Southampton were left frustrated once again as they lost 4-1 to Leicester City in the Championship at St. Mary’s after their 5-0 defeat to Sunderland before the international break.
Who scored in Southampton’s loss to Leicester?
The away side opened the scoring within the first 30 seconds of play. A cheap concession from Shea Charles led to a scramble in the box and Jamie Vardy smashed the ball home with ease from 12 yards.
The second came when a sloppy pass on the touchline allowed Leicester to thread a pass through for Kasey McAtee to slot home with time and space from six yards.
Russell Martin’s side were, however, able to pull one back as Che Adams popped a clever pass in behind for Samuel Edozie, who dinked the ball into the back of the net.
A third came with seconds to go before half-time as Wilfred Ndidi brilliantly jinked past a defender before poking the ball past Gavin Bazunu inside the box.
Mavididi added the fourth as a poor pass from Kamaldeen Sulemana allowed the winger to beat a defender before racing clear on goal to find the bottom corner.
Sulemana was then shown a straight red card with seconds left to play as the tricky winger caught James Justin on the ankle with a late challenge.
How did Will Smallbone perform against Leicester?
Whilst the Ghana international had a shocker with his cameo off the bench, Will Smallbone was the true villain for Martin on the night as he left the Saints far too exposed in the middle of the park.
Sulemana won five of his ten ground duels and created one chance to go along with three dribbles completed in 52 minutes of action on the pitch before his sending-off, as per Sofascore.
He was the initial cause of Mavididi’s goal and ended the match with a red card but there were some positive sparks in between those two moments as he competed for the ball and tried to make things happen in the final third.
Smallbone, however, only created one chance for his teammates and did not attempt a single cross into the box in 90 minutes in midfield.
The Ireland international also played his role in Mavididi’s strike as he had the opportunity to stop the English forward within the Leicester half, by legal means or not, and put a weak challenge in that allowed the former Montpellier star to race through and score.
This was not an isolated incident for Smallbone as the Foxes found it far too easy to glide past him with ease in midfield, which opened up the pitch and allowed Enzo Maresca’s men to run at the Saints defence with no protection in front of the back four.
The Southampton dud was dribbled past a whopping five times, which was more than any other player on the pitch for Martin’s side, as per Sofascore, and this highlights how lightweight he was in the middle of the park.
Smallbone, who lost nine of his 14 duels and eight of his 13 ground battles, was also culpable for the second Leicester goal as his sloppy pass to Kyle Walker-Peters slipped through to Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, who then assisted McAtee.
The central midfielder was worse than Sulemana as his weak play was a constant issue throughout the match and he was questionable for multiple goals, whereas the winger was only at fault for one and then received a red card that had no impact on the game as there was only seconds left to play.
Therefore, Smallbone was the true villain of the night for Martin and he will be hoping for far better from his midfield general next time out.