Southampton vs Sheffield United: Premier League – Player Ratings
James Ward-Prowse of Southampton (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Southampton took full control during the opening 10 minutes. The players’ confidence on the ball was brimming and an early objective to play diaganol and direct was evident. Sheffield held an efficient line, testing the Saints discipline, but the tone was set for an afternoon of frustration for the Blades.
The story of the first half may have been a lack of Danny Ings sharpness. He was a step offside and did not finish his early opportunity set up by his strike partner Che Adams. Megging Aaron Ramsdale was the only option, but a fit Ings buries that goal 10 out of 10 times. Jannik Vestergaard found himself in an attacking position and delivered Danny a reverse pass just a few minutes later, but Ings could not get his first touch passed the well-positioned defenders.
Ings started a move himself deep within his own half. The 24th minute tackle started one of the best Southampton team moves you will witness this season. The ball moved across the entire Saints’ back line under significant Sheffield pressure which was broken comfortably. Play found its way full circle and ended up with Ings wide open on the left wing, but it just was not his day to score. Hopefully he kept a couple in his pocket for Arsenal or Manchester City this week.
Che Adams did get on the score sheet however with a well-anticipated goal. Ryan Bertrand tried to convince him VAR could overturn it for the arm assist from Jan Bednarek, but it clearly popped off the top of his shoulder to the vigilant Adams. Stuart Armstrong and Nathan Redmond were the only other two Saints to tally, on a day there could have been many more gifts for the fans who braved the South Coast weather.
Ralph Hasenhuttl has to be flying high while watching his team take another step in the right direction. With three matches this week, it will be interesting to see if he uses more of his fully fit side, or if he continues to develop the dominant 11 today. Regardless, it’s three points and here are the positive player ratings for the Southampton side who are firmly in contention for European football next season!