Watford fluff their line
Claudia Ranieri‘s men were for the most part ineffective, and where thwarted straightforwardly by an alert defensive unit . However, when they did fashion chances, they were arguably the best of the match.
One such golden gift arrived as a result of Ben Foster‘s accurate boot. The goalkeeper fires a brilliant low ball over halfway and into space.
Joshua King races onto it and the Saints defence can get nowhere near him. King then delivers and uncontested cross towards the back post.
Ismaïla Sarr takes the ball and looks to push it past Alex McCarthy. Sarr appears to have been successful as it hits the shot-stopper and rolls onto the line.
The home crowd erupt In joy, but the referee remains unmoved. What the faithful haven’t counted on is the smart placement of Kyle Walker Peters.
The fullback has positioned himself just in front of the line, and is able to quickly readjust to intercept. The defender falls as the ball strikes him, but his effort allows just enough time to get the ball away to safety.
Unfortunately, a chance like the one Watford had accurately highlights Southampton’s persistent issue.
Saints created the sheer majority of chances in the first period and should have been out of sight by their half-time cup of tea. Yet with one well worked counter-attack a below par opposition almost stole a share of the spoils.
The South coast side’s lack of potency In front of goal is their Achilles heel. Games played at the top level are typically won and lost by the finest margins.
If the Hampshire side cannot take their chances when they have them, then their opponent almost certainly will. Whether they deserve to or not.
It’s a lesson which they must learn quickly, or they will surely suffer for it.