Latics 2-2 Saints
There are games when you have just got to hold your hands up and say that was bad, yesterday was surely one of those games, but we came away with a point when we deserved none and that in itself is a reason for some belief.
The game was built up as massive for both sides, the first half was a scrappy affair, a chance each before the Latics took the lead. A great cross from the left by Maloney was met on the edge of six yard box by Di Santo who stretched out a foot to send the ball goal bound only for Boruc to produce a magnificent one handed save at full stretch to tip it away
At the other end Ramirez easily beat the off-side trap to receive the ball unmarked dead centre 12 yards out, fortunately he'd lost his composure and lifted his effort way over Al Habsi's bar
The opening goal came on 25 minutes, Jean Beausejour swung over a corner from the left, Gary Caldwell lost his marker and met the ball with a powerful header that gave Boruc no chance, 1-0
The game went nowhere for the rest of the first half, but in the second period Southampton really stepped up to the mark. They played with intensity, purpose and belief, three qualities that were sadly lacking from the Latics, they hunted the ball down when not in possession and attacked with vigour when they were. Southampton took control of the midfield and we struggled to get out of our own half
Ronnie Stam was taken off on 56 minutes for Jordi Gomez as Martinez re-shuffled his pack to try and stem the flow, but the Latics seemed to lose all shape and were guilty of being very sloppy in possession, it was no surprise when Southampton equalised on 64 minutes
A ball into the box by Cork from the right was met by Lambert at the far post, Al Habsi seemed to flap at the challenge as Lambert gleefully headed home with ease, 1-1
Southampton looked by far the most likely to take all the points and when they took the lead on 85 minutes many thought it was the winner
Latics had a corner, the ball was knocked out by the Southampton defence as far as James McCarthy who got caught in possession, the Saints broke with pace, Latics sub Callum McManaman did his best to get back and stop Rodriguez, but he slid in with his wrong foot and the Southampton striker was away, he crossed into the Latics box and the ball was swept home by the incoming Schneiderlin, 1-2
A host of Latics fans suspected that was it and headed for the exit venting their annoyance with boos
Over the past few seasons though we have shown a tendency when dead and buried to get up again, that's exactly what happened here, though far from deserved it does show that the team do have some fight and spirit
A corner was swung over by Jean Beausejour, the ball was met by a downward header from Paul Scharner, at the far post Shaun Maloney ghosted in to sweep home, 2-2
All in all a very poor display from the Latics, they were completely over run at times, especially in midfield and our right side is very weak, both attacking and defensively, this needs sorting with some urgency
Good second debut by the Austrian, good to have him back
Subd not used - Robles, Golobart, Campabadal, Jones
Southampton - Boruc, Clynne (Lallana 60), Yoshida, Hooiveld, Shaw, Schneiderlin, Ramirez (S. Davis 46), Cork, Puncheon (Ward-Prowse 81), Lambert, Rodriguez
Subs not used -K Davis, Fox, Richardson, Lee
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