Monday, 2 November 2015

Saints were excellent first half

Eddie Howe could not hide his disappointment at the Cherries' efforts in the first half of the match with Southampton. He was desperate to get them in at half time to sort things out. Did Eddie get the line up wrong or were Southampton just too hot to handle?

It may well have been a bit of both. The Cherries were mindful of their recent experiences in the league and something had to be done to protect the goal difference which has taken a hammering in the last two Premier League games. When AFCB played away at Liverpool in the cup they had been able to support Murray and take attacks forward, but against the Saints it was very hard for Murray to get involved at all in the first half. The Cherries were pinned in their own half as Matt Ritchie explained after the match. They just couldn't get out and there was not a lot that went right in that first 45 minutes, which were summed up for the Cherries by the free kick routine they had outside the Saint's box, and was easily read with Matt Ritchie not able to get a shot off at all.
The Cherries ran into a head wind at St Mary's first half
but they'll look to start better against Newcastle.
The Cherries were far from being in disarray though. The defenders, all 11 of them for most of the time were holding station and yet the only surprise was that the Saint's had still not scored with half an hour gone. Eddie Howe will have to look at why the five-man midfield could not pass it's way out and into the saint's half and whether there was simply no out ball. Pugh and Ritchie were not able to bring much width to the Cherries game and Murray was isolated.

For all the difficulties that the Cherries might have had in pushing forward, I have to praise the Saint's for their attacks that were full of movement and vision. Once they could get Saido Mane on the ball they always seemed to have a man spare running into the box, and with Graziano Pelle making things difficult for Distin, there were plenty of chances for Davis and Wanyama to look out for.

I don't see why AFCB should consider themselves unlucky with the result, but with the Saint's playing well and two-nil up by half time, it was hard to see anything other than a big win for Southampton. AFCB simply did not not get a good start in the game or a create a foothold and it cost them. 

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