Manager, Goalkeeper and Defenders
Ralph Hasenhuttl, Manager – 8
Fans will always bemoan his starting eleven, but again, he set up his team effectively. Fraser Forster had a monster match against Chelsea, but it was Alex McCarthy who saved the day today. Kyle Walker-Peters playing “out of place” on the left, was brilliant, and Adam Armstrong and Che Adams were excellent as a strike partnership. Leaving Lyanco so late as a sub was his biggest blunder. Che Adams was spent and this move should have came 10 minutes earlier. Yet, his team posted another clean sheet, when a few months ago they certainly would have conceded.
Alex McCarthy, Goalkeeper – 7
Did just enough to slow down the pace of Sarr’s shot before KWP took it off the line. Was excellent in catching crossing and distribution was very calm and collected. Had a couple indecisive moments with Bednarek, but nothing caused damage. Massive save down to his right late which put all 3 points in our pockets.
Kyle Walker-Peters, Left-Back – 8
Two bursting runs out of the Southampton defensive third is why he started at left-back over Perraud. Unbelievable save off the goal line to stop an equaliser. Beautifully setup Armstrong for a must-score assist. Took over the attack in the second half and defended very well on his side. Once or twice he got beaten behind, but recovered extremely well. Going to be very hard to keep him out of the side after this performance.
Mohammed Salisu, Centre-Back – 8
A couple set pieces just nearly missed his head, but it is nice to see JWP targeting him. Earned a yellow today, deservingly, but all his tackling post caution was excellent. Sarr tried to go after him 1v1 and routinely lost. What a centre-back we have!
Jan Bednarek, Centre-Back – 6
Very safe first half, stepping out of defensive position once. Couldn’t quite get in sync with McCarthy with any ball overhead. Should have plastered a header top corner on a second half corner, but went in without conviction. Looks a step slower than previous years, but another clean sheet keeps him ahead of Lyanco.
Tino Livramento, Right-Back – 8
Looked to take advantage of the 1v1 with Hernandez early and often. Ended up getting his counterpart removed at the half. Is unbelievable under pressure and in possession. Just bounces off tackles and rides opponents until he is completely taken out. He was fouled over and over today and rarely lost a duel. Superstar, bonafide superstar, and he is just 18.