotze back too, surely no coincidence for these wins and a thumping one too over Chelsea!

Yes, Mitrovic scored a hat-trick in the friendly against Ajax, but those goals don't count. So 5 goals is still not enough, really.

kuy
04-02-16, 01:12 PM
Shame about the CL, but that was a really tough group! Glad to see you've bounced back quickly in the league :ok:

samsami
04-02-16, 01:15 PM
Shame about the CL, but that was a really tough group! Glad to see you've bounced back quickly in the league :ok:

Yep :) You can tell the injured players are back! We need midfielders to score goals as you see. Mitrovic is not quite good enough (yet?) as striker.

Redknapp69
05-02-16, 02:27 AM
brilliant 6 points - I think Forster was key in the Chelsea game

Lovely avergae team in UEFA Cup so you can play fringe players as well

Pretty decent gap to 3rd already in league - defence has really firmed up this year :clap:

samsami
05-02-16, 09:46 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Saints defeat Zorya Luhansk

On Wednesday 22nd November we played Zorya Luhansk in the Slavutych Arena, a tiny stadium with a capacity of less than 12,000 - so nothing like the Arena Lviv where we played Shakhtar Donetsk at the beginning of the season.

http://s6.postimg.cc/ybplnj4gh/stadium_slavutych_arena_east.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Stekelenburg and Juanmi received game time and it was clear from the start that Zorya have a very mediocre team, quite unlike Shakhtar Donetsk, so that we should have little difficulty with this relatively unknown opponent.

Both of our goals were scored in the second half. Lallana was the first to find the net with a great pot-shot and it was very important that in the dying seconds of the game Juanmi succeeded in netting the ball as well.

In that second half Wanyama and Mané also got some game time. Wanyama did well but Mané seemed less than inspired.


http://s6.postimg.cc/j2cpd1rv5/Zorya.png (http://postimage.org/)

A relatively easy game for us with Lallana playing brilliantly again!

http://s6.postimg.cc/ne1b21ys1/Zorya_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/4bmisvd5d/Zorya_R.png (http://postimage.org/)


Saints win at the Hawthorns as well

Then on Monday 27th October we had to play West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns.

http://s6.postimg.cc/6hgtndglt/AMA233860_WEB.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Targett continues to replace the injured Ryan Bertrand and he does that remarkably well!

And once more our midfielders were effective. Within two minutes Rodríguez had already scored with a header, with the assist coming from Soares. And in the second half it was Götze who provided the assist and Ward-Prowse who netted the ball!

It's a very long and very tough season and what with the UEFA Cup, the FA Cup and the League Cup we have a great number of matches to play in addition to the League matches, but we certainly seem to be back on track!

http://s6.postimg.cc/3r2wcfuj5/Brom.png (http://postimage.org/)

So this was another good win against a mediocre team.

http://s6.postimg.cc/hw8pe93kh/Brom_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/6roc6pv81/Brom_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

Meanwhile, Man City continue to win their games as well. This time they defeated Swansea (1-2) in Wales.

http://s6.postimg.cc/hol2hqslt/Table14.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/69old4g9d/Fixtures.png (http://postimage.org/)

Mark
05-02-16, 10:11 AM
On a great unbeaten run at the moment and nice to see Targett coming in and doing well :ok:

Redknapp69
05-02-16, 11:19 AM
2 good but expected wins there!

Lallana does seem pretty solid for you

Relatively easy fixture list coming up as well

samsami
05-02-16, 04:55 PM
2 good but expected wins there!
Lallana does seem pretty solid for you
Relatively easy fixture list coming up as well

You know, with Spurs you never knew if you'd win those easy games.
It would seems that Saints know how to handle them better!

samsami
06-02-16, 09:36 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Saints 'subs' also defeat Zorya Luhansk

On Thursday 30th November we played the return match against Zorya Luhansk at St.Mary's.

http://s6.postimg.cc/4xgjm3ej5/Southampton_FC_Stadium_8.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Apart from Soares (and Matt Targett, of course) we gave all of our first team players a break as we had already won the away game (0-2) and because our players could use some rest.

It made little difference. We simply defeated Zorya again, although we only scored the one early goal when Romeu received the ball from Wanyama and hit a fierce shot and found the back of the net.

http://s6.postimg.cc/iw8nktefl/Zor.png (http://postimage.org/)

Romeu was named Man-of-the-Match. He is probably just as good as Clasie; and if truth be told, he gets too little game time. Soares and Wanyama also played very well again today.

http://s6.postimg.cc/9cyyrcqxd/Zor_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/3rcjnaq8h/Zor_R.png (http://postimage.org/)


Spurs put a harsh end to Saints' winning run

On Monday 4th December we played Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane.

http://s6.postimg.cc/i0c65d4r5/whl.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Targett still replaced Bertrand as we had to play Spurs who nowadays prefer a 4-4-2 formation with Kane and De Jong as their striker partnership.

We created lots of chances and nobody was surprised when Götze scored the opener after half an hour with the assist coming from Lallana. We should have scored at least another goal as there were plenty of opportunities for both Mitrovic and Rodríguez, but we didn't. And of course, as always happens, just before half time Hassall scored for Tottenham to cancel out Götze's opener!

In the second half we saw the same scenario. We could have - and should have - scored at least one or two goals, but we didn't. And so again Spurs countered and this time it was Batshuayi who netted the ball after he rose above Kongolo and headed the ball towards the goal, well out of reach of Forster's outstretched arm.

http://s6.postimg.cc/7im49m3wx/Tott.png (http://postimage.org/)

A huge disappointment, especially as we created more than enough scoring chances. But we seemed over-confident and sloppy and Spurs took advantage of this.

http://s6.postimg.cc/hpzlowjtd/Tott_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/jbjxdu0cx/Tottr.png (http://postimage.org/)

Now at least there was some good consolation. After the match we learned that Man City had dropped two points after all in their home match against West Brom (1-1) with Kazim-Richards(!) scoring the equaliser for West Brom a couple of minutes into injury time! Touré had scored the late opener for Man City in the 75th minute, so we thought City had won their game when the good news arrived.

Saints through to League Cup Quarter Final

Just two days later, on Wednesday 6th December we had to play Stoke City in the League Cup 4th Round. We really wanted to win this match because we had eliminated Arsenal on penalties, so we are keen to make it to the Final now!

http://s6.postimg.cc/4nhrauxqp/Southampton_FC_Stadium_4.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

In the first half there were no goals, but we played well enough and we told the lads that we were 100% convinced that the goals would come if they did not give up trying.

And they didn't and so that's exactly what happened. It started with Ward-Prowse hitting the ball towards Soares in the area. Soares was fouled, going past Stockdale, but the referee turned down our penalty appeal. Three minutes later Henderson went in hard on Clasie, but he played the man instead of the ball. And again the referee turned down our claims for a penalty! And four minutes later Clasie was brought down by Livermore and for the third time in less than ten minutes the referee turned down our penalty appeal!!

But two minutes later it was Lallana who succeeded in finding the net! After skipping past the challenge of Mbemba he blasted the ball towards the top corner and the ball went in off the bar!!

We should have scored more goals of course, but the only thing that really matters now is that we have qualified for the League Cup Quarter Final!

http://s6.postimg.cc/rys2uq7v5/Stoke.png (http://postimage.org/)

A good team effort so soon after the lost game at White Hart Lane, and a well-deserved win this time! Lallana was named Man-of-the-Match again.

http://s6.postimg.cc/69t6qv5n5/Stoke_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/exbg1zpsh/Stoke_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

In the Quarter Final we will play Huddersfield; a lucky draw for us this time!

http://s6.postimg.cc/5692ewl01/Quarter.png (http://postimage.org/)

And there was more good news! At Goodison Park Everton held Man City to a 1-1 draw and history repeated itself as once again there was a very late equaliser, scored by Barkley this time, well into injury time! Bony had scored the opening goal for City in the first half and once again City dropped two precious points in the dying seconds of the game!

http://s6.postimg.cc/64z2s1u1d/Brom.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/iibwyyjpt/Ever.png (http://postimage.org/)

So even though we lost to Spurs on Monday, this is still a good week for us with Man City drawing both of their League games. Now of course it would have been even better if we had beaten Spurs with City dropping four points, as some fans were quick to point out on the social media, but this is not a computer game, this is real life!

http://s6.postimg.cc/5bhvloymp/Table15.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/etckomdzl/Fixtures.png (http://postimage.org/)

samsami
07-02-16, 09:41 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Saints defeat Bournemouth

On Saturday 9th December we played AFC Bournemouth at St.Mary's in front of a capacity crowd!!

http://s6.postimg.cc/s5t7dwgup/Crowd.png (http://postimage.org/)

We are still without Bertrand (injured) and this time also without Mitrovic (banned) and Rodríguez (not quite fit) so the main question on everyone's mind was: Who will score the goals today, against the team that resides at the very bottom of the League?

Fortunately we have Lallana, who struck the ball low from a tight angle and found the net just before half-time! Lallana played brilliantly, but he did pick up an unnecessary yellow card.

In the second half Juanmi scored with a header after just three minutes. Juanmi also played well, but he received a yellow card, too. His goal obviously decided the match. And in the dying seconds Tadic found the net with a low drive.

This is what we seem to do best with our strong defence and our strong midfield, defeat the so-called 'weak' teams!

http://s6.postimg.cc/u6jqyqd01/Bourn.png (http://postimage.org/)

Remarkably, Matt Targett was named Man-of-the-Match after two very mediocre performances.

http://s6.postimg.cc/w8fmz8lld/Bourn_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/9rio9x4k1/Bourn_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

And on the Monday Chelsea defeated Man City (1-0) at Stamford Bridge!! Exactly as we had hoped they would!

http://s6.postimg.cc/lvxxqwhg1/Table16.png (http://postimage.org/)


Saints through to League Cup Semi-Final

On Wednesday 13th December we played Huddersfield (Division Two) in the League Cup Quarter Final.

http://s6.postimg.cc/j56ou485t/Capture.png (http://postimage.org/)

Stekelenburg replaced Forster but other than that we made no changes to our team this time.

Even so Coogans scored a lucky goal for Huddersfield and we needed the second half to set things straight. Mitrovic fonally scored the equaliser with an assist from Clasie. Clasie also provided the assist for Ward-Prowse's late goal, and Soares found the net just a few minutes later.

So in the end we had little difficulty with our enthusiastic Division Two opponents, but it took until late in the second half before we finally decided the match.

http://s6.postimg.cc/xrfmhyhjl/Hudders.png (http://postimage.org/)

Clasie was named Man-of-the-Match.

http://s6.postimg.cc/5slgr3fwx/Hudders_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/y9arxt74h/Hudders_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

On Sunday we will play Hull City at St.Mary's, a winnable game. You can almost predict a 1-0 or 2-0 win, with the goals scored by our midfielders. But after that it's Liverpool and then Man City again!!

http://s6.postimg.cc/ejshlcz81/Fixtures.png (http://postimage.org/)

kuy
07-02-16, 11:11 PM
Big game against Man City coming up!

Mark
08-02-16, 01:02 AM
All in your hands at the moment!

That Stoke team doesn't look great, looks like the squad has been decimated!

samsami
08-02-16, 08:43 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Mitrovic scores as Saints defeat Hull

On Sunday 17th December Hull Football Club visited St.Mary's - the day after Man City had dropped yet another two points at home to West Ham!

http://s6.postimg.cc/im66yl64x/City.png (http://postimage.org/)

We have no idea what is wrong with City but we were more than ready to grab our chance, especially since we have no injured or banned players!

Mitrovic scored the opener with a header after just 5 minutes (still only his 6th goal from 19 appearances) and the crowd prepared for an unforgettable afternoon. And perhaps this was a very important game in hindsight, but we have trouble scoring goals. Mitrovic plays well enough, but he is no goal machine.

In the second half we brought on Juanmi for Mitrovic (who was not 100% fit) and Tadic for Rodríguez (yellow card and also not fit) and a little later we also brought on Wanyama for Ward-Prowse.

Now Wanyama actually almost scored when he powered a great header at goal. Edwards could only parry it, but Zuculini picked up on the loose ball before Juanmi could get to it.

Forster was also important again when Emenike drove the ball at goal and Forster saved and deflected the ball clear. That was the last scoring chance of the game and so the three points were in the bag and the crowd was happy after all, although some fans immediately pointed out that we will have to do better to defeat the likes of Liverpool and Man City.

http://s6.postimg.cc/vnrvofuj5/Hull.png (http://postimage.org/)

Our defence was superb again. To a large extent we owe our league position to them. Van Beek was named Man-of-the-Match.

http://s6.postimg.cc/p7iwyclzl/Hull_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/givrqx6c1/Hull_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

Today also marked Adam Lallana's 270th league appearance - a new Southampton club record! His return to the club is another reason why we are doing so well this season.

http://s6.postimg.cc/yvwd1hgsx/Lallana.png (http://postimage.org/)

Now while we obviously relish our Premier League title challenge, we realise very well that the season is very long and we are barely halfway there.

Therefore, our next two League matches vs Liverpool and Man City, both at St.Mary's, will be crucial!

http://s6.postimg.cc/6muora0k1/Table17.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/jkmk0vjgx/Fixtures.png (http://postimage.org/)

Mark
08-02-16, 10:38 AM
Getting some luck with Man City's form here, got to make the most of it and hopefully pick up 6 points in the next 2 games.

ebfatz
08-02-16, 11:07 AM
City have fallen apart recently.

Need to keep up your form through January. Will be a lot of fixtures with FA Cup starting and the League Cup continuing. In a great position currently though.

samsami
08-02-16, 11:24 AM
Getting some luck with Man City's form here, got to make the most of it and hopefully pick up 6 points in the next 2 games.

They're home games, but if we can beat Liverpool then a draw with City will be acceptable, I'd say.


City have fallen apart recently.

Need to keep up your form through January. Will be a lot of fixtures with FA Cup starting and the League Cup continuing. In a great position currently though.

Happy so far, yes, but no real squad depth. Tadic and Mané are very unreliable. So are Van Dijk and Fonte.

Redknapp69
08-02-16, 09:25 PM
Certainly hit a purple patch recently and bonus Man City messing uo

samsami
08-02-16, 09:37 PM
Certainly hit a purple patch recently and bonus Man City messing up

Yes, the purple patch is five wins in a row since we lost at White Hart Lane.
The bonus is incredible! I never saw that happen before in my career with Feyenoord, Spurs or Saints. None of the League leaders have ever had a dip like that before!

samsami
09-02-16, 08:08 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Saints defeat mediocre Liverpool

On Saturday 23rd December we played Liverpool, fifth in the ranking, at St.Mary's.

None of our first squad players are currently injured or banned but our success has not gone unnoticed in Europe and several of our best players are now wanted by English and/or European top teams.

http://s6.postimg.cc/xnvgck7rl/Rating.png (http://postimage.org/)

Liverpool started with a 4-1-3-2 formation, with Sturridge and Benteke as striker partners, but it soon became clear that the Liverpool strikers are struggling to find form.

The first chance was for Lallana who blasted a banana shot from outside of the area after Clasie had headed the ball to him; but Lallana put it wide.

We scored the opener after an inch-perfect tackle from Benteke, winning the ball from Clasie. Soares then took control of the loose ball and laid it off for Bertrand to hit in in low and score!!

Soon after that opener Ward-Prowse also found the net but it was ruled out because he had strayed into an offside position. We were in control of the match, but Kongolo received a yellow card just before half-time.

The second half had barely started when Soares looked to jink past Can, who took away Soares' legs. Ward-Prowse stepped up confidently and sent the keeper the wrong way to score the penalty!!

After an hour Liverpool finally had their first shot on goal, but Forster beat the ball away. It was clear that this was our game and it ended half an hour later with Götze hitting the bar in the dying seconds.

http://s6.postimg.cc/59q0sok7l/Pool.png (http://postimage.org/)

A remarkably easy and well-deserved win. And just like at the beginning of this season we almost feel invincible again. Only we know too well how quickly things can change around.

http://s6.postimg.cc/pftirkfv5/Pool_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/6377z1fm9/Pool_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

Meanwhile, Man City shockingly lost at Hull!! They were 0-1 up at half-time but after Otamendi had been sent off everything went wrong for the struggling squad that only a month ago seemed destined to win the Premier League title.

And it's Man City who will visit St.Mary's next! Fot both teams an awful lot will depend on the result of this one game.

Kongolo has been banned for one match after collecting five yellow cards so he will not be available on Tuesday.

http://s6.postimg.cc/bq3kwii4x/Table18.png (http://postimage.org/)

Mark
09-02-16, 10:19 AM
Another shock defeat for Man City :eek: Great win for you though. Let's hope your players don't get unsettled by the interest in them. Got to keep them happy and start picking up trophies to make them stay as well.

samsami
09-02-16, 12:10 PM
Another shock defeat for Man City :eek: Great win for you though. Let's hope your players don't get unsettled by the interest in them. Got to keep them happy and start picking up trophies to make them stay as well.

Yes, or offer them a new contract, perhaps.

kuy
09-02-16, 12:35 PM
Good win at Liverpool, and great to see Man City dropping points! Knowing CM they'll probably thrash you now :lol: but you've got three very winnable games after that so hopefully you can stretch your lead

samsami
09-02-16, 01:27 PM
Good win at Liverpool, and great to see Man City dropping points! Knowing CM they'll probably thrash you now :lol: but you've got three very winnable games after that so hopefully you can stretch your lead

lol... is that how it works? We just won five in a row, they managed not to win five times in a row, we play at St.Mary's and they defeat us???

kuy
09-02-16, 01:56 PM
lol... is that how it works? We just won five in a row, they managed not to win five times in a row, we play at St.Mary's and they defeat us???

I hope not!

ebfatz
09-02-16, 08:29 PM
But you never know.


Hopefully you can pull out a positive result. Even a draw would be fine now.

samsami
09-02-16, 09:01 PM
But you never know.

Hopefully you can pull out a positive result. Even a draw would be fine now.

That's what I expect, a draw. We probably won't score and we probably will keep a clean sheet. It''s amazing how Saints is doing, though. I expected a tougher challenge after Spurs. But we'll see.

Redknapp69
10-02-16, 12:22 AM
Massive game next

samsami
10-02-16, 08:35 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Wanyama scores as Saints win again!

On Tuesday 26th December we played Man City at St.Mary's. Now while we won our five previous games, Man City failed to win any of them and so they needed to win this match more than ever.

Our latest results:

http://s6.postimg.cc/rztqzessx/Ours.png (http://postimage.org/)

Man City's latest results:

http://s6.postimg.cc/jo2lbwksx/Theirs.png (http://postimage.org/)

Because Kongolo is banned for this match we had Van Dijk replace him today. But we came up with another tactical surprise. Mitrovic started on the bench! Rodríguez unexpectedly replaced Mitrovic as striker with Götze starting as left winger again and Wanyama as central midfielder!

There was a heavy downpour and it was not easy to play in the slippery conditions. Lallana had the first shot on goal but Hart did well to get his fingertips to the ball. Clasie actually scored in the 23rd minute, but it was ruled out because Soares was offside. And that was all we could manage in the first half.

Man City became stronger as we seemed to lack creativity and there were attempts on goal by Agüero and Bony, but Forster saved both times. Smith-Brown also hit a fierce shot but it deflected off Van Beek. Unfortunately, just before half-time Wanyama received a yellow card for bringing down Bony.

So something had to change in the second half, but Man City played well and we seemed hesitant and unsure whether to defend or attack. Touré almost scored with a header, but Forster pushed the ball away. A little later it was once more Touré who attempted to hit the ball in low, but Forster got down to turn it behind!

So we withheld the pressure and the game was heading for stalemate - which would have been an acceptable result - when Lallana turned with the ball just outside the Man City area and drove it low towards the goal. Hart did well to fist the ball away, but Ward-Prowse got to the loose ball and hit a fierce shot! Once again Hart managed to parry it, but this time it was Wanyama who picked up the ball and applied the finish!!

Now even the continuous downpour did not prevent the crowd from celebrating wildly! For the second time this season we had defeated Man City 1-0 and even though we barely deserved it this second time, nobody minded at all!

http://s6.postimg.cc/ch0wg19w1/City.png (http://postimage.org/)

We had very few shots on goal and we could easily have lost today, but Forster was superb and the one goal by 'super sub' Victor Wanyama was all we needed to win this crucial match.

http://s6.postimg.cc/titqi4or5/City_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/cwc691vtd/City_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

So all of this means that Man Utd and Chelsea have now moved up to second and third place! But both teams are still active in the Champions League which could easily have a negative effect on their their results in the second half of the season.

http://s6.postimg.cc/oo01juqfl/Table19.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/n2krs1g7l/Fixtures.png (http://postimage.org/)

So will Mitrovic play again next time? Or will Rodríguez get another chance as striker? It hardly seemed to make a difference today, even though it was good that Wanyama scored the deciding goal.

Redknapp69
10-02-16, 09:13 AM
Crucial win

League in your hands now

Defence is phenomenal

samsami
10-02-16, 10:32 AM
Crucial win
League in your hands now
Defence is phenomenal

Not forgetting our clean sheet king!

Mark
10-02-16, 12:16 PM
Pulled that one out of the bag :ok: Inspired move to start with Wanyama who looked like the player of 2 seasons ago when he was on fire.

Given the calibre of upcoming opposition, I think you should start with a natural striker to help build on that 6 point gap!

kuy
10-02-16, 11:28 PM
Forster's been immense for you this season :hail:

I'm going to say the opposite to Mark - if you want to experiment a bit this might be a good time to do it, with some relatively easy games coming up

samsami
11-02-16, 08:20 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Saints fail to impress at Cardiff City Stadium

On Saturday 30th December we played Cardiff at the Cardiff City Stadium.

http://s6.postimg.cc/n5wo8p93l/Cardiff_City_Stadium_Pitch.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

We played in the same formation as the other day against Man City so with Rodríguez as striker and Wanyama as central midfielder, but it was not a great success.

Although we were the better team we failed to find the net and after an hour or so we brought on Mitrovic, Tadic and Van Dijk to replace some of our players who were less fit.

It was Götze - and not Mitrovic - who scored the only goal of the match. He received the ball from Clasie and fired it in hard and low. So we won, but we failed to impress the crowd.

http://s6.postimg.cc/4g03e7qz5/Cardiff.png (http://postimage.org/)

Our defence is extremely solid, but sometimes if feels like we play without a striker. Fortunately we have excellent wingers and attacking midfielders who can score the goals we need; sometimes only one goal per game!

http://s6.postimg.cc/oongzxqa9/Cardiff_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/d3das84sx/Cardiff_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

Meanwhile, Man City's situation is getting desperate as they lost yet again, this time at home to Spurs (1-2).


Saints defeat ten-men Preston

On Monday 1st January 2018 we played Preston North End at St.Mary's.

http://s6.postimg.cc/nwpeehbgx/Capture.png (http://postimage.org/)

Targett replaced Bertrand, who is not fit, but other than that we reverted back to our normal formation with Mitrovic as our lone striker and Rodríguez as winger. Perhaps a series against so-caller weaker teams is what Mitrovic needs to find his form and start scoring goals for us again?

Götze was back in his role as central midfielder and immediately he scored with a fine header! However, Baker cancelled out that goal in the 16th minute already.

The match was virtually decided five minutes later when Kennedy was sent off after a dangerous two-footed challenge on Mitrovic. Preston had to finish the game with ten men and the rest is history.

Remarkably, all goals were scored by our midfielders again, though. Lallana hit the ball on the half-volley and found the net just before half-time and Rodríguez tried a low drive in the second half and scored our third goal! Something he did not do as striker in our previous two games!

http://s6.postimg.cc/kgsor6oup/Preston.png (http://postimage.org/)

Götze played brilliantly again. Rodríguez seemed very happy to be back in his normal role as left winger and Mitrovic played more than decently but he also picked up another yellow card and he did not score.

http://s6.postimg.cc/xc59rotht/Preston_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/7dx27wymp/Preston_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

So we have won eight games in a row now, which is a new club record!

And Man City finally won a match again, away to Liverpool no less!

http://s6.postimg.cc/4b0xia91t/Table21.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/eoskk1f0x/Fixtures.png (http://postimage.org/)

So how can we top the table when our striker has only scored 5 goals in 15 appearances and is listed 36th in the list of top scorers?

The answer is obviously that our midfielders are taking care of most of the goals. Götze and Rodríguez are currently the club's top scorers with 6 goals each. Ward-Prowse has scored 5 goals, like Mitrovic, and Lallana has scored 4 goals so far.

Mark
11-02-16, 09:58 AM
Great work in setting a new record :ok: Amazed that Man City lost again, could go 9 points clear if you win your game in hand :eek:

That is indeed a poor return from Mitrovic. I expected him to at least get to double figures even if I don't rate him :D Goals are definitely a problem so it's just as well that your defence has been so good!

samsami
11-02-16, 10:43 AM
Great work in setting a new record :ok: Amazed that Man City lost again, could go 9 points clear if you win your game in hand :eek:

That is indeed a poor return from Mitrovic. I expected him to at least get to double figures even if I don't rate him :D Goals are definitely a problem so it's just as well that your defence has been so good!

We need a goal machine, I think. I suppose if we do win the title I can take my pick of the cream of the crop :)

Redknapp69
11-02-16, 11:04 AM
When do you play Man U and Chelsea

GD gives you another point as well :ok:

samsami
11-02-16, 12:16 PM
When do you play Man U and Chelsea
GD gives you another point as well :ok:

Not until April 7th and April 14th.

ebfatz
11-02-16, 08:39 PM
10 clear of Man City.

Who'd have thought that a couple of months ago.

Awesome change in Saints favour.

samsami
12-02-16, 08:18 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Saints disappointing against Rotherham

On Saturday 6th January we played Rotherham in the FA Cup 3rd Round at St.Mary's.

Our fans demanded goals but even with our best possible formation we failed to defeat the First Division Team from Rotherham.

We created several scoring chances, but so did Rotherham with their effective counters and after an hour White blasted the ball towards the top corner and scored the opener for Rotherham!

We wanted to prevent a disaster so we brought on Juanmi for Mitrovic, but of course it had to be Götze who scored the equaliser! After a long forward run Götze dribbled past Wood and past Halford and fired the ball in low and hard and scored!

A brilliant goal, but still a disappointment to draw this match which means that a replay is necessary now.

http://s6.postimg.cc/o1t5o5is1/Rother.png (http://postimage.org/)

Our defence was solid as ever, but we don't score goals easily. Van Beek was named Man-of-the-Match.

http://s6.postimg.cc/mdyln8ua9/Rother_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/r9xn1751t/Rother_R.png (http://postimage.org/)


Saints fail to find the net against Cardiff City

On Wednesday 10th January we played Cardiff City again, this time at St.Mary's.

And just like on Saturday we struggled. We created quite a few chances but not enough, so after an hour or so we brought on Tadic and Wanyama (for Rodríguez and Ward-Prowse) but still Cardiff managed to withhold the pressure.

The facts are that Cardiff had only one single shot on goal in the entire match, but we simply failed to find the net and so we dropped two precious points.

Many people are asking themselves: How could that possibly happen? And why is Mitrovic not delivering?

http://s6.postimg.cc/5kyqxc2tt/Cardiff.png (http://postimage.org/)

Guzan was Man-of-the-Match but even so, we should have scored at least one goal!

http://s6.postimg.cc/7zqmhrj2p/Cardiff_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/oh90uwu35/Cardiff_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

The question is, can we win the title without a striker who scores enough goals, just leaning on our defence and our strong midfield? After all, these easier matches are exactly the kind of games in which Mitrovic is expected to deliver!

http://s6.postimg.cc/aq4jsp55d/Table22.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/tnfks7jgx/Fixtures.png (http://postimage.org/)

So we did not win our game in hand. We're still in a great position, but we shall have to make sure now that we don't get into a dip like Man City did! Look at them now!

ebfatz
12-02-16, 03:11 PM
Don't see the defence slipping. 8 goals conceded in 22 games is immense.

Just need goals.
Only need one more than the opposition in any one game!

samsami
12-02-16, 03:16 PM
Don't see the defence slipping. 8 goals conceded in 22 games is immense.

Just need goals.
Only need one more than the opposition in any one game!

I'm afraid we cannot have success in Europe until we have found a world class striker.
8 goals conceded in 22 games is wonderful but 35 goals scored is too few.
Arsenal (9th place) scored more than we did and West Brom scored 33 goals already.

Mark
12-02-16, 05:34 PM
Uh-oh! Not a complete disaster but you should be winning those sort of games. Still, at least you're 7 points clear now which is still a decent gap to work with.

Let's hope those two games is a bad spell out of the way and the goals will soon start flooding in.

samsami
13-02-16, 09:40 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Götze brilliant, Rodríguez scores, Saints win

On Sunday 14th January we played Leicester Football Club at the King Power Stadium.

http://s6.postimg.cc/jrwvbj781/King.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

We started well and Mitrovic should definitely have scored in the 18th minute when he headed the ball towards the open goal, but it clipped the post and went wide.

So it took another moment of brilliance by Mario Götze who played the ball past Benalouane and showed him a clean set of heels before going past Fuchs as well. And when Inler was also unable to stop Götze going past him, he floated the ball into the far post for Rodríguez to score with a simple header!

Lallana and Rodríguez both had another scoring opportunity immediately after half-time, but both times Roberto fisted the ball away and after that the game petered out with Leicester seeming to lack what it takes while we appeared to be content with a one-goal margin.

http://s6.postimg.cc/52c1714y9/Leic.png (http://postimage.org/)

So it was the usual again. Our opponents' goalkeeper was Man-of-the-Match and the only goal was scored by one of our midfielders. It's one way to win the title. Or is it...?

Man Utd, Man City and Chelsea also won their matches today so nothing changed at the top of the League.

http://s6.postimg.cc/ex36d98wh/Leic_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/ywsz91vf5/Leic_R.png (http://postimage.org/)


Saints win awkward FA Cup replay at Rotherham

On Wednesday 17th January we played Rotherham United FC at the AESSEAL New York Stadium. The replay was needed after the recent disappointing 1-1 draw at St.Mary's.

http://s6.postimg.cc/93t4cox8x/Asseal.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Remarkably, Rotherham seemed unimpressed and keen to get the early goal, but the first real attempt at goal was by Rodríguez whose head met the ball, but it grazed the crossbar. Two minutes later Götze tried to chip Champ and he was very close, with the ball skimming the top of the bar!

Then things started happening! It began when Halford made a reckless challenge as he went in with two feet on Götze and the referee pulled out a red card for him! So Rotherham were forced to change their formation and they continued without a striker.

Two minutes later Mitrovic headed the ball towards goal and finally he found the net again! That settled it as Rotherford had to finish the game with ten men. Or so you would think.

However, the next minute an irritated Jay Rodríguez shoved Maguire and he also received the red card! So we brought on Tadic to replace him as left winger and we brought off Mitrovic. This meant that both teams now had to finish the game with ten men - and without a striker!

After those few hectic minutes things gradually calmed down again and Götze (who else?), Tadic and Lallana decided the match within six minutes, just before half-time.

The second half was uneventful until the very end when Newell scored for Rotherham and Wanyama decided to do something back and found the net three minutes into injury time.

http://s6.postimg.cc/7kxq7pqoh/Roth.png (http://postimage.org/)

A very awkward game, but at least we scored five goals and perhaps that will set the tone for our next series of League matches?

http://s6.postimg.cc/u731kg4ep/Roth_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/xj1cdqw5t/Roth_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

Our schedule for the next few weeks looks very decent, with no less than four home games in a row!

http://s6.postimg.cc/kiplhb9ld/Fixtures.png (http://postimage.org/)

Mark
13-02-16, 11:19 AM
Entertaining at the very least :ok: Let's hope that's the start of a run of goals!

ebfatz
13-02-16, 05:13 PM
Fixture pile up on the horizon!!

samsami
13-02-16, 05:39 PM
Fixture pile up on the horizon!!

Yes indeed. League Cup, FA Cup, UEFA Cup, you name it!

Redknapp69
14-02-16, 01:08 AM
Still ticking along nicely

You do indeed need a WC striker but don't let the midfielders get away without criticism if they are not chipping in with enough goals either

Maybe the mauling of Rotherham will get the players juices flowing for what it feels like to hit the back of the onion bag

samsami
14-02-16, 09:43 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Romeu takes Saints by the hand

On Saturday 20th January we played Watford Football Club at St.Mary's.

http://s6.postimg.cc/n7u1i7as1/dscn2242.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Tadic replaced Rodríguez, who was banned for one match.

The game was in balance in the first half. Watford played remarkably well but we had little difficulty preventing their strikers from scoring. Our problem, as usual, was trying to score goals ourselves.

So when there were no goals in the first half half we decided to bring on Wanyama for Ward-Prowse and also Romeu for Clasie, who was not quite fit, hoping that Wanyama would make the difference. And immediately we scored! It was Götze who hit a hopeful looking shot, but Joe Lewis managed to fist the ball away, only for Romeu to get to the loose ball and apply the finish!!

And a little later history repeated itself! Guedioura slid in on Mitrovic to perform an excellent tackle and once again it was Romeu who picked up the loose ball and scored his second goal of the afternoon!!

And even though Watford scored a consolation goal a couple of minutes into injury time, this did not stop the crowd from singing Romeu's name; in fact, even Clasie was beaming with happiness!

http://s6.postimg.cc/4k85j2hjl/Watford.png (http://postimage.org/)

A very important win as Man Utd, Man City and Chelsea all dropped points today!

http://s6.postimg.cc/ynmob0ksx/Wat_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/qxfw5vihd/Wat_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

So we are now clearly leading the title race. Who would have thought so a month or two ago when Man City was ruling supreme?

http://s6.postimg.cc/d562nzh3l/Table24.png (http://postimage.org/)


Red cards spoil League Cup Semi-Final

On Wednesday 24th January we played Everton in the League Cup Semi-Final 1st Leg. We are desperate to win a trophy with Saints for the very first time, and we this is perhaps our best chance!

http://s6.postimg.cc/vaj121glt/Results.png (http://postimage.org/)

Everton started defensively. They know we don't score easily and they rely on their counters, although Lukaku and Soldado don't score many goals, either.

When Deulofeu head-butted Bertrand in a moment of madness he was sent off and we could hope for an easy evening and a comfortable win. But it was not meant to be. Only Clasie, Lallana and Götze managed a shot on goal with only Lallana's shot being on target.

Then, towards the very end of the game Van Beek made a dangerous two-footed challenge on James McCarthy and so he received the red card! And to make matters worse, four minutes later Djuricic sent the ball into the area in front of Cleverley who tried a volley and scored with a fine strike!

We could still qualify for the Final and if we do we might even meet Brentford if they do succeed in eliminating Man Utd, but if truth be told, things look pretty bleak now!

http://s6.postimg.cc/5g98c9glt/Everton.png (http://postimage.org/)

The only good thing is that Bertrand was outstanding and named Man-of-the-Match.

http://s6.postimg.cc/8xbaf8fo1/Everton_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/7m3j6rk29/Everton_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

So next we will play Bolton in the FA Cup. Yet another cup and yet another home match for us. We shall need to do better this time!

http://s6.postimg.cc/yy7yzl3kh/Fix.png (http://postimage.org/)

Redknapp69
14-02-16, 04:10 PM
Unlucky v Everton but can make it up in next game

Brentford :eek: :shocked:

Important 3 points v Watford. Not much between the sides on the day

ebfatz
15-02-16, 12:31 AM
10 day break after the second leg so you can afford to go all out to overturn the deficit.

Although you said League Cup wasn't a priority so difficult one to call.

samsami
15-02-16, 08:49 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Saints advance in FA Cup

On Saturday 27th January we played Bolton (16th in Division One) in the FA Cup 4th Round. We really needed to win this match after our poor performance in the League Cup Semi-Final; and we did!

http://s6.postimg.cc/ypae9nqs1/Results.png (http://postimage.org/)

Van Dijk replaced Van Beek, who has been suspended for no less three English matches.

Ward-Prowse scored the opener after a great pass by Clasie. And Soares scored the second goal to cap of a wonderful move that started with a solo by Götze who eventually crossed the ball low and hard from the left for Soares to drive the ball at goal and score!

With Wanyama and Tadic for Rodríguez and Lallana we continued in the second half and this time it was Mitrovic who found the net with the assist coming from Wanyama.

Unfortunately it wasn't all good news, though. Götze had to go off injured, which is a major setback! It doesn't seem to be too serious, but still...

http://s6.postimg.cc/ak9ory6hd/Bolton.png (http://postimage.org/)

So we crushed our opponents today! And for the second time in a row Bertrand was outstanding, but this time Soares played brilliantly as well and he was named Man-of-the-Match. And of course we should not fail to mention Mitrovic who played a fantastic game and found the net again.

http://s6.postimg.cc/8r6s3mlap/Bolton_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/flh2tbdxt/Bolton_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

Götze will be out for about two weeks with a twisted knee.


Off-day for Saints against Derby

On Saturday 3rd February Derby County visited St.Mary's - hardly a reason to worry, or so you would think.
http://s6.postimg.cc/8fufbino1/Capture.png (http://postimage.org/)

Götze is injured, Van Beek is suspended (and Mané is on international duty) but that still does not explain why we had to have such a bad day at the office!

It started well enough with an early goal by Ward-Prowse, but soon after that opener Mitrovic and Kongolo were both shown a yellow card. And just before half-time Nennet almost scored, but the ball hit the outside of the post and went wide. A minute later though Cameron did score the equaliser with a fierce shot!

And when we failed to find the net in the second half we decided to bring on Romeu for Clasie, but this time it did not work. In fact, Cameron scored a second goal for Derby!

We tried to change things around one last time by bringing on Juanmi for Mitrovic, but that did not help either. Chris Martin should even have scored a third goal for Derby, but the ball skimmed the top of the bar and went over the goal.

http://s6.postimg.cc/3kw4zhzyp/Derby.png (http://postimage.org/)

We create more than enough enough scoring chances, but we don't score enough goals. It's as simple as that. So on days when our opponents do happen to score, we are in trouble!

http://s6.postimg.cc/omw4du5ap/Derby_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/771yc56c1/Derby_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

And to make matters worse, Kongolo has been banned for two matches after collecting his tenth yellow card today.

Of course we are still six points clear of Chelsea and Man Utd but they are getting closer again...

http://s6.postimg.cc/l208um0r5/Table25.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/7vasv351t/Fixtures.png (http://postimage.org/)

It's four away games in a row now! Two Premier League matches, then Everton in the League Cup Semi Final (Leg 2) and finally Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup 5th Round!

After today's poor result this is a crucial series of games for us!

samsami
15-02-16, 08:53 AM
10 day break after the second leg so you can afford to go all out to overturn the deficit.
Although you said League Cup wasn't a priority so difficult one to call.

As you see it's no longer a ten-day break now. But being so close to the Final (against Brentford?!?!?) it's very tempting to go all out for it!

Mark
15-02-16, 11:04 AM
Ouch! Just read Saturday's reports and thought, looking good being 9 points clear and then you go and lose to Derby! Here's hoping the key players come back soon to get you back on track for a busy spell of games.

samsami
15-02-16, 11:20 AM
Ouch! Just read Saturday's reports and thought, looking good being 9 points clear and then you go and lose to Derby! Here's hoping the key players come back soon to get you back on track for a busy spell of games.

Yes, and we need a world-class striker who scores about every game!

Redknapp69
15-02-16, 11:47 AM
Good to see some different scorers in the cup win

Vry bad day at the office v Derby and let's hope it's just that

Look a busy and tough set of fixtures coming up (I get a feeling of a banana skin or 2) and Juve in UEFA is a horrible draw :frusty:

samsami
15-02-16, 12:00 PM
Good to see some different scorers in the cup win

Vry bad day at the office v Derby and let's hope it's just that

Look a busy and tough set of fixtures coming up (I get a feeling of a banana skin or 2) and Juve in UEFA is a horrible draw :frusty:

Yes, so Everton looking to knock us out of the League Cup and Juventus probably too tough for us in the UEFA Cup, so that could be two trophies out of reach already. But you never know!

ebfatz
15-02-16, 11:15 PM
The away leg against Juve will be vital.
Keep them from scoring and you have a great chance.

Will need to bag some goals against Everton and feel you will have too much for Forest.

Interesting time coming up trying to juggle all of that though!

samsami
16-02-16, 08:32 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Saints struggle but win at St.James' Park

We had to play three important matches in just eight days! First of all, on Wednesday 7th February we played Newcastle United at St.James' Park.

http://s6.postimg.cc/u7hsfyixd/St_James_Park.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Both of our central defenders were banned for this match and Götze is out for a few more days with a twisted knee while Mané is still on international duty.

And our make-shift defence was immediately put to the test as Newcastle came out with an attacking formation and it did not look good for us when Wijnaldum scored an early opening goal!

We tried very hard to do get back into the game. Mitrovic moved into the penalty area and he blasted the ball towards the top corner, but he put it well over the bar. And a few minutes later he had another opportunity, but Cavalieri saved and deflected the ball clear. We were the better team now, but we did not score.

In the second half we brought on Romeu for Clasie and Tadic for Lallana and that helped! Tadic almost scored, but he was denied by the post. However, when Romeu came forward with the ball a few minutes later he found Ward-Prowse who passed the ball to Mitrovic in the area and this time Mitrovic did not fail but scored with a fierce strike!

We wanted more! Ward-Prowse almost scored when he was left unmarked and unleashed a volley at goal, but Cavalieri got across to tip it wide. But there was nothing the Newcastle gooalkeeper could do when Rodríguez won the aerial challenge against Smith-Brown and scored with a fine header!!

It was a huge relief to win this away match after the unexpected loss to Derby at St.Mary's four days ago!

http://s6.postimg.cc/5bocsgw9d/Newc.png (http://postimage.org/)

A decent team performance and three very important points for us!

http://s6.postimg.cc/r9g88ilw1/Newc_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/i6wcf8bip/Newc_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

And there was good news after the match when we heard that Chelsea had lost to Arsenal (1-0). Man Utd and Man City both won their matches, though.

Mitrovic scores again as Saints defeat Leeds

Three days later, on Saturday 10th February we had to play Leeds at Elland Road.

http://s6.postimg.cc/4nfi9ixjl/ellandroad4.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Van Dijk is back from his suspension, but Kongolo and Götze are still unavailable, at least for this match.

The match was decided in the 29th minute by Mitrovic's goal, but it was a very poor goal kick by Schmeichel which gave Mitrovic the chance to pick up the loose ball and score the deciding goal by rifling the ball in low with his right. An embarrassing moment for Schmeichel - and Leeds never recovered.

To make matters worse for Leeds, Drinkwater was sent off after Romeu fed the ball through to Lallana, who had his shirt pulled by Drinkwater. It was his second yellow card so he could take an early bath, and it was evident that Leeds never believed in their chances anymore.

http://s6.postimg.cc/z2tux7as1/Leeds.png (http://postimage.org/)

Not a particularly a good game but we are (barely) winning the easier games again, like we had been doing almost this whole remarkable season - with one or two exceptions.

http://s6.postimg.cc/ufnsvfnf5/Leeds_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/b31i2wn69/Leeds_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

And once again we were lucky as Man Utd lost to Chelsea at Old Trafford (0-1) while Man City lost at Derby County (2-1) so things could hardly go better for us right now! It's good that the big guns are aiming at each other right now!

http://s6.postimg.cc/vynse5jdd/Table27.png (http://postimage.org/)

So with an awful lot of luck - and without a goal machine - we are doing incredibly well in the League, but for now the focus has to be on Everton in the League Cup Semi-Final! After all, Saints have never won a trophy yet.

Saints lose at Goodison Park as well

Four days later, on Wednesday 14th February we played Everton in the League Cup Semi-Final 2nd Leg.

http://s6.postimg.cc/p8q5726oh/goodison_park_everton_1410625461.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Perhaps we thought we still had a chance but Everton played a fantastic match. In the 12th minute Lukako fired the ball in low and hard and it beat Forster but hit the post and went behind. We had one or two good chance as well and three minutes later Lallana hit the bar, but it was Barkley who scored with a header just before half-time!

In the second half we did what we could but it just was not enough.

http://s6.postimg.cc/6p79fnxox/Everton.png (http://postimage.org/)

We tried our best but Everton, and especially Barkley, were simply superb today!

http://s6.postimg.cc/uuckb47dd/Everton_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/x06v5matt/Everton_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

So no League Cup for us this season and we are still waiting for our very first trophy. But surely, the best is yet to come!

http://s6.postimg.cc/52mn86b0x/Fixt.png (http://postimage.org/)

Redknapp69
16-02-16, 08:54 AM
Disappointing to go out of League Cup and not score a goal in 2 legs

But your name seems to be on the trophy elsewhere which would be the ultimate fish to fry!

Good to see Mitrovic back on scoresheet

samsami
16-02-16, 08:58 AM
The away leg against Juve will be vital.
Keep them from scoring and you have a great chance.
Will need to bag some goals against Everton and feel you will have too much for Forest.
Interesting time coming up trying to juggle all of that though!

Easier said than done (prevent Juve from scoring) and after Everton I very much doubt we can do it. But for some reason we seem to have all the luck we need in the Premier League and that is more important now.

Mark
16-02-16, 10:12 AM
Unlucky in the return leg at Everton there, a game you should have got something out of.

Still, important wins in the league though and you look strong on that front.

samsami
17-02-16, 07:52 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Saints reach FA Cup Quarter Final

On Saturday 17th February, three days after we lost to Everton in the League Cup, we played Nottingham Forest at the City Ground in the FA Cup 5th Round.

http://s6.postimg.cc/r0npfpff5/FACup.png (http://postimage.org/)

No-one was injured or banned for this match, but we wanted to give Stekelenburg and Tadic game time so Forster and Lallana (who was not 100% fit) started on the bench.

Nottm Forest - currently in 2nd position in Division One - played a very decent game but we created several good scoring chances. It seemed just a matter of time before we would find the net, but it didn't happen in the first half. We still don't score all that easily.

In the second half we brought on Romeu for Clasie and Juanmi for Mitrovic. Initially that made very little difference. And so of course the inevitable happened again: Lárusson scored for Nottm Forest with just 15 minutes remaining!

But that goal seemed to trigger something and we bounced back and drew level as Rodríguez scored the equaliser just minutes after that opening goal. And it did not stop there. Three minutes later Juanmi also found the net!

So to our relief the game ended well without the need for a re-play. But it was certainly more difficult than we had anticipated.

http://s6.postimg.cc/7k2zt6kb5/Forest.png (http://postimage.org/)

It turned out to be a good decision to have Juanmi replace Mitrovic in the second half! Neither of them score easily but this time Juanmi delivered.

http://s6.postimg.cc/ed3cpgb4h/Forest_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/p2h1hpmxd/Forest_R.png (http://postimage.org/)


Saints defeat disappointing Arsenal

On Saturday 24th February it was Arsenal's turn to visit St.Mary's. The Gunners are currently in 10th position after having won the title last year! However, they are doing well in the Champions League and perhaps they made that their priority.

http://s6.postimg.cc/g01r261xt/Capture.png (http://postimage.org/)

Clasie has been struggling to find form lately so we had Romeu replace him with for this match with Clasie starting on the bench.

And we had a lightning start! After just five minutes Lallana scored the 100th League goal in his career! And we could easily have scored more goals, but when we failed to do so Arsenal began to take charge of the game and once or twice they came close to scoring the equaliser.

However, Arsenal has difficulty scoring goals this season and just before half-time, when Digne barged Rodríguez in the back, we were awarded a penalty! It was Ward-Prowse who stepped forward and sent Ceck the wrong way to score!

In the second half we felt we could bring on Wanyama and Tadic to replace Götze and Lallana but the first thing that happened was Walcott scoring for Arsenal! And suddenly we were not so sure what to do anymore.

Arsenal become stronger now and Ramsey had three shots on goal, Walcott had two, but they were frustrated time and again by Fraser Forster and our defence was as solid as ever, so eventually and without too much difficulty we won this match as well!

http://s6.postimg.cc/5pq5bfxap/Arsenal.png (http://postimage.org/)

We played well and deserved to win today, but Arsenal is certainly lacking striking power. They lost at home to Chelsea (0-4) in the FA Cup and away to CSKA (1-3) in the Champions League and they lost again today, for the third time in eight days.

http://s6.postimg.cc/tffl04vo1/Arsenal_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/ggdrx4axd/Arsenal_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

For some reason none of the big guns win consistently this year (or perhaps they all focus on the Champions League?) and so this could very well be our season and the League title could be the first ever trophy for Saints! In fact, it simply has to be!

Now next we will play two legs in the UEFA Cup against Juventus with another trip to Goodison Park sandwiched in between. And for some reason we expect to beat Everton this time around!

http://s6.postimg.cc/oofpi42tt/Table28.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/dfsc2ua8h/Fixtures.png (http://postimage.org/)

Mark
17-02-16, 12:35 PM
7 more wins and the title is yours! Come on, samsami!

Good work in the FA Cup too, took a while to get going but you got there in the end.

Good to see them midfielders chipping in with goals.

Redknapp69
17-02-16, 07:19 PM
2 great wins there :clap:

kuy
17-02-16, 10:50 PM
Flying in the league, surely your name is on the trophy!

samsami
18-02-16, 08:16 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Saints successful in Turin

A full week after defeating Arsenal we had to travel to Turin to play Juventus in the UEFA Cup 4th Round - and we achieved the result we had hardly dared to hope for!

http://s6.postimg.cc/i228gezwx/Results.png (http://postimage.org/)

The UEFA Cup is not an important trophy in Italy and to our surprise we faced a lacklustre Juventus. They tried to get men forward to support the attack, but they were rarely dangerous and they created precious few scoring opportunities.

We wanted to fight for it, but we did not dare to take any risks. Still, our counter-attacks were more dangerous than Juve's careful playing style. The best chance was for Götze who hit the ball low towards goal, but Buffon saved in style.

Soares also almost scored in the 87th minute when he rifled in a half-volley, but Buffon fisted the ball away. And so the disappointing match ended in a very positive goalless draw - at least that's how we feel about this result!

http://s6.postimg.cc/5h1rczz9t/Juve.png (http://postimage.org/)

Juventus had possibly underestimated us. In fact, we could even have won today if it had not been for 40-year old Gianluigi Buffon, who was named Man-of-the-Match!

http://s6.postimg.cc/5wd160l75/Juve_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/u2noh57bl/Juve_R.png (http://postimage.org/)


Everton hold Saints to a draw at Goodison Park

Three days later, on Sunday 4th March we had to play the team that has just recently eliminated us from the League Cup by defeating us 1-0 in both Semi-Final legs.

http://s6.postimg.cc/xed92c18x/31153_everton_f_c_wallpaper.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

This time we wanted to win! And we had no injured or banned players.

We were the better team this time but nothing much happened until seven minutes before half-time when Mitrovic hit the bar and the rebound fell to Ward-Prowse who hit it high and hard towards goal and scored!

That was a much-needed goal, but five minutes later it was already cancelled out by Ledson, who scored his first ever goal for Everton. But that was not all. Two minutes later Götze brought the ball forward smashed it in low and found the net!

So in the second half all we had to do is defend. Only that scenario changed after just two minutes when Forster clipped the feet of Lukaku in the area and a penalty was awarded. And of course, Lukaku made no mistake in scoring the penalty.

So it was a very intense second half with chances for both teams and the game could have gone either way, but there were no more goals. Everton played a fantastic game, like they always do against us, and even though Juanmi did well enough when he replaced Mitrovic, we failed to score that necessary third goal.

http://s6.postimg.cc/3qiqbihqp/Ever.png (http://postimage.org/)

We created enough chances, but for the third time this season we failed to defeat Everton, although this time at least we scored twice.

http://s6.postimg.cc/9owjlr0pd/Ever_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/8eyq6p6xd/Ever_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

Unfortunately Mitrovic has been banned for two English matches after collecting his tenth yellow card today, but our next match will be the return leg against Juventus at St.Mary's and who knows, perhaps our striker might just find the net then!

http://s6.postimg.cc/5c2lh2hch/Table29.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/g1bovl3rl/Fixtures.png (http://postimage.org/)

Redknapp69
18-02-16, 09:06 AM
Good away draw it could the lack of away goal be vital?

Buffon :frusty: :hail:

Crazy 10 mins in Everton match - seems like none of the chasing teams capitalised on your draw?

Not the easiest looking fixtures on paper coming up

samsami
18-02-16, 09:17 AM
Flying in the league, surely your name is on the trophy!

It must be! Even the draw did not hurt.



Crazy 10 mins in Everton match - seems like none of the chasing teams capitalised on your draw?
Not the easiest looking fixtures on paper coming up

Only Man Utd won. They beat Hull (1-0). Chelsea and City dropped points.

http://s6.postimg.org/f1cnrrqs1/Results.png (http://postimage.org/)

samsami
19-02-16, 08:56 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Juventus eliminate Saints from the UEFA Cup

On Thursday 8th March Juventus visited St.Mary's for the UEFA Cup 4th Round 2nd Leg and if our fans had thought that it would be easy after the goalless draw in Turin, or perhaps that Juve were not even interested in trying to win this match, they were in for a nasty surprise!

http://s6.postimg.cc/4atmju2j5/Results.png (http://postimage.org/)

We played well - both individually and as a team - and we were the better team in the first half, but just before the final whistle Zaza broke the offside trap and was clean through on goal, so he decided to strike the ball with fury and he scored!

We started the second half with Tadic and Van Dijk for Rodríguez and Bertrand, who had both received yellow cards in the first half. And again we played well and could perhaps have scored, only we needed two goals now. And that was asking too much. In fact, Juve countered and Zaza scored his second goal of the evening, this time with a great header.

We did eventually get our consolation goal when Tadic scored a penalty, but it was too little, too late.

http://s6.postimg.cc/bj5994f9t/Juve.png (http://postimage.org/)

We actually played remarkably well as a team, we fought for it and we created more chances than Juve did, but they scored more goals. And sometimes it is as simple as that in football.

http://s6.postimg.cc/85x0melox/Juve_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/nd8et0o5t/Juev_R.png (http://postimage.org/)


Saints advance to FA Cup Semi Final

And just two days later (some schedule!) we had to play West Bromwich Albion in the FA Cup Quarter Final. At least it was a home match for us.

http://s6.postimg.cc/iosextyz5/FAQF.png (http://postimage.org/)

Mitrovic is banned for two matches and Wanyama is injured for a few days. Juanmi was our striker for this match.

We scored a fantastic goal after just nine minutes! Van Beek lobbed the ball in the direction of Bertrand who nodded the ball right to Clasie. Clasie turned with the ball and lifted it towards Lallana in the area and Lallana headed the ball down for Rodríguez, who found himself with plenty of time to rifle in a half-volley and find the net!!

Our fans were hoping for more goals, but we finished the game in a sober and professional manner; we simply defended well and never gave West Brom a chance!

In the second half we brought on Tadic for Lallana and Van Dijk for Soares; and with thirty minutes to go we brought on Romeu for Clasie as well. It made little difference. One goal was enough to reach the Quarter Final!

http://s6.postimg.cc/6o6yx3rkh/Brom.png (http://postimage.org/)

A well-deserved and much-needed win. We outclassed West Brom and Van Beek was named Man-of-the-Match.

http://s6.postimg.cc/sjjk422xd/Brom_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/esjofl3dd/Brom_R.png (http://postimage.org/)


Saints get hammered at St.Mary's

After a nice long eight-day break we played our final match of the month on Sunday 18th March when West Ham visited St.Mary's.
http://s6.postimg.cc/9xukv1ufl/st_marys_stadium1632l.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

With all of our players fully rested and with only Mitrovic banned we thought we were ready for this match. And when Juanmi passed the ball into the area looking for Soares and Soares shot on the volley and scored his fifth goal of the season after just ten minutes, we prepared ourselves for a very pleasant afternoon!

In fact, even when Valencia cancelled out that opener some eight minutes later, few people were worried. That is, until the final minutes of the first half!

First Valencia scored his second goal after a great cross by Roberts and less than a minute later he completed his hat-trick after Mikel sent the ball into the area for Valencia to score with a fine header!

Fraser did not look good with those two goals so we brought on Stekelenburg to replace him. But our lads did not seem to believe in a good result anymore and in the 70th minute Williams took control of the loose ball and hit it high and hard towards goal to score West Ham's fourth goal of the afternoon!!

http://s6.postimg.cc/6vz77crwx/Ham.png (http://postimage.org/)

Four shots on target, four goals! What are the odds of that!?!

http://s6.postimg.cc/jm3fkfzv5/Ham_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/y94e23yhd/Ham_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

A horrible day for us, although many football fans are actually saying that with eight games to go the Premier League title race is getting interesting again!

We have a much-needed two-week international break now. On Sunday 1st of April we travel to Wales to play Swansea and after that we will be playing Chelsea twice with Man Utd sandwiched in between!

But we shall somehow have to recover from this horrible month of March first!

http://s6.postimg.cc/7iy3wvosx/Table30.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/8q7gbcpjl/Fixtures.png (http://postimage.org/)

Redknapp69
19-02-16, 12:32 PM
I thought the lack of away goal may haunt you v Juve :cry:

solid progression in FA Cup :ok:

Terrible day at the office in league - Forster has been amazing so due an off day and maybe better he has it now rather than agianst the "six pointer" games v Chelsea and Man U

Get through those 2 games without losing and title should be yours - otherwise it's squeaky bum time!

I fancy Swans to get at least a draw as well as they are chasing 4th CL place :cheer:

Mark
19-02-16, 12:38 PM
Oof, what has happened to the usually strong and reliable defence?! Juventus was unlucky but Forster lost the plot against West Ham, getting subbed at half-time will do wonders for his confidence :lol:

Massive games coming up now, this will decide your season. Good luck!

samsami
20-02-16, 08:41 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Saints continue to disappoint

On the 1st of April we travelled to Wales to play Swansea at the Liberty Stadium. Swansea are having a great season and they are currently in 5th position.

http://s6.postimg.cc/o5k9jp74h/liberty.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Bertrand is banned for two matches and Lallana has been out with a gashed leg since he was injured in England's 3-1 win over Russia. So Tadic replaced Lallana while Kongolo started as left defender.

Swansea came out with an attacking 4-5-1 formation. Their striker, Danny Ings, is topscorer in the Premier League with 18 goals in 30 League matches! In comparison, Mitrovic has only scored 7 goals in the 22 League matches he appeared in.

The first half was uneventful. That is to say, neither team created a decent scoring chance. The first thing of importance was that after half an hour Jordi Amat came off after picking up a knock. A little later Mitrovic was shown a yellow card when he caught Taylor with his elbow! In fact, Mitrovic was lucky there! And the very next minute Soares also received a yellow card for knocking Hughes to the floor! Other than that there was just one shot on goal by Tadic in the first 45 minutes.

In the second half we brought on Fonte for Soares with Van Beek moving to the right defender position. And within five minutes Götze almost scored with a fine header, but Marshall saved and held the ball.

When Fonte had also received a yellow card and Ward-Prowse had tried a long shot on goal, Mitrovic had the best chance of the afternoon when he advanced on the goalkeeper and fired in low and hard, but Marshall managed to fist the ball away and Taylor cleared it.

Rodríguez unsuccessfully attempted a header and Swansea finally had their first shot on goal when Ki Sung-Yong struck a freekick which took a deflection off the wall, but it was Mitrovic once more who could have scored with a header after Götze dribbled past Dawson and got the cross in from the right, only Marshall did well to save and hold onto the ball so that Mitrovic was denied a great goal.

Soon after that the final whistle was blown and we had dropped two precious points again.

http://s6.postimg.cc/6whkqblg1/Swansea.png (http://postimage.org/)

We were the slightly better team, but Swansea defended well and as was to be expected, David Marshall was superb and he was named Man-of-the-Match.

http://s6.postimg.cc/p8887gu35/Swansea_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/xwvdew9qp/Swansea_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

The nine-point gap between us and our competitors has shortened considerably as we dropped five points in our last two League matches. And we shall have to play Man Utd and Chelsea next!

http://s6.postimg.cc/6v7mwwjm9/Table31.png (http://postimage.org/)

Meanwhile, Brentford won the League Cup by defeating Everton in extra time at Wembley!!

http://s6.postimg.cc/p9i60vvwx/league.png (http://postimage.org/)


Also, no less than five Southampton players have been chosen in the English Players Premier Division Select for the 2017/18 season. Of course that is quite an honour, but some of our players are already wanted by big European clubs and the question is, can we keep them? Winning the title this year seems crucial if we want to keep our best players happy!

http://s6.postimg.cc/q2urti1xt/EPPDS.png (http://postimage.org/)


Chelsea eliminate Saints from FA Cup

On Sunday 8th April we played Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and it took only one goal for them to eliminate us from the FA Cup!

http://s6.postimg.cc/z1pfk9w7l/Semi.png (http://postimage.org/)

It seemed so simple. Oscar sent over a freekick. Madric passed back to Oscar. Oscar then sent the ball into the area for Kevin-Prince Boateng who got free in the penalty area and scored! And that was all Chelsea needed to win the match and to eliminate us from the FA Cup.

We tried our best and Götze, Wanyama and Juanmi produced a shot on goal each, but that is all we could manage against a superb Chelsea.

On the other hand, perhaps this FA Cup elimination will turn out to be a blessing in disguise for us. Man Utd and Chelsea both have a very demanding schedule and we can now fully concentrate on the Premier League!

http://s6.postimg.cc/cr1kkayxd/Chelsea.png (http://postimage.org/)

Chelsea was superb, we were mediocre with the exception of Forster and Clasie so the result was fair enough.

http://s6.postimg.cc/smqenlpht/Chelsea_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/fmj94wsb5/Chelsea_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

Next we shall have to play Man Utd at St.Mary's and after that it's Chelsea again at Stamford Bridge!

Redknapp69
20-02-16, 03:25 PM
Superkeepered at Swansea!

Great stuff that Bradford won the cup!

Good confidence booster that a few players named in team of the year

Interesting to see the table - not much in Top 3 goal difference which could be key - your games against these team are propoer 6 pointers!

Chelsea deffo the better team in Cup but you'll take that loss if you can win the league :pray:

Form is not great at the mo tho :drama:

samsami
20-02-16, 03:31 PM
Superkeepered at Swansea!
Great stuff that Brentford won the cup!
Good confidence booster that a few players named in team of the year
Interesting to see the table - not much in Top 3 goal difference which could be key - your games against these team are propoer 6 pointers!
Chelsea deffo the better team in Cup but you'll take that loss if you can win the league :pray:
Form is not great at the mo tho :drama:

You predicted that Swansea would at least get a draw and they did :)
You're right about the not-so-great form at the moment as well:

http://s6.postimg.org/cxy3pqij5/Form.png (http://postimage.org/)

So what is your prediction for the next two games vs Man Utd and Chelsea?

Redknapp69
20-02-16, 07:09 PM
Think 4 from 6 points and that will win you the league :ok:

samsami
21-02-16, 09:46 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Man Utd hold Saints to a draw...
...or did Saints hold Man Utd to a draw?

On Wednesday 11th April Man Utd visited St.Mary's for a crucial game in the race for the Premier League title.

http://s6.postimg.cc/5gowait01/board.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Lallana is still unavailable and this time Ward-Prowse played as right winger with Wanyama as central midfielder.

And after a strategic end-to-end tussle that showcased the strength and reliability of both teams' defences, the only two people who seemingly left St.Mary's disappointed after the goalless draw were both teams' managers. Neither of them were in celebratory mood after the final whistle. For Saints it would have been infinitely better if the gap had widened; for Man Utd on the other hand, it would have been considerably better if the gap had shortened.

The first half was uneventful. Both teams were afraid to concede an early goal. But after 20 minutes of careful play by both teams Man Utd started to attack a bit more and in the 35th minute Rooney looked odds-on to score - but Forster did brilliantly to turn the ball away!

The second half was a mirror image of the first half. There were two good scoring opportunities. First Wanyama smashed the ball in low, but de Gea managed to fist it away and Blind cleared the ball. Three minutes later Valencia tried his luck right-footed, but Forster got his fingertips to the ball. The corner was taken by Herrera and Smalling climbed above Bertrand but Kongolo deflected the header. The ball fell to James who attempted to hit it in low, but this time it was Götze who deflected the shot and Forster picked up the loose ball.

Neither team dared to attack all-out and the goalless draw was the inevitable result. Fans were divided as to whether this was a good result for Saints or a missed opportunity. Only time will tell...

http://s6.postimg.cc/c3bk3paoh/Man_Utd.png (http://postimage.org/)

The game was in balance with Forster being important again. Bertrand was named Man-of-the-Match.

http://s6.postimg.cc/4knthbtxt/Man_Utd_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/ae2gvmuz5/Man_Utd_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

What has happened to the comfortable nine-point gap we had just a few weeks ago? Are we going the same way as Man City earlier this season?

Also, it should be clear that we don't score enough goals. Even Watford has scored more goals than we have!

http://s6.postimg.cc/5e50nopch/Table32.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/6qmppkms1/Fixtures.png (http://postimage.org/)

So there are just six games left to play and the first one will be at Stamford Bridge and the last one will be at Anfield!

Redknapp69
21-02-16, 10:43 AM
3 games in 7 days isn't ideal. It could come down to how you do in those games

Next game is MASSIVE - it's a must not lose in my opinion

Draw would be ok but if so, form (and goals) have to improve after it

Tough last couple of games - so ideally need to be in a great position before then

And Man U and Chelsea now have better goal difference

samsami
21-02-16, 10:57 AM
3 games in 7 days isn't ideal. It could come down to how you do in those games
Next game is MASSIVE - it's a must not lose in my opinion
Draw would be ok but if so, form (and goals) have to improve after it
Tough last couple of games - so ideally need to be in a great position before then
And Man U and Chelsea now have better goal difference

All three of them away games :(
At least Man Utd and Chelsea have an even tougher schedule with Champions League matches to be played.

ebfatz
21-02-16, 11:57 PM
The league campaign is getting a lot closer than it really should have been.
The defence has lost it at the wrong time.

Brentford winning the cup is so very CM.

samsami
22-02-16, 08:49 AM
The league campaign is getting a lot closer than it really should have been.
The defence has lost it at the wrong time.

Brentford winning the cup is so very CM.

True, but at one point both Kongolo and Van Beek were banned. And I think our defence is back again!

samsami
22-02-16, 09:09 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Another goalless draw - Saints' trademark

Three days later, on Sunday 14th April we had to play Chelsea at Stamford Bridge again. And for the third time in a row - and the seventh time this football season - the match ended in a goalless draw!

http://s6.postimg.cc/seu1izgpd/image.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Chelsea started with a 4-5-1 formation with Diego Costa as their lone striker and with young Dorian Fratczak (20) as their goalkeeper. They needed him as Begovic, their regular goalkeeper, is out for five more months with a damaged spine. Obviously this could be disastrous for Chelsea in these final stages of the Premier League and the Champions League.

We started without Lallana, who is not quite fit yet; everyone else was available for this important match.

Chelsea set their stall out to attack and within seven minutes Kongolo had already received a yellow card for tackling Diego Costa. It was clear that our defence would be tested today!

Nevertheless, the first decent scoring chance was for Götze who attempted to hit the ball in low, but he put it just wide of the goal. A little later Wanyama played the ball towards Mitrovic who struck it with fury, but Fratczak managed to push the ball away.

The best chance in the first half was for Kevin-Prince Boateng. He came very close, but the ball struck the bottom of the post and went wide. On the other side, Mitrovic almost got lucky with a header but Fratczak got across to tip the ball wide.

And then, just before half-time Zouma upended Mitrovic and was sent off for a professional foul! At that point we realised that there was not reason why we should lose this match!

Now remarkably, Chelsea decided to start the second half with Diego Costa as central defender!

http://s6.postimg.cc/8qci8gvv5/Diego_Costa_DC.png (http://postimage.org/)

We brought on Romeu for Wanyama but we decided to not replace Kongolo although he had also received a yellow card. And we were the better team now, although even with ten men Chelsea remained very dangerous and it was Fŕbregas who almost scored when he jinked past Van Beek and attempted a curling shot, but Forster pushed it away and grabbed the loose ball!

With just over 20 minutes to go Chelsea finally brought on Cahil to replace Diego Costa. They seemed happy with the draw now. We wanted more and we made a double substitution and brought on Tadic for Rodríguez and Lallana for Ward-Prowse, but to no avail; and for the third time in a row our Premier League match ended in stalemate.

http://s6.postimg.cc/v4u6ooymp/Chelsea.png (http://postimage.org/)

Chelsea was the better team, at least individually their players are better than ours. But our defence was very solid again and Van Beek was named Man-of-the-Match. And of course, after Zouma was sent off we actually created quite a few chances but we never came really close to scoring.

http://s6.postimg.cc/f5bj552kx/Chelsea_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/jv627hiz5/Chelsea_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

And right after the match there was some good news from Manchester where Man Utd had just lost the derby with Man City. We could hardly have hoped for a better result!

So we seem to have weathered the storm now... Or have we?

http://s6.postimg.cc/pkmarsp5d/Table33.png (http://postimage.org/)

Incredibly, even though we are still the League leaders we have actually only won one game out of the last nine games we played, which was against West Brom in the FA Cup.

http://s6.postimg.cc/8u6boq1ch/Fixtures.png (http://postimage.org/)

Redknapp69
22-02-16, 09:16 AM
Maybe should have taken 3 points v 10 men but 2 draws us good enough IMO

Only worry is if form continues then surely you will get overtaken

So - somethings needs to change soon

Chelsea +4 on GD

West Brom trickiest out of next 3 games. Minimum 4 points needed but 6+ would be great

ebfatz
22-02-16, 09:30 AM
Just needed a goal. One solitary goal to take the pressure off.

Not to be. Makes for an interesting read!

samsami
22-02-16, 10:16 AM
Maybe should have taken 3 points v 10 men but 2 draws is good enough IMO
Only worry is if form continues then surely you will get overtaken
So - some things needs to change soon
Chelsea +4 on GD
West Brom trickiest out of next 3 games. Minimum 4 points needed but 6+ would be great

Yes, the form is the main problem. The last four matches we did not score!!! And of the last nine matches we only won one!!!

samsami
22-02-16, 10:18 AM
Just needed a goal. One solitary goal to take the pressure off.
Not to be. Makes for an interesting read!

Saints have never won a trophy yet.
And this third season we were also knocked out of the Champions League, the UEFA Cup, the League Cup and the FA Cup.
The title could make up for it but I don't know if we can win it!

Mark
22-02-16, 10:42 AM
Diego Costa at centre back :lol:

What a horror run of results. Not a lot of defeats but certainly a lot of dropped points in the draws. At least you didn't lose to Chelsea and Man Utd when you could well have been caught out.

Really hope you get the money to spend big on a striker in the Summer.

Hope the players aren't losing form/getting burnt out at such a key stage of the season.

samsami
22-02-16, 11:47 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/g0gga53yp/mol_weboftheyear_sport.png (http://postimage.org/)

Southampton, Chelsea or Manchester United?

Our reporters have their say on who will win the Premier League title

The title race is now between three sides with Man Utd and Chelsea trailing leaders Southampton.

With five games to go our reporters give their view.


LAURIE WHITWELL - SOUTHAMPTON
I'm sticking with Southampton. The draw with Chelsea will serve as added motivation to go again. The performance showed their quality and while Manchester United and Chelsea look genuinely threatening, their engagement with the Champions League will surely be a factor. Southampton's fixture list is not too kind but it is free of any other competitions.

CHRIS WHEELER - MANCHESTER UNITED
It's going to be close but Manchester United have got the strength in depth and mentality to end their wait for a title. Chelsea may be stronger in that regard but they have hit injuries at the worst possible time. Southampton have enjoyed a great season and have played some fantastic football, but I still believe they are destined to fall just short.

DOMINIC KING - CHELSEA
The heart wants Southampton to break the stranglehold the superpowers have on first place but the head says Chelsea. Without the red card they could have demoralised Southampton but they still have a great opportunity to win the title as Southampton have dropped points in eight of their last nine games.

CRAIG HOPE - MANCHESTER UNITED
I said Man Utd would win the title when asked a fortnight ago and (please believe me) have told friends since before Christmas that they are the most likely victors. My reasoning is simple - I think they have the best players and the best manager.

SAMI MOKBEL - CHELSEA
The draw with Southampton, particularly the manner of it, will work wonders for the belief levels at Stamford Bridge. Southampton have only won one of their last nine games and they have a tough schedule. They have to play Liverpool at Anfield in their final League match so I believe the title is there for the taking.

RIATH AL-SAMARRAI - MANCHESTER UNITED
They have a brilliant manager with a brilliant mind and a squad that fully buy into what he says. They already have proved themselves better and stronger mentally than Southampton and Chelsea have to play the FA Cup Final in addition to their European games. I think they'll do it.

SAM CUNNINGHAM - MANCHESTER UNITED
Southampton - however much the football romantics want them to win the Premier League - are likely to fall away in these latter stages of the competition. Every game they play is the highest pressure now and that has clearly been taking its toll lately. That leaves Chelsea and Manchester United. Chelsea have the best squad in the league, of that there is no doubt, but they are competing in three competitions so I believe Man Utd will grab the title.

kuy
22-02-16, 11:15 PM
I think you would have taken two draws beforehand - knocking two more matches off the list without your rivals gaining ground - but it's a shame that you couldn't take advantage of the red card. Need a win soon though! I reckon just one win and you'll spark back into life again :ok:

samsami
22-02-16, 11:23 PM
I think you would have taken two draws beforehand - knocking two more matches off the list without your rivals gaining ground - but it's a shame that you couldn't take advantage of the red card. Need a win soon though! I reckon just one win and you'll spark back into life again :ok:

You sound just like Laurie Whitwell :)

samsami
23-02-16, 08:54 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Saints finally win again!

On Wednesday 18th April we played AFC Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium.
Bournemouth are having a bad season and they can hardly avoid relegation this year.

http://s6.postimg.cc/w8s35vnf5/original.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

We had won our last Premier League game on 24th February so it was high time that we should win again. And we did! After four draws and the shocking loss to West Ham (1-4) we finally won a Premier League game again!

We started out with our best possible formation and we immediately created some good scoring chances. After just three minutes Ward-Prowse drove the ball towards goal and it went only just wide. A minute later Götze hit a ferocious right-footed strike, but Hamilton saved and held the ball. And in the sixth minute Rodríguez almost scored with a header, but the ball clipped the post and went wide!

Then, suddenly the scenario changed and it looked like we were heading for disaster when Bournemouth countered and Quigley scored the opener for them! Was this going to be yet another disappointment?

But we did not give up and it was Mitrovic of all people who received the ball from Lallana, came forward and brought the ball into the box and scored with a fierce strike! And before Bournemouth had a chance to recover, Rodríguez finished a superb team move to score our second goal of the afternoon!!

In the second half we continued where we had left off. Rodríguez attempted another header and once more the ball beat the keeper, but it hit the post and went behind. Three minutes later Mitrovic struck the ball with fury and scored his second goal of the day! Our fans could hardly believe their eyes!

So the three points were in the bag. In the dying seconds of the match we almost scored a fourth goal when Clasie tried a banana shot, but the ball struck the bottom of the post and went wide.

http://s6.postimg.cc/gr4l26gy9/Bourn.png (http://postimage.org/)

For a change we almost did not need our defence. We attacked with a vengeance and scored no less than three goals! Now Bournemouth may not be the strongest possible opponent, but this is very good for our players' morale. Or as one Premier League pundit said: Just one win and Saints could spark back into life again!

http://s6.postimg.cc/wa20zap8x/Bourn_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/su9wpqs0h/Bourn_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

Meanwhile, Chelsea and Man Utd both succeeded in advancing to the Champions League Semi-Final by defeating their German opponents. A remarkable feat, but it could actually be to our advantage as well...

Arsenal were less fortunate as they were eliminated from the Champions League by Paris Saint-Germain.

http://s6.postimg.cc/j76eg0z0x/CLQF.png (http://postimage.org/)

In just three days time, on Saturday 21st April we shall have to play Hull at the Kingston Communications Stadium. Chelsea will play Liverpool that day and Man Utd will play Preston.

Mark
23-02-16, 10:15 AM
CL participation for the other 2 may well be an advantage, let's hope so.

Good result at Bournemouth. No wins between 24th Feb to 18th April must have felt like a loooooooong time!

samsami
23-02-16, 12:36 PM
CL participation for the other 2 may well be an advantage, let's hope so.
Good result at Bournemouth. No wins between 24th Feb to 18th April must have felt like a loooooooong time!

You bet! It's amazing that we are still in the title race, though. As you know, a similar thing happened to Man City and they are in fourth place now and may even drop to fifth place.

Redknapp69
23-02-16, 01:38 PM
What a time for Mitrovic to come to the party!

1-0 down and players could have given up - credit to them for turning it around

HUGE win!

kuy
24-02-16, 01:10 AM
Big win, especially in a (relatively) local derby. Great to see Rodriguez back on the scoresheet too, he was on fire earlier this season!

samsami
24-02-16, 08:16 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Saints defeat Hull as well

Just three days after we defeated Bournemouth, on Saturday 21st April, we played Hull City at the Kingston Communications Stadium.

http://s6.postimg.cc/he835g381/355837_2.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Hull are having a somewhat disappointing season but at least they are safe from relegation so they can play freely.

We played a little bit more carefully than we did against Bournemouth, but we attacked with confidence and this time it was Götze who excelled. He scored his 10th goal of the season after just eighteen minutes when he advanced on the keeper and hit the ball in low! That opener was exactly what we needed and just before half-time Götze scored a second goal after a great one-two with Lallana!

Hull City were playing well though and willing to take risks and some of our players were getting tired, so with half an hour to go we brought on Wanyama, Tadic and Mané. And immediately after that triple-substitution Götze completed his hat-trick when he scored after a great solo in which he took the ball past Lenihan, Whittingham and Cook! When Götze is on fire, nobody can stop him!

And that third goal was actually needed as Hull never gave up and Zuculini scored a fantastic goal by smashing the ball in low and hard. And just four minutes later Hull should have scored again, but the post denied Chicharito!

After that chance the game petered out though, and so we won our second game in four days! Some of us at St.Mary's had forgotten how that felt!

http://s6.postimg.cc/bwaw3wimp/Hull.png (http://postimage.org/)

Based on the match stats Hull deserved more than what they got; but their manager was quick to point out after the match, when he was asked to evaluate the game: "They have Mario Götze!"

http://s6.postimg.cc/yz1f32k41/Hull_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/axuj1m5ap/Hull_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

And it was essential that we won again today, because Chelsea and Man Utd won their respective League matches as well.

Chelsea played extremely well as they defeated Liverpool (2-0) while Man Utd seemed tired but they still beat Preston (2-1) so neither team dropped points even though they had just played their European matches on Wednesday - both of them home games of course.

http://s6.postimg.cc/ynjyqb3o1/Table35.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/qe83bw9xt/Fixtures.png (http://postimage.org/)

While we will be playing West Brom at St.Mary's next week, Chelsea will have to visit White Hart Lane to play Spurs; never an easy game! Man Utd will be playing Cardiff City.

Mark
24-02-16, 11:07 AM
Just one more win needed as long as Cheslea and Man Utd drop points in their game in hand!

Nice performance from Mario!

samsami
24-02-16, 07:46 PM
Just one more win needed as long as Chelsea and Man Utd drop points in their game in hand!

Nice performance from Mario!

He's our hero! But will Chelsea and Man Utd drop points? If they don't we cannot afford to lose a single match!

Redknapp69
24-02-16, 08:30 PM
Not over yet but what a time for Gotze to announce himself!

Amazing individual performance!

You better hope you win it before playing Liverpool :)

samsami
24-02-16, 08:38 PM
Not over yet but what a time for Gotze to announce himself!

Amazing individual performance!

You better hope you win it before playing Liverpool :)

Somehow I knew you'd say that :wacko:

kuy
24-02-16, 10:41 PM
Yes Gotze! That little bit of top quality coming through at the right moment :ok:

samsami
25-02-16, 07:09 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Superb Saints defeat West Brom

On Sunday 29th April West Bromwich Albion visited St.Mary's and since we had just won our latest two away games our players' morale was high!

http://s6.postimg.cc/m91s3q1jl/original.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

We are fortunate that all of our squad players are currently fit and available and this time it was Mitrovic who delivered again! We started out positively when Clasie passed along the floor for Mitrovic to pick the ball up in the area and Mitrovic did not hesitate but scored with a fierce strike!

In the 17th minute West Brom should have been awarded a penalty when Kongolo went in hard on Rondón and played the man instead of the ball, but much to our relief the referee turned down the penalty appeal.

Ten minutes later history more or less repeated itself when Fletcher found Rondón with a low pass into the area and Rondón looked to take on Soares who slid through Rondón, but once more the referee refused to award a penalty, much to the frustration of the West Brom players! And one can hardly blame them.

Then, just before half-time Mitrovic scored again! Lallana floated the ball into the near post and all Mitrovic had to do was nod the ball home! A devastating cross by Lallana, who continues to show his value for the club even though he may not score all that many goals!

In the second half Götze also found the net, but it was ruled out. On the other side, Pocognoli attempted to hit the ball in low, but it hit the woodwork and bounced clear.

And so we seem to be back now where we have been most of this season, comfortably winning our games against the so-called weaker teams; although West Brom can hardly be called 'weak', of course.

http://s6.postimg.cc/4hq5p9m4x/Brom.png (http://postimage.org/)

A more than fantastic team performance and our third well-deserved win in a row!

http://s6.postimg.cc/um7gye0r5/Brom_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/fg1f7gaq9/Brom_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

As was to be expected, Man Utd defeated Cardiff (0-2) but remarkably, Chelsea also had little difficulty beating Spurs at White Hart Lane (1-3) so nothing really changed at the top of the table. It is becoming a very exciting title race! And the race is not to the swift, but to those who endure to the end. Man City have already found out how true those words are!

http://s6.postimg.cc/frivk7r69/Table36.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/kav45q91t/Fixtures.png (http://postimage.org/)

So it's Spurs next! And we shall have to beat them, because Chelsea will be playing Cardiff and Man Utd will play Watford. Neither of them are likely to drop points next weekend.

Redknapp69
25-02-16, 10:58 AM
Chelsea still have better GD than you with a game in hand but realistically they need to win all 3 games

Win the next match and I think that will be good enough

Good to see the big players cope with the pressure in past few games

Mark
25-02-16, 10:59 AM
An excellent team performance, hard to believe Mario is the let down with a 7 :D

samsami
25-02-16, 07:49 PM
An excellent team performance, hard to believe Mario is the let down with a 7 :D

Isn't that odd? Eight days after his hat-trick! But of course a seven is not bad :)

samsami
25-02-16, 08:16 PM
Chelsea still have better GD than you with a game in hand but realistically they need to win all 3 games
Win the next match and I think that will be good enough
Good to see the big players cope with the pressure in past few games

Will see. The goal difference could also be the decider. You never know. We should have scored more goals!

ebfatz
25-02-16, 10:27 PM
Mitrovic!


That is all!

:)

samsami
26-02-16, 07:20 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Title pressure reaches boiling point

On Saturday 5th May Tottenham Hotspur visited St.Mary's for what became a nerve-wracking encounter.

http://s6.postimg.cc/5gowait01/board.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

In a way this match became a confrontation between Götze and Lloris. Both players were invaluable for their club today!

But the first scoring opportunity was for Ward-Prowse, who had a go from a freekick. It was close, but the shot took a deflection of the wall and went just wide. And then, three minutes later Mitrovic collected the ball and hit it high and hard towards goal. Lloris did very well to parry it, but Götze was first to the rebound and scored the opener for us! The crowd was delighted!

Spurs did not give up, though. Less than five minutes later that opening goal was already cancelled out by Batshuayi who received the ball from Townsend and calmly scored the equaliser.

And it did not stop there, either. Just four minutes after Batshuayi's goal it was Townsend again who found Kane in the area this time. And Kane never hesitated but scored the second goal for Spurs with a fantastic strike which silenced the crowd! That is how fast it can go sometimes!

Forster did not look good with either of those two goals but we decided not to replace him at this crucial point in time. And it was Götze who took our lads by the hand and immediately found Ward-Prowse who almost scored, but Lloris did brilliantly to parry it!

Excitement mounted and it was Batshuayi again who moved in on goal and drove the ball in low, but Forster did well to turn the ball away! A few minutes later Götze blasted the ball towards the top corner, but it skimmed the top of the bar and went wide! And finally it was Kane's turn again. From the edge of the penalty box he hit the ball in low and hard, but Forster saved and deflected the ball clear!

The second half was less exciting, but we needed goals, or at least one goal, so we brought on Wanyama for Ward-Prowse and immediately it was Götze again who took on Alli and played the ball past him. Götze then ran up against the challenge of Fazio and played the ball past him as well. And as he continued his forward advance and brought the ball into the area he finally blasted it towards the top corner and scored an excellent strike!!

We quickly brought on Romeu for Clasie, hoping for that much-needed third goal which nearly came when Soares tried a fierce long shot, but Lloris managed to fist the ball away.

In injury time it was Spurs who almost scored when Kane hit a volley from way out but it was just off target! Götze then had one final chance as he played the ball past Dier and tried a long shot. He put some curve on the shot, but it was saved by Lloris who held the ball well and immediately the final whistle was blown.

http://s6.postimg.cc/ozfpennm9/Spurs.png (http://postimage.org/)

We played well enough, but so did Spurs and we just did not have that little bit of luck that is needed to win a crucial match like this one. Still, Götze was very important again.

http://s6.postimg.cc/tu9ecxlxt/Spurs_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/ku4ssqpu9/Spurs_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

As was to be expected, Chelsea had no problem defeating Cardiff (3-0) while Man Utd beat Watford (2-0) so the Premier League title pressure is about to reach boiling point!

http://s6.postimg.cc/l5m95i6a9/Table37.png (http://postimage.org/)

On Wednesday 16th May Chelsea and Man Utd are scheduled to play their game in hand.

http://s6.postimg.cc/gemdnhdg1/16_May.png (http://postimage.org/)

The final match day will be five days later, on Sunday 20th May!

Redknapp69
26-02-16, 08:36 AM
Wow - crazy stuff

Draw looks fair from your game

I thought you would lose the title with Liverpool beating you in a shock result . . . .

But. . .

. . . Now I think this is where Man City will enter the story again!

I do not see Chelsea winning away there so I think Man City can help hand you the title!

If you did lose at Anfield then Man Utd are not out if it if they win both games well and could get a better GD than you

So - I think Man U will win next game and Chelsea draw!

Good luck and hope the results go your way!

Mark
26-02-16, 10:33 AM
I think Man City can beat Chelsea but reckon it'll go to the last game between Man Utd and Southampton!

At least you didn't lose to Spurs so still just about have the advantage, although not in terms of goal difference.

Come on Leicester and Man City :ok:

ebfatz
26-02-16, 10:45 AM
Ooh.

So many different possible outcomes.

A lot of them in your favour though so a time for the players to step up.
90 minutes to create history.

samsami
26-02-16, 12:43 PM
Ooh.
So many different possible outcomes.
A lot of them in your favour though so a time for the players to step up.
90 minutes to create history.

That's the plan. Create history :)

samsami
26-02-16, 08:42 PM
I think Man City can beat Chelsea but reckon it'll go to the last game between Man Utd and Southampton!
At least you didn't lose to Spurs so still just about have the advantage, although not in terms of goal difference.
Come on Leicester and Man City :ok:

Yes if Leicester and especially Man City fail then the last match against Liverpool (I guess that's what you meant, too) will be the deciding match!

http://s6.postimg.org/qe83bw9xt/Fixtures.png (http://postimage.org/)

samsami
27-02-16, 09:05 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Chelsea and Man Utd reach Champions League Final

What a great English football night on Wednesday 9th May as Chelsea defeated Atlético in Madrid while Man Utd eliminated Paris Saint-Germain on penalties!

http://s6.postimg.cc/q2ztqm89d/CL_SF.png (http://postimage.org/)

So now our two rivals will meet in the Champions League Final on Wednesday 23rd May!

In Southampton the news was received with mixed feelings. There is only one question on everybody's mind right now. Will Chelsea and Man Utd be able to focus on the Premier League while they are getting ready for the Champions League Final? Or will they give some of their best players rest on Wednesday 16th May and on Sunday 20th May before the Champions League Final on Wednesday 23rd May?


Chelsea lose FA Cup Final

And three days later, on Saturday 12th May Sheffield Wednesday stunned English football to win the FA Cup Final by defeating Chelsea at Wembley!!

http://s6.postimg.cc/ikgohzgwh/FCCup_Final.png (http://postimage.org/)

Chelsea outplayed Sheffield Wednesday, but they were sloppy and failed to score any goals. Could this be the end of Chelsea's winning run? Or was this just a bad day at the office? Or is it possible that they have decided to focus entirely on the Champions League Final?

On the other hand, it seems hard to imagine that a club would not want to win the FA Cup Final at Wembley!

http://s6.postimg.cc/5k0sr6lw1/Final.png (http://postimage.org/)

And to think that in four days time Chelsea shall have to play their match in hand against Man City at the Etihad Stadium!

ebfatz
27-02-16, 10:27 AM
Some outrageous cup winners.
Brentford and now Sheffield Wednesday!

Mark
27-02-16, 11:40 AM
Keeping us in suspense...

samsami
27-02-16, 01:22 PM
Some outrageous cup winners.
Brentford and now Sheffield Wednesday!

Yes, and our two rivals in the Champions League Final and we might just finish the season empty-handed!


Keeping us in suspense...

And myself, too!

kuy
27-02-16, 03:57 PM
I'd rather be in your position, I'd say!

samsami
27-02-16, 09:13 PM
I'd rather be in your position, I'd say!

I would, too ;)

samsami
28-02-16, 07:59 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Man Utd and Chelsea stay in title race

We had expected Man Utd to win at Leicester, but few of us had thought that Chelsea would recover so quickly from the lost FA Cup Final and defeat Man City 0-3 at the Etihad Stadium!

http://s6.postimg.cc/uy35zr2a9/16th.png (http://postimage.org/)

So it does come down to the final match day after all!

Saints have never been this close to winning a trophy, and yet at the same time it seems so far away. After today's results we can no longer be sure of second place even!

http://s6.postimg.cc/4r1z3sk0h/Table37.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/ovvj99du9/Fixtures.png (http://postimage.org/)


Will Rodríguez move to Man City?

And in the middle of all this Man City made an exceptionally high offer for Jay Rodríguez, who is currently valued at just Ł7M.

http://s6.postimg.cc/u60i0jy35/Rodriguez.png (http://postimage.org/)

If we don't accept the offer Rodríguez will be frustrated at not being allowed to move clubs. He has already told us that much. And Ł12.75M is a lot of money!

So we have decided to delay our decision for a week or so, until after the final match day.

Redknapp69
28-02-16, 11:18 PM
I'd accept Rodriguez offer (or any players worth countering for?)

Good luck at fortress Anfield!

samsami
29-02-16, 07:29 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Saints fans celebrate after draw at Anfield

On Sunday 20th May we played our final game of the season at Anfield and although we did not go where we wanted to be, we went where we have never been before, so after the final whistle was blown many of our fans celebrated the direct Champions League qualification as if we had just won the title.

And why not? The English love a good loser and are known to make a triumph of a disaster.

http://s6.postimg.cc/91zh1pzkh/800px_Scott_s_party_at_the_South_Pole.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

But if truth be told, our lads felt bitterly disappointed. Defeated at the very last moment after an epic journey that did not bring them the success they had longed for. They had failed to create history!

Why did we fail?

With Kongolo suspended for this game it was Virgil van Dijk who replaced him at Anfield. Other than that we started with our best possible formation. So why was it not enough today?

Liverpool started positively, but the first chance was for Bertrand who attempted to hit the ball in low. Mignolet pushed it away though, and Skrtel took control of the loose ball.

Mitrovic was next to smash the ball in low, but Mignolet did brilliantly to save and hold onto the ball. And when Rodríguez blasted the ball towards the top corner it was once more Mignolet who fisted the ball away!

After twenty minutes Mignolet was very lucky though, when he clipped the feet of Clasie in the area and the referee turned down our penalty appeal.

And so we created plenty of scoring chances but even so it was Sturridge who scored the opener for Liverpool when he was left unmarked for a moment by our defenders and so we had to score two goals now.

But then, just before half-time Clasie dribbled past Coutinho and scored with a fierce shot! So it was still possible!

In the second half Götze almost immediately tested Mignolet who made a fingertip save to divert the ball wide. And the next minute Özil and Fernando both had to go off injured!

We tried everything now. Mitrovic attempted a volley, but it went over the bar. Götze tried a long shot, but Mignolet fisted the ball away. Lallana hit a crashing drive from a distance, but the ball went clear over the bar. Wanyama smashed the ball in low and he was close, but it went just wide. And when Lallana was left unmarked he smashed the ball towards the top corner, but it skimmed the top of the bar and went over.

And then the final whistle was blown and it was all over. Chelsea had defeated Preston (0-3) as we knew they would, so they had won the Premier League. Man Utd had defeated Newcastle (0-2) but at least we had stayed one point ahead of them.

http://s6.postimg.cc/wg2uzws41/Liv.png (http://postimage.org/)

We were the better team, we created five times as many chances as Liverpool, but we only scored the one goal.

http://s6.postimg.cc/8mjluyo9d/Liv_S.png (http://postimage.org/)

http://s6.postimg.cc/wesx6hqa9/Liv_R.png (http://postimage.org/)

So the draw is enough for direct Champions League qualification and many of our fans recognise that; for the first time in history Saints are the runners up in the Premier League which is a triumph that should be celebrated - not a disaster that should be mourned!

http://s6.postimg.cc/7bbumhsnl/Table38.png (http://postimage.org/)

Of course the fact remains that we don't score enough goals so that even after these past three good years, in May 2018 Southampton FC are still waiting to win their first ever trophy...

http://s6.postimg.cc/aw7q5px75/Landmarks.png (http://postimage.org/)

Redknapp69
29-02-16, 11:26 AM
Gutted

Did enough for the win but that lack of a clinical striker hits home harder than it ever done in this game - must be number 1 priority if the summer

3 bigLiverpool injuries prob changed the game as well

Great stuff getting 2nd - continued progression and direct CL quals.
IMO - it's just a couple of additions in the attacking sense you need for the next step (Defence and GK are great)

However, it must be acknowledged that you completely threw it away - so maybe they are not there mentally there

From the lead you had, you really should never have lost the league but I guess you have to think of the bigger picture and see it as a season of progression and valuable experience

Good luck in the summer haggling!

Mark
29-02-16, 11:49 AM
Bloody Liverpool!!! Definitely goals that cost you in the end, gutted. Also that poor run a couple of months ago cost you such a healthy lead at the top too.

I'm with Redders, Ł12M must be too good to turn down for Rodriguez when you can put the cash towards a top quality striker.

samsami
29-02-16, 01:57 PM
Gutted! Did enough for the win but that lack of a clinical striker hits home harder than it ever done in this game - must be number 1 priority if the summer

It's hard to get one. And why on earth is Danny Ings the Premier League top scorer and called a 'goal machine'? His value is 17.7M. That seems way too much. But he does deliver for Swansea!


Bloody Liverpool!!! Definitely goals that cost you in the end, gutted. Also that poor run a couple of months ago cost you such a healthy lead at the top too.
I'm with Redders, Ł12M must be too good to turn down for Rodriguez when you can put the cash towards a top quality striker.

The money is not a problem, but all the strikers we want do not want to join Saints. Perhaps because we did not win the title? With Spurs it was so easy to get Suárez and Lewandowski! So it's a real challenge to be successful with Saints!

Včrkűh
29-02-16, 02:05 PM
Cruel last match...

ebfatz
29-02-16, 10:38 PM
Well done on securing third. Or thanks to Chelsea for getting you there more like.

Seem to be mirroring your time at Spurs. Improving on position by 1 place each year.

2nd next season??

My post from this time last season.
I think we all know what will happen next season.

Redknapp69
29-02-16, 11:30 PM
Ings does rather well in the update :ok:

samsami
01-03-16, 09:25 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Looking back at three seasons with Saints

We have made some good progress, but although we were marginally better than last year, thanks to our exceptionally strong midfield and our excellent central defenders, we actually scored fewer goals this year than we did the previous year!

http://s6.postimg.cc/l7k2ydowh/Three_Seasons.png (http://postimage.org/)

So no trophies yet...

http://s6.postimg.cc/aw7q5px75/Landmarks.png (http://postimage.org/)

Players stats seem to indicate that we need a striker who scores more goals. Right now we depend on our midfielders (Rodríguez, Götze, Ward-Prowse and Lallana) for the majority of our goals.

If we had a striker who scores ten more goals than Mitrovic does, we should win the title next year. The problem is that world-class players like Suarez and Lewandowski, but also strikers like Carlos Bacca and Harry Kane are not interested in joining Saints! We don't seem to be the kind of club strikers are attracted to.

http://s6.postimg.cc/3wy9k3mmp/Stats.png (http://postimage.org/)

Mitrovic is still improving though, so we are tempted to not give up on him - yet.

Meanwhile, Man Utd defeated Chelsea in the Champions League Final. So they both won an important prize this season.

http://s6.postimg.cc/v1o97w9xt/Final_Game.png (http://postimage.org/)

Mark
01-03-16, 10:17 AM
Definitely need a top class striker. Let's hope that being in CL helps give you some pull in attracting one. Mitrovic will probably be a great foil for that class striker.

Looking good everywhere else though although Mane looks very disappointing. Did you sign Stekelenburg on a permanent deal as wasn't he on loan originally?

samsami
01-03-16, 10:24 AM
Definitely need a top class striker. Let's hope that being in CL helps give you some pull in attracting one. Mitrovic will probably be a great foil for that class striker.

Looking good everywhere else though although Mane looks very disappointing. Did you sign Stekelenburg on a permanent deal as wasn't he on loan originally?

Yes, we signed him at the time when Forster was still injured.

kuy
01-03-16, 10:32 AM
Gutted, but overall second place and CL qualification is a great achievement!


The money is not a problem, but all the strikers we want do not want to join Saints. Perhaps because we did not win the title? With Spurs it was so easy to get Suárez and Lewandowski! So it's a real challenge to be successful with Saints!

If money's no problem then I'd keep Rodriguez, he gets most of your assists and a fair few goals too. I have a feeling that it sometimes takes a while for the club's reputation to be 'updated' after winning a trophy or the season finishing (maybe one of the other posters who knows more about how the game works has an idea?), so maybe look at what strikers are interested later on in the summer, say July, after the game has updated?

samsami
01-03-16, 10:37 AM
My post from this time last season.
I think we all know what will happen next season.

So you were right after all. I tried hard enough to prove you wrong, though!

Redknapp69
01-03-16, 09:08 PM
I find you can attrract more players BEFORE the summer update - i.e your stock is high after you win a league or CL but then after the update sometimes I find less players interested

Depends how much cash you have though as a lot more comes in after the update

- - - Updated - - -

I find you can attrract more players BEFORE the summer update - i.e your stock is high after you win a league or CL but then after the update sometimes I find less players interested

Depends how much cash you have though as a lot more comes in after the update

samsami
01-03-16, 10:41 PM
I find you can attrract more players BEFORE the summer update - i.e your stock is high after you win a league or CL but then after the update sometimes I find less players interested

Depends how much cash you have though as a lot more comes in after the update

Whatever it is, Saints does not attract world-class strikers like Spurs did! So this is clearly a bigger challenge. With Spurs we ended with Lewandowski and Suárez as striker pair :)

samsami
02-03-16, 07:25 AM
http://s6.postimg.cc/63sfvdfpt/banner.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Goretzka signs with Saints

After our third season the Board made the remarkable decision to expand the Stadium by yet another 5,300 seats. This will expand St.Mary's to a 54,000 all-seater Stadium with under-soil heating!

http://s6.postimg.cc/3pxlkaukx/Stadium.png (http://postimage.org/)

And mid-July it was officially announced that a delighted Leon Goretzka had agreed terms with Southampton!

http://s6.postimg.cc/3tmtmtaoh/Goretzka.png (http://postimage.org/)

Fans had been hoping that we would sign a world-class striker, but this news was also very welcome! Goretzka is widely regarded as one of Schalke 04's most promising players.

http://s6.postimg.cc/wxb1j1ys1/Goretzka_Fans.png (http://postimage.org/)

Goretzka is a highly talented and technically gifted player who can shine in any position on the midfield.

http://s6.postimg.cc/uh9857gpd/Goretzka_Stats.png (http://postimage.org/)

One reason why Goretzka is needed is that Mané has decided to leave Saints and join Cardiff City.

And talking about transfers, Matt Targett has also left Saints. He did not get much game time because Bertrand is doing so well, so our left defender decided to join Watford who paid a more than decent transfer fee for him!

http://s6.postimg.cc/7ddcqd2s1/Out_July.png (http://postimage.org/)

Redknapp69
02-03-16, 08:33 AM
Seems a low price for Mane?

Who is backup LB? Kongolo if needs be?

Goretska is a great signing - but I would have thought the main aim would be a top striker

Maybe you can play 4-6-0 next season!