Southampton fell short at St. Mary’s for the 8th time this season in a 1-2 loss to Burnley FC.
Ralph Hasenhuttl surprised everyone with a change at centre-back in his starting eleven. Jannik Vestergaard was brought in for the mainstay Jan Bednarek, presumably to handle the Burnley aerial threat. Kyle Walker-Peters was handed his debut at right-back, James Ward-Prowse returned from what looked a bad injury, and Sofiane Boufal replaced Nathan Redmond who may have suffered a muscle problem during training.
Southampton were stunned a minute and half into the game as a Burnley corner found the goal at the near post. We knew the wind would be a major factor, but Danny Ings misread the flight of the cross and allowed the ball to beat a surprised Alex McCarthy. It was one of those goals you may not see again for some time, but ultimately forced the hand of the Saints.
Danny Ings did respond with an unbelievable strike from twenty yards. Ings continues to make a push for a EURO 2020 place as his goal was curled low into Nick Pope’s corner. Sofiane Boufal started the build up and Stuart Armstrong was involved, but it was the individual play of an in-form striker that deserves the praise.
Sofiane Boufal started the game very well and looked like he controlled the left side of the pitch. His defencive pressing was a nice addition to his on the ball work as he routinely backed Burnley into their own penalty area. He came central to start more than one attack and chipped in a cross Jack Stephens smashed off the top bar. However, this was his final contribution as he appeared to injure his standing foot on the play. This forced Hasenhuttl into an early substitute and Moussa Djenepo received the call.
A Matej Vydra goal deserves some credit as it was a high-quality strike. However, there are going to be a lot of questions following Southampton’s home performance. Another legitimate VAR shout for handball aside, the Saints created very little against Burnley who completed the season double on them. A chance to rebound hosting Aston Villa is on the horizon, but the home form is worrying. Here are the player ratings for Southampton in the 1-2 defeat.