Monday 18 December 2017

Lallana cameo propels Saints

Southampton 4 Burnley 3

Adam Lallana of Southampton competes with Ross Barkley of Everton
Adam Lallana of Southampton competes with Ross Barkley of Everton

Paul Doyle

In at least one respect Adam Lallana has not changed. The England international is still a match-winner for Southampton. At the end of a week that he complained about a perceived insult from referee Mark Clattenburg, the 25-year-old was again the toast of his club's supporters as he came off the bench to secure victory in this thrillingly helter-skelter tie.

For a while it seemed the match would be governed by the law of the ex, as two Southampton-bred forwards scored for Burnley before a Burnley-born one scored for Southampton. Then Lallana, who has never left the club where he was reared, made his spectacular impact to secure the Premier League side's passage to the next round. But it was a close-run thing.

Burnley are second in the Championship and showed why they are pushing for a return to the top flight by playing some slick football. Southampton scored against the run of play in the 22nd minute, when Nathaniel Clyne collected a pass from Steven Davis and rocketed a half-volley in from 20 yards. Six minutes later Rickie Lambert sent another missile into the top corner from outside the area.

Burnley boss Sean Dyche revived his side at the break and they injected new life into the tie in the 51st minute, when Sam Vokes met a cross from Dean Marney and guided in a header from 10 yards.

Five minutes later Burnley drew level. Danny Ings, released by Southampton as a youngster, bounded into the box and past the lumbering Jos Hooiveld before firing past Kelvin Davis at the near post. Game on.

Jay Rodriguez fluffed a chance to put Southampton back in front in the 62nd minute, shooting weakly at Tom Heaton, but he finished emphatically four minutes later. As several players paused after James Ward-Prowse fell in the box under a tackle, Rodriguez lashed the breaking ball into then net from 15 yards.

Still Burnley would not bow to the established order. Mauricio Pochettino felt obliged to introduce Lallana and he was quick to make an impact, cracking a low drive past Heaton. It was just as well that he did, because Burnley scored again in the 86th minute, Kevin Long stabbing into the net after a Junior Stanislas corner.


Irish Independent

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