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Watford 1 v 3 Southampton
Barclays Premier League
Sunday, 28th June 2020 Kick-off 16:30
Saints At Watford The Verdict
Sunday, 28th Jun 2020 21:23

Saints once again won away to hit the 40 point mark for the first time in three years as Ralph Hasenhuttl rung the changes and freshened up things which ended in a comprehensive win.

The first shock of the day was that Pierre Emile Hojbjerg was not in the squad, an ankle injury being given as the reason and he was replaced by Oriol Romeu, but that was not the only change Shane Long came in for Obafemi, Will Smallbone for Stuart Armstrong and Jannik Vestergaard for Jack Stephens.

Saints looked a different side in terms of both confidence and attitude and the only time they really threatened was in a 10 minute spell after the break, but by then Saints were well in control and handled things well.

It took only 16 minutes to take the lead when Danny Ings took Will Smallbone's pass and ran across the edge of the box before firing the ball low and hard into the bottom corner, from then on Saints looked well in control with Oriol Romeu looking strong and James Ward Prowse leading by example, Danny Ings was at the heart of everything going forward.

Saints survived Watford's early bluster in the second half and then doubled their leas with 20 minutes to go, Danny Ings cutting out a throw out from the keeper 40 yards out, bursting forward and firing home on 70 minutes.

But the home side pulled a goal back out of nothing on 79 minutes when Jan Bednarek turned in a cross, in truth he had to try and block and he could not be blamed.

But if both sets of supporters thought this might change the game they were wrong, James Ward Prowse firing in a great free kick 3 minutes later to leave the keeper stranded.

The lead could have been extended with Nathan Redmond hitting a post and Che Adams coming close to opening his account in an impressive 15 minute late cameo, he did everything right winning the ball surging forward and hit his shot low and hard, it seemed to have beaten Foster but his the underside of his body and squirmed wide. Adams will be a Premier League player, in 15 minutes he did more than Obafemi in two games, he just needs a goal.

As the commentator on Sky said every Saints player was at least 8/10, but Danny Ings was a different class

It was a good performance with everyone doing their job, indeed Bednarek's OG was the only effort Watford had on target not managing one of their own.

As I said in the preview some games we will get away with it and some we won't, this was one with few errors in, but ultimately it leaves us thinking what if, we could easily have been n the top 10 if it wasn't for the continual errors.

I am not sure whether Pierre Emile Hojbjeg has an injury, but Ralph Hasenhuttl has not been afraid to tweak things, Romeu's performance was better than anything the Dane has put in of late, perhaps by selling Hojbjerg and keeping Romeu we might bring in some cash and replace Hojbjerg from within.

Photo: Action Images

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Saintsforeverj added 22:06 - Jun 28
Just shows that we don't need hojbjerg and totally agree about Adams. To me he looks ready to be a top player for us. He just needs that goal to get him going. I really hope he gets a chance to shine. It would be a big mistake to sell him.

All in all, a really feel good win from a young and got Saints team.

Farlow added 22:17 - Jun 28
Che Adams showed more in 15 minutes than Shane Long did in a game and a half.
Ralph you must give the boy a chance.

schatfield added 22:33 - Jun 28
Top display by the saints. Special mention to Smallbone and Jannick too. Che played well as did Long. In fact whole team did. Wonder how the city game will play out now they have lost a bit of interest in the league itself.

saintnige added 22:47 - Jun 28
Only watched it on the box but I have to say that was the best I have seen Vestergaard play - he played Deeney out of the game - and especial worry given our tendency to give in to bullying so frequently. I'm not sure Deeney got a touch all game. Walker-Peters also looked very accomplished at right back - good in the attacking play and actually turning up for defensive duties (unlike Valery). Great team display - really lifting the spirits after the Arsenal game.

davidargyll added 22:52 - Jun 28
It really was such a delight to see the whole team playing as a team.
Danny was his inevitable dynamic self running them ragged and his second goal was a bit of a payback for McCarthy’s horror show last week. But everybody contributed.
In particular KWP has come on in leaps and bounds since the Arsenal game. Jan Vestergaard looked really comfortable on the ball, JWP seemed to be much happier as captain without PEH breathing down his neck and his free kick was just sublime. Will Smallbone made some great passes and I think will get better and better. Che was on for five minutes longer than normal, is getting better by the game and almost scored - I’m now convinced he will be really good for us - as did Redmond.
There was one period where we must have played fast precision-passing football for about three or four minutes and Watford were left playing with air!. It was beautiful to watch but I think we were helped by a quarter of the Watford team being ruled out because they broke the lockdown rules - idiots! Of course you can only beat what’s in front of you but nonetheless we were thoroughly convincing and more than deserved our victory.
So well done Ralph and the boys. You’ve put me on a high where I shall likely remain for the rest of the summer...!

60yearsandcounting added 23:03 - Jun 28
I think Che Adams looked more convincing in 15 minutes than Redmond has all season! Yannick 7/10. Smallbone looked a bit off the pace; not surprising. Romeu performance convincing - he's looked good this season (no Hojbjerg replacement needed?) Side improved when Armstrong came on. Spotted JWP pass forward - TWICE!! KWP spot on performance. Badnarek - bit unlucky but still counts as error leading to opposition goal. 2nd only to Valery for most in the Prem!! Wonder why we ship goals from right side of defence.
Looking forward to next season already. But had high hopes for this one, soon shattered!

sandywelsh added 23:15 - Jun 28
That was a lot better performance by the players even Vestergaard. I thought Romeu was back to his best while Ings and Long caused them havoc. I was very surprised that Armstrong was dropped but Smallbone played really well. As Nick said Adams has done more in 15 minutes than Obafemi in two games, he just needs a goal. I think Walker-Peters looks a lot better than Valery but over all a really good team performance. The same eleven should start against City next Sunday.

darthvader added 23:17 - Jun 28
Brilliant display .
Brilliant result
I was worried about Troy deaney bullying vestaguard but credit to him it was totally the other way around .


WestSussexSaint added 00:26 - Jun 29
Great team performance. In truth Watford were poor but Saints were at them from the off and apart from 10mins after half time were dominant throughout. Observations on Some of the individual performances:

- McCarthy will be grateful for a quiet match. Couldn’t be faulted for the OG. Tougher tests to come for him to justify if he should stay no1.
- Walker-Peters is so much more assured than Valery and should start most if not all remaining games to see if he is worth a permanent deal.
- Vestergaards best match in a Saints shirt. It helped that Watford persisted with pumping the high ball up to Deeney which played to his strengths so he now needs to convince he can defend well against a tricky, quick striker like Gabriel Jesus who is up next.
- Romeu no fuss and swept up the pieces nicely.
- Smallbone will have better games but wide right is not his best position and showed how effective he can be in centre midfield by setting up Ings first goal.
- Adams - what has the guy got to do to score! Almost a carbon copy of Ings second but the keeper got enough of a touch to deny him. He looked hungry though and deserves to start.

Finally, can there be a better English striker around right now than Ings? Had the season played out normally I have no doubt he would have been a key part of the England euros squad right now. I hope he can sustain this form to next summer and look forward to seeing him trouble the defences at euro 2021.


HythePeer added 02:21 - Jun 29
I have always said Veste was a good defender but played incorrectly. Today he wasn't and the defence looked more like a fortress. KWP fitted in well too. I'm not a fan of JWP but he is better played away from strike, and wot a freekick! With Armstrong on, the team was more complete. Vallery and the other lad have a way to go but deserve a taste of 1st team now and again. The next few games look tricky, and I think 3 points would be a fair return and the finishing 11 should start.

HythePeer added 02:23 - Jun 29
I have always said Veste was a good defender but played incorrectly. Today he wasn't and the defence looked more like a fortress. KWP fitted in well too. I'm not a fan of JWP but he is better played away from strike, and wot a freekick! With Armstrong on, the team was more complete. Vallery and the other lad have a way to go but deserve a taste of 1st team now and again. The next few games look tricky, and I think 3 points would be a fair return and the finishing 11 should start.

Saidou added 02:47 - Jun 29
I really enjoyed watching KWP today. My problems with him since his Spurs days were how he makes himself look so small on the pitch and his "shyness" approach. He was completely oppsite of that in this game.

LordDZLucan added 09:09 - Jun 29
What a display by Oriol Romeu. Great tackling and crisp passing.........forwards! That's the difference between him and Hojbjerg. Hojbjerg invariably passes the ball backwards and puts our defenders under pressure which is when the mistakes start to happen. Also, I thought that by the end of the game Walker Peters was really starting to look the part.

NewburySaint added 09:38 - Jun 29
No scapegoating required after that performance!

I don’t remember 1 single error in the game by a Saint however minor, & I inc. the own goal because Bednarek had to try & deal with a great ball put in.

highfield49 added 10:24 - Jun 29
I was hugely disappointed that Adams didn't start the match and delighted that he got enough game time to show what a great player he will be for us in the future. As has been pointed out by others, the absence of PEH was a massive positive and Vestergaard easily had his best game in a Saints shirt. KWP well worth a regular starting place to see what he can achieve and Smallbone once again showing that he will be a regular in the coming years. Defensively, not only was the marking and tackling much improved but the determination to close down players and block any shots on goal was a revelation after recent displays. Whilst Watford don't have too much in the way of a goal scoring threat it's the concentration, support and communication that took control. After such a comprehensively good performance my only negative is that McCarthy floundered getting to crosses he should have caught and seemed to be getting a few sharp words from other players for not collecting long passes that defenders had to clear in his absence. Important three points though when I was expecting a much tougher scrap.

redwight added 10:41 - Jun 29
Surely the best performance of the season. It's been a mystery why KWP hasn't been given more game time and it's even more of a mystery now. Same with Adams who must start in all the remaining games.

redwight added 10:41 - Jun 29
Surely the best performance of the season. It's been a mystery why KWP hasn't been given more game time and it's even more of a mystery now. Same with Adams who must start in all the remaining games.

ExiledSupporter added 11:01 - Jun 29
Fantastic performance again from Ings (expect nothing less since he is so committed all over the field)and many other strong performances across the pitch as a whole.

But one key reason for a better defensive performance was the presence of Romeu as a committed defensive midfielder prepared to disrupt and tackle oncoming opponents and sometimes take a card for the team. We need Oriol to stay in front of the defence and not wander all over the field like JWP and PEH, leaving all sorts of space for counterattacking teams to shred our slow turning central defenders. That's one of the reasons (not the only one) we have been so fragile in the face of swift opposition forwards. BUT, tell Romeu that he is not to surge forward to the opposition's penalty area because his passing seems to fall apart and his shooting is poor beyond description. No, he must only play in 2/3rds of the pitch and stay there!

Flamingbankers added 11:13 - Jun 29
Great win, professional performance. Strange selection of Smallbone over Armstrong but Smallbone played well and showed what a ball player he's going to be in the future - dare I say something we haven't had since Le Tiss. Bertrand was the MOTM for me especially the way he marshalled Saar in the first half and, unusually, he seemed really up for it. Adams should have started ( for the second game running) - Ralph still making the odd, odd decision. Adams showed his power by beating (albeit) Dawson and getting in a decent effort. Adams looks as though he's going to be a handful for opposition defences. With improvements of KWP, Vestergard and Bednarek, if we get Danso back to some decent form it looks as though, with a couple of additions, we could be better than OK in defence next year. Have I spoken too early? It's Saints - Of course I have.

Flamingbankers added 11:39 - Jun 29
Saints played much better when Armstrong came on and looked a different class. All the more proof of Ralph's sometimes dubious team selection. People go on about throwing away points but I reckon Ralph's done that quite a few times with poor/confused/misconstrued team selections ( although this has been the case for the last 3 managers but we can see why - because, over 3 years,the squad have been equally as bad as each other and any rotation didn't make any difference whilst rotation is confidence sapping, destructive to understanding and solidity! The club also made some awful player purchasing decisions. We've taken 3 years + to get over all of that but there again we're still in the Premier and that's a huge achievement in itself).

felly1 added 12:00 - Jun 29
Agree with most of what's already been said. Good all round performance and the guys who came into the team all did a great job. How lucky are we to have Danny Ings!!
Would like to see Vokins get get a couple of games to see if we have an able understudy to Bertie. Give KWP a run in the team and if he keeps playing like that let's sign him off Spurs.

SaintPaulVW added 12:22 - Jun 29
I agree with a most of the above.

Great performances from Smallbone, KWP and JV.

I agree Adams needs some game time. He still looks confident.

PEH has always struck me as a jack of all trades in midfield. Taking him out allowed Romeu to concentrate on breaking things up which helped to shield the back 5.

Great performance. COYS

sandywelsh added 16:40 - Jun 29
Where is the Player Ratings Thread for the Watford game ?

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