Post Match report for the Southampton game - Saturday, 30th March 2019

PREMIER LEAGUE; Brighton v Southampton


VENUE; the Amex, Falmer - fifteenth home match of 30 fixtures.
RESULT; 0-1 . (h-t 0-0) . SHAPE; 4-3-3 .
REF; a routine sort of session apart from a couple of key situations.

PREAMBLE; the crucial run-in was gathering pace following an elite interlude for global national games.
Brighton fans were well aware of the context from outcome today, thus arrived well up for this ordinary Prem occasion and perhaps temporarily put cup fever aside.
GATE; 30,636 . WEATHER; sunny & warm.

CHRIS HUGHTON had Gross still hamstrung and Andone with recovering groin strain but otherwise returnees from various internationals were match fit and good to go with hard trained squad members.
The starting eleven contained no surprises, while substitutes were self selecting.

TEAM; . . . . . . . . . . 1 Ryan
. . 22 Montoya, 4 Duffy, 5 Dunk, 30 Bernardo
. . . . . 8 Bissouma, 6 Stephens, 24 Propper
. 11 Knockaert, 17 Murray, 16 Jahanbakhsh

BENCH; 27 Button, 3 Bong, 33 Burn, 7 Kayal, 20 March (62), 19 Izquierdo, 9 Locadia (74).

GOALS; 0-1 - 53. The second period began much like ending of the first. But losing the ball yet again in midfield left hosts vulnerable to a fast counter and last gasp defenders backed off in disarray.

INCIDENTS; 68 - Propper swung in the area but miscued when impeded. Ref was nonplussed. 72 - Montoya hit the bar from downrange.

YELLOWS; 15 - Stephens pulled his man back.

SUBS; 62 - March was sent in for Jahanbakhsh. 74 - Locadia came on for Propper. Albion next switched to 442.

ANALYSIS; the positives were it could have been worse... but probably not by much. A game plan of not losing by giving away chances failed both literally and statistically in a contest of few clear cut chances. Both sides were less than average but home advantage counted for nought against opposition prepared to press and battle for second ball.
This plodding nil-nil morphed into chasing yet another game once conceding and the single goal defeat had a certain inevitability to very end of full time. Slow, slow, slower & slow seemed to be modus operandi prior to late reactive panic when the game was well & truly up.
Shaping with 443 was dysfunctional once more and the 442, come 343 at the death, hardly appeared to carry decisive threats. Basics were performed in sloppy manner, too many off-sides, making the keeper kick long from inept back passes and leaving the striker perpetually isolated were examples.
At end of the day, cracks that have been opening in set up and functioning of our current squad deepened long before the addition of frantic stoppage.
Mom - Bernardo. An athletic display up & down left flank and further afield.

1ST FAN; +the game is ninety minutes not thirty, so why do we merely up the ante after going behind time and time again then?+

2ND FAN; +Hughton got out-thought tactically and in the man management department as well. Once a defender, always a defender... and the clean sheet was too easily lost+

3RD FAN; +I know it was a warm & sunny afternoon but are the team and fans thinking it is time to get out those flip-flops already. If so, it shall be a long summer to peruse retuning to 46 fixtures next term+