Defence outshines Wanyama’s Southampton scorcher

Feb 01 2019 Published by under 深圳桑拿网

But having lost two key defenders in the close season — Luke Shaw to Manchester United and Dejan Lovren to Liverpool — it does still raise eyebrows that the Saints should have conceded only five goals in their opening 10 Premier League games.


Leaders Chelsea and champions Manchester City, in third spot, have shipped twice as many goals as the small south coast outfit.

Combine that statistic with the fact that only Chelsea have scored more than Koeman’s men, and the picture of how the Saints are in nosebleed territory in the league snaps sharply into focus.

“We work hard to have good organisation in the team because clean sheets bring points,” Koeman said after Southampton’s 1-0 win at Hull City at the weekend — a seventh victory in their last eight league matches.

“We (conceded) only five goals until now, that is one of the key things to be successful.”

All the talk had been of Victor Wanyama’s superbly struck 35-metre winner, a goal the Kenyan midfielder described as his best ever, but the real show-stopper was another clean sheet for the Saints.

“We work hard on our defensive shape in training and it shows during the games,” new England squad member Nathaniel Clyne said, giving nothing away.

“We’re solid, we’re tough to beat,” he added, as if the league table did not speak for itself.


Hull’s strikeforce put in a creditable shift at the KC Stadium but it is not doing them a disservice to point out that Southampton’s defence will face sterner tests.

With a 10-day spell over November and December where Koeman’s team face Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United back-to-back, their mettle will come under increased scrutiny.

If England goalkeeper Fraser Forster is in any way concerned about the fixtures looming, he was also giving nothing away.

“We have set the standard very high,” he said. “But you have to grind out results sometimes.”

Skipper Jose Fonte came closest to putting his finger on the magic formula and highlighted that it wasn’t just the back four who could take credit for Southampton’s lofty position.

“Defensively we were fantastic. Everyone is helping, everyone is defending, it’s just a great place to be at the moment,” said Fonte.

“You need to be intelligent. During the game you need to understand how can you win the game and how you can do it in the best way possible.

“It’s just great to see that everyone is understanding and buying into the philosophy of how to win games of football.”

(Editing by Tony Jimenez)

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