Southampton FC 3 Leeds United 1 – Lacking a game plan. Leeds United were undone by three goals in the first 35 minutes by a revived Southampton FC team that had a plan to press Leeds and had the pace to get round the back of Leeds to score. Leeds never really recovered with Southampton wining many of the one-on-one battles on the pitch.
After the Watford FC win Kamara has earned his second start over Gray. Rodon didn’t get a start after his suspension last week. Bamford had his first appearance this season but, as with sub Anthony, was unable to impact the match.
Too many time Leeds United players didn’t click with balls going astray. The lack of shots on target shows how Southampton FC heavily defended their lead in the second half. Other than Ampadu this was not the same team that showed up against Watford FC.
Leeds have a mixed record against Southampton FC and this defeat came on the back of Leeds in good form and Southampton FC in poor form. Maybe Leeds under estimated Southampton FC but there are still Premier League players in their team.
Rutter was muscled out of the match spending a lot of time on the floor instead of linking up with Piroe Piroe had one of his anonymous games fluffing the rare opportunities he had. James was penetrating with his pace but Southampton cleared their defence well. Shackleton and Kamara were busy but they couldn’t breach the Southampton defensive wall.
So this was the end of Meslier’s clean sheet. To be fair to him Byram had a torrid game and left Meslier exposed. Whilst Southampton, at times, positively passed their way forward and found their way past Byram, Leeds lacked ideas how to pass from the back and kept losing possession. Farke will look back at the match and how his players failed to get many shots on goal. In fact Piroe was wasteful in front of goal.
The problems were there from the start as Southampton scored within two minutes. This was an uncharacteristic poor defensive play by Leeds with Byram outplayed by Armstrong. Leeds took a quarter of an hour before they had a shot on goal but, as Southampton scored two more goals, Leeds never had many more opportunities.
The second Southampton goal was decidedly controversial, as Smallbone, already on a yellow card hacked down Summville in his own half – a clear yellow card which did not come. Smallbone then went on to score Southampton’s second goal, with the Leeds defence leaving him unguarded. We did miss Rodon for his positioning.
Byram’s woes were on show for the third goal as Armstrong’s dribbling left him on the floor before he scored. Despite a mini-revival in the second half Leeds were left frustrated, failng to show that fluidity from the Watford match. The persistent fouling the referee allowed certainly contributed to this.
The one consolation in the second was a scrappy goal from a corner. Failing to clear their lines Struijk turned and flicked the ball through six players. Struijk looks to be our top scorer so far this season.
Man of the match: Ampadu – the only player who maintained any consistency.