Southampton fell victim to the new manager bounce as Dean Smith led Norwich City to a 2-1 victory over the Saints as Carrow Road.
Ralph Hasenhuttl went with an expected side against Norwich with one surprising change. Ibrahima Diallo took the place typically occupied by a winger. Stu Armstrong suffering a pregame knock and Nathan Redmond happily welcoming a new addition to the family were left out of the match day team. Moussa Djenepo, who scored on international break, was also omitted from the traveling squad. Nathan Tella still unable to draw a Premier League start, appears to now be Diallo who played noticeably out of position.
Southampton dominated play in the first half, scoring just three minutes in. The diaganol to Kyle Walker-Peters and Tino Livramento completed stretched Norwich, but the Saints could not take grasp of the game. Timo Pukki’s goal should never happen. KWP found himself on the ground, Oriol Romeu failed to cover, and Mohammed Salisu left his mark. Another half where the Saints should have been two or three ahead, but remained even.
Norwich made some changes at half that disrupted the Saints’ play. Both teams were given opportunities to score, but it was a mistake riddled second half for Southampton. Alex McCarthy needed to do something on the second goal, but somehow missed the bounce of the ball after anticipating it correctly. Substitute Lyanco completely left his mark to do nothing at the back post leaving a free header to Southampton’s demise.
Hasenhuttl is going to get quite a bit of criticism for his changes. Armando Broja was a positive change, but it altered the shape entirely. Theo Walcott got the nod ahead of Nathan Tella and proved once again he is out of form and confidence. Oriol Romeu coming off for a centre back may seem like a negative change, but going 3 at the back allowed the rest of the team to go all out attack. Yet, the team just plodded the ball side to side with no way through a desperate Norwich sitting deep.
A brutal loss for Southampton and here are the player ratings from the match.