Our report of the early kick-off at St Mary’s gets our review of Sunday’s football underway, with Scout Notes on the day’s other matches to follow on Monday.
SOUTHAMPTON 3-2 BURNLEY
- Goals: Stuart Armstrong (£5.5m), Danny Ings (£8.4m), Nathan Redmond (£6.4m) | Chris Wood (£6.2m), Matej Vydra (£4.8m)
- Assists: Ings, Redmond, Theo Walcott (£5.8m) | Erik Pieters (£4.3m), Wood
- Bonus: Redmond x3, Ings x2, Wood x1
Ings and roundabouts
Danny Ings (£8.4m) made a blistering return to Premier League action following an injury that sidelined him in Double Gameweek 27.
Having conceded twice to Burnley inside 30 minutes, Ings’ flicked assist for Stuart Armstrong (£5.5m) saw Southampton halve the deficit.
The striker then capitalised on Ben Mee‘s (£4.9m) failure to clear a faint Nathan Redmond (£6.4m) flick-on to charge through on goal, coolly slotting past Nick Pope (£5.5m) from a tight angle.
“It was a nice goal. I was pressing Ben Mee, he was caught off balance and I managed to steal the ball and have the composure to put it through Pope’s legs.
“Every player wants to play every week and this season’s been interrupted for a lot of people but to be back out there today, I enjoyed it.” – Danny Ings
Two attacking returns matched what he had done in his previous 13 outings, so it remains to be seen if this marks the start of a purple patch or is merely a false dawn.
Shoot on sight
Southampton totalled 24 shots against the Clarets, with Sean Dyche’s side very susceptible to counter-attacks – particularly in the second half.
“A difficult start for us, and normally an opponent that is not helpful if you go two down.
“I’m very happy to see things we were working on over the last two weeks – our decision-making in the final third was fantastic.
“We could have scored five or six or more goals against a team that doesn’t normally give you many chances.” – Ralph Hasenhuttl
Ings was involved again in the Saints’ third, with his shot from the edge of the box palmed by Pope into the path of Theo Walcott (£5.8m).
His cross to the back post set up the out-of-position Redmond – who was playing up top again after a starring role in the FA Cup a fortnight ago – for a thunderous volley to put Southampton ahead for the first time in the match after 66 minutes.
On Burnley’s issues in defence, centre-back James Tarkowski reckoned:
It’s very unlike us, that. Our record of going ahead and getting a win or at least a draw is one of the best in the league, so to go 2-0 up, very comfortable, it was mental sloppiness from everyone really.
There was a minor mistake from Ben, which never happens, then it’s back to 2-2 and it could be anyone’s. Overall very disappointed to concede three goals, that’s very unlike us.
We’ve been in a good place recently. To go 2-0 up and be cruising and then lose the game, very disappointed. But we’ll bounce back. We can’t be naive enough in this league to think the game is over when we’re 2-0 up. These are very good sides with great players. It’s not something we’ve done very often but we’ll move on.
It’s now just four clean sheets in the last 18 matches for the Clarets, which is uncharacteristic of a defence that we have come to rely on for shut-outs over the past few years.
Chris Wood (£6.2m) also bagged two attacking returns at St. Mary’s, courtesy of a penalty and a headed flick-on for a Matej Vydra (£4.8m) strike.
That made it four attacking returns in three outings for the Kiwi, while his cut-price Czech strike partner himself has two goals and an assist in his last four appearances.
Vydra, the cheapest starting forward of Gameweek 30, is certainly establishing himself as a budget strike option for Fantasy managers who are playing a midfield five to consider.
Wood caused Southampton’s defence plenty of problems, though he let the Saints off the hook late on when heading a ball straight at Fraser Forster (£4.0m) from yards out.
Hasenhuttl rolls Dyche
It was only a second win in 13 matches for Southampton, whose lack of form has left their assets on the Fantasy scrapheap.
Hasenhuttl said after full-time:
It was a deserved win. We tried to keep the tempo very high and stretch them all the time and it worked. We have belief in what we are doing and I think you grab the chance when you get it.
It was important to make the equaliser before half-time. Then you are in a better position mentally to keep on going. I don’t know a lot of teams who turned it aournd like we did, so it’s a massive boost.
It was a six-pointer today. To turn the tables around is amazing for us and I think the guys did a good job today.
Southampton are still unlikely to be on the FPL transfer radar ahead of Gameweek 31, considering the Saints blank in Gameweek 33.
Fraser Forster (£4.0m), however, could be a viable back-up goalkeeping option for those using their Wildcard ahead of Gameweek 31 – this was his fifth start in the last six games in all competitions for the south coast side.
Hasenhuttl’s team also have a yet-to-be arranged fixture against Crystal Palace to play before the end of the season.
Southampton XI (4-2-2-2): Forster; Bertrand, Vestergaard, Bednarek, Walker-Peters; Ward-Prowse, Diallo; Walcott (Djenepo 86′) , Armstrong (Salisu 78′); Ings (Adams 85′), Redmond.
Burnley XI (4-4-2): Pope; Pieters (Taylor 32′), Mee, Tarkowski, Lowton; McNeil, Westwood, Brownhill, Gudmundsson (Richardson 89′); Wood, Vydra (Rodriguez 77′).
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