James Ward-Prowse, Centre-Mid – 7
Brought his typical scrappiness from the start of the match. Won balls in the midfield, dealt with second balls, but missed his opportunities from two set pieces.
Oriol Romeu, Centre-Mid – 4
Most at fault for the giveaway leading to the first goal of the match. Decent without the ball as usual, but his passing over distance and reluctance to do so cost the Saints getting in behind. Too slow with his passing and probably isn’t best suited for matches where Southampton will win possession.
Nathan Redmond, Attacking-Mid – 4
Timid in the first 20 minutes, unwilling to drive forward with the ball. A Southampton movement set him up for a good opportunity, but he struck the ball directly at the Palace keeper with the near post open. Played without confidence, maybe first game jitters, and Saints need more, much much more out of him.
Will Smallbone, Attacking-Mid – 5
The only question mark in the lineup, but he took Stuart Armstrong’s spot on the right side. Very little to do in the first half and still looks uncomfortable on the wing. Started drifting under the strikers to pick up the ball in better position. Served in a couple crosses, but without the pace or direction necessary for success. Exited after 75 minutes for winger Moussa Djenepo.