Southampton look short on ideas despite Watford win, they’re yet to overcome the loss of Danny Ings
Solid Saints have Ings-shaped hole: Despite the win against Watford, Ralph Hasanhuttl’s Southampton look short of ideas in-front of goal and are yet to overcome the loss of star striker
- Southampton beat Watford 1-0 at Vicerage Road on Saturday afternoon
- Full-back pair Tino Livramento and Kyle-Walker Peters shone for the Saints
- Despite the win, Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men registered just one shot on target
- Southampton lack the fire-power void left by the departed Danny Ings
One Southampton supporter texted into a radio talk show with an assessment of his side on Saturday. ‘Some of these players are absolute machines, we need to enjoy them while they’re still ours,’ said the fan.
The players he was referring to were full back pairing Tino Livramento and Kyle Walker-Peters, noting that if they — and others — continue to consistently shine, they will be off to a bigger club with bigger aspirations.
Just like Danny Ings. He scored 41 Premier League goals in three years, and was on his way to Aston Villa. Jannik Vestergaard and Ryan Bertrand also said their goodbyes this summer.
Tino Livramento (left) and Kyle Walker-Peters (right) have been the bright sparks for the Saints
It is Ings they miss the most, though. Despite an impressive win at Watford, Che Adams’ goal — an exquisite strike — was their only shot on target.
Creating chances isn’t an issue. Adam Armstrong carved out a handful for himself and team-mates, and the energetic full backs peppered Ben Foster’s goal with fizzing crosses.
So in lieu of Ings, Ralph Hasenhuttl has needed to adapt to be more solid, with clean sheets a premium. There are signs of improvement, this just their second win of the season and first away triumph for 10 games.
Che Adams’ goal was the only shot Southampton registered on target against Watford
Ralph Hasenhuttl was delighted with his side’s 1-0 win over Watford on Saturday
‘We are delighted with the win,’ he said. ‘The only thing I can criticise is the missed chances, we should’ve had three or four more (goals). When you have good clean sheets, only one goal is enough. We don’t have only one striker this season.’
Armstrong hasn’t yet found his Premier League feet after a summer move from a Blackburn side he scored 28 for last term, and Adams goals are a rarity. Young Armando Broja has looked lively and scored in the two League matches before this, though is now injured.
But Saints look more solid than ever. Walker-Peters was man of the match here, for a goal-line clearance and a 90 minutes full of energetic attacking and solid defending to keep Ismaila Sarr quiet. Centre back Mohammed Salisu also stood out, and James Ward-Prowse was imperious as ever. Hasenhuttl is rebuilding a life after Ings, just like they slowly rebuilt when Virgil Van Dijk left, and Saints are starting to enjoy the benefits. Enjoy it while you can.
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