We all know what it was like the last time Leicester City shook up St Mary’s Stadium on a Friday night: Southampton lost one player to a red card and they conceded nine goals.
This time it was Leicester’s turn to leave as the embarrassed party. The Southampton players fought their way to a point, despite Jannik Vestergaard losing to a straight red after 10 minutes for knocking down Jamie Vardy when the striker appeared to break through on goal.
They even took a surprising lead in the second half via a penalty kick from James Ward-Prowse. Only an equalizer from Jonny Evans denied Southampton the perfect redemption story, but Ralph Hasenhuttl was happy to grab a point. You too would be after what happened last time.
It was a frustrating night at the office for Leicester as they drew 1-1 against Southampton
Jonny Evans helped Leicester avoid total disaster with an equalizing goal in the 68th minute
Evans’ header pretty much beats Southampton’s goalkeeper Alex McCarthy at St Mary’s
AGREEMENT AND REVIEWS
SOUTHAMPTON (4-4-2): McCarthy 7; Walker-Peters 7.5, Bednarek 6, Vestergaard 5, Stephens 6; Tella 6 (Salisu 15min, 6), Ward-Prowse 6.5, Armstrong 7, Minamino 6 (Diallo 76); Redmond 6, Adams 6 (Nlundulu 90 + 1).
Subs not used: Djenepo, Ramsay, Walcott, Forster, Ferry, Jankewitz.
Scorer: Ward-Prowse 61 (pen).
Manager: Ralph Hasenhuttl 6.5.
LEICESTER (3-4-1-2): Schmeichel 6; Fofana 6 (Perez 46,6), Evans 7, Soyuncu 6; Castagne 6, Ndidi 6, Tielemans 6, Thomas 6 (Albrighton 69,6); Maddison 6; Iheanacho 6.5, Vardy 5.5.
Subs not used: Ward, Amartey, Under, Choudhury, Pereira, Mendy, Praet.
Scorer: Evans 68.
Manager: Brendan Rodgers 6.
Referee: Robert Jones 6.
“How we got back, it was great,” said Hasenhuttl. ‘They had 80 minutes to score against us. I had a very good feeling for the game. We were very motivated. Defensively, this was one of our best games. ‘
Hasenhuttl was not too happy with the red, but he had the feeling that Vestergaard got the ball and that Vardy would never score. “It changed everything,” said the Southampton boss.
Elton John’s I’m Still Standing was appropriately blasted from the tannoys full time. The Southampton players were great and showed the character they lacked in that Premier League defeat in October 2019. The Leicester players did not and Brendan Rodgers was not satisfied.
This put them eight points away from West Ham in fifth place, but it should have been 10.
“I don’t think we’ve done enough to win the game,” said a frustrated Rodgers. ‘A great chance against 10 men and we are normally very good at that. Give the credit to Southampton. They defended deeply and compactly, but we are disappointed. ‘
The 10 men from Southampton did lead by a penalty from James Ward-Prowse
The England international has been harassed by his teammates after putting Southampton ahead
Ward-Prowse struck from the spot after Kelechi Iheanacho’s handball for a shock lead
Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side is almost certainly safe from relegation and shows a tough performance
It was not the greatest spectacle when these sides met in the FA Cup semi-finals two weeks ago, when they only managed to reach one shot on target.
The only boon was that Kelechi Iheanacho scored with that attempt, saving those poor souls who tuned in to endure another 30 minutes of extra time.
However, there were no signs that this was a boring watch. Kyle Walker-Peters scored within three minutes, only for the assistant who reported him offside. Nathan Tella then had a great opportunity to get his first Southampton goal, but the 21-year-old didn’t make good contact with the ball.
The first 10 minutes were all Southampton, after which the hosts lost Vestergaard.
Stuart Armstrong played a pass to the central defender, who incorrectly controlled the ball 20 meters out and in the center of the goal. In a frantic attempt to get it back, he jumped out and grabbed Vardy’s left ankle.
Television replays showed Vestergaard got the ball, but he also got Vardy. Referee Robert Jones produced a red card and VAR Jonathan Moss agreed that Leicester had been denied a scoring opportunity.
Jannik Vestergaard was sent off after nine minutes, making Saints’ task extremely difficult
Vestergaard’s red was again a disappointing decision, as the defender was the first to get hold of the ball
In the 30th minute, there was a break in the game while Wesley Fofana broke his fast. Fofana is one of the many Muslim football players who observe Ramadan, which means that he had not eaten or drunk anything prior to this match. Some moisture and a bite of banana later, the game was ready to restart.
Southampton was happy to wait. They wanted to slow down the pace of this match as much as possible, with goalkeeper Alex McCarthy taking an age with each goal kick.
The hosts of 10 men frustrated the visitors. Leicester had to try his luck from a distance and McCarthy was more than happy to face shots like that.
The halftime debate was about Vestergaard’s dismissal. Jamie Redknapp said on Sky Sports that it was not a violation. “It’s the sequel,” said Redknapp, noting the incident involving West Ham’s Fabian Balbuena last week.
Jamie Vardy looked cheerful, but Leicester struggled to break through the Southampton defense
Iheanacho was kept quiet for most of the game, but made up for his handball with an assist
Balbuena’s red was quashed on appeal and Southampton may want to file a complaint with authorities about this as well.
The match resumed and Hasenhuttl became irritated on the sidelines while Southampton struggled to get a decision from the referee. He changed his tone in the 58th minute when Jones pointed to the penalty spot after a rare attack from the hosts.
Stuart Armstrong’s attempt was blocked by Iheanacho’s outstretched arms. Ward-Prowse stepped up and buried the ball in the lower left corner.
Suddenly Southampton had a lead to defend – but they lost it within seven minutes. Iheanacho, who made up for his handball, went for Evans, who headed in the tying run.
Hasenhuttl shouted a curse word in his native language. The Southampton players had one more point to defend, however, and they fell into their time-wasting tactics, much to the chagrin of Leicester.
Vardy could have won in the last 10 minutes, but was denied by McCarthy’s legs, after which Wilfred Ndidi dragged another opportune shot wide. Leicester couldn’t find the breakthrough and Southampton had a deserved point.
Leicester is currently third, five points ahead of Chelsea in fourth place
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