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Saints V MK Dons The Verdict
Wednesday, 23rd Sep 2015 21:41

Saints finally found their goal scoring touch to give Ronald Koeman a few selection headaches on Saturday.

The tie was almost as good as over before it had really begun with Jay Rodrigues scoring after only 5 minutes followed by Sadio Mane doubling the lead on 10, when Mane got his second after 25 minutes there was only going to be one team going through to the next round and the half time statistics although even on possession were heavily stacked in Saints favour when it came to shots , something in the region of 15 attempts with the home side way behind with 2.

But if the MK Dons manager had been reminding his team of Tranmere's comeback in 2001 from a 3-0 deficit at home to Saints, he was to be disappointed in their response with Jay Rodriguez hitting his second from the spot shortly after the break.

Ryan Bertrand was brought on afterwards for his first competive match in nearly five months.

That just about finsished the home side off and it was damage limitation from then on, ex Saint Ben Reeves coming off the bench.

But he was not to do too much good as Shane Long came off the Saints bench and hit a brace in the 68th and 75th minute to make it six.

There was even an appearance from Gaston Ramirez as with the game won Ronald Koeman elected to keep Wanyama, James Ward Prowse and Dusan Tadic rested for Saturday although Yoshida made an appearance with ten minutes left to give Virgil Van Dijk a game.

Saints though with the game won concentrated on making sure that they did not pick up injuries and bookings etc in the final part of the game rather than going gung ho, although Jay Rodriguez missed a late header for his hat trick in the final minute of normal time.

So a 6-0 win for Saints and the likes of Shane Long who scored two as well as an assist to his name and Jay Rodriguez who looked back to his old self will be pushing for places in the starting line up against Swansea on Saturday.

Overall though a good work out for the side and hopefully it has done the two things I hoped it would pre game, enabled us to find our scoring touch again and that can kick start our slow start to the season.

Photo: Action Images



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saintstuinoz added 03:12 - Sep 24
Great result and a really good home draw. Interesting that Gaston got a game, I'd like to see him given a chance to be honest. How did he do?
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PezzaSaint added 07:41 - Sep 24
Really positive performance, an intensity to our play, high pressing didn't let MK Dons settle and it was continued throughout the game. Line up gave us a lot of attacking options, but midfield would be to light against a better team. Only negative for me was at times Juanmi and Cedric. Ronald needs to get them down the gym, they were pushed off the ball to easily and I can understand Ron's concerns about Cedric in the Man Utd game. Overall though really pleased with what I saw last night.
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Chesham_Saint added 08:18 - Sep 24
Gaston did ok. Including making a lovely chipped pass to beat the off side trap for our (I think) fifth goal.
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les5tar added 10:46 - Sep 24
Gaston played well considering the lack of match time. Would be nice to see him have a run in the team. JayRod was looking sharp as was Shane. Surprised we didn't play HArrison Reed. Agree that Juanmi needs to bulk up a bit - too easily robbed of the ball - Cedric looked Ok - Well done the team - Who needs TalkChav radio when we have Radio Solent!
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GeordieSaint added 11:17 - Sep 24
Where is Harrison Reed? Does anybody know? I had high hopes for him to step into the Morgan shaped void this year but he seems to have disappeared.
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TimSaint added 15:32 - Sep 24
Shane Long started the game and played for the full 90 mins, so could not have come off the bench to score a brace. Therefore we made just the 3 subs - and not the 4 you mentioned above !! :o)

Honestly though, the opposition was not up to much, after we blitzed them with 2 goals in the first 10 mins. It was good to see J Rod almost back to his best and the pace of Mane frightening their defence. Romeu and Davis ran the show and everyone seemed to want to score.
Cedric looked better going forward than defending. Targett almost looked relieved that Bertrand had finally made his come back. VVD can take a free kick and may be an option instead of Prowsey.
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