Saints hit five for the first time this season coming back from the shock of an early Walsall goal. It started badly with Walsall scoring from a well placed free kick by Matt Richards on three minutes. The Saints seemed unflustered as they began pounding on Walsall’s back door. Three times in as many minutes they came close searching for the equaliser. Rene Gilmartin Stopped Lee Barnard and then twice he thwarted Adam Lallana. In the eigth minute a pass from Lambert found Jason puncheon who steadied himself before shooting in off the left hand post to equalise.
More and more attacks swept towards the Walsall goal as the Saints upped the pressure. Puncheon crossed for Dean Hammond to send a looping header towards goal in the 19th minute. It bounced off the bar only for Lee Barnard to tap in but the referee disallowed the goal for offside.
Still Saints pushed Walsall back. Puncheon again coming close on 22 minutes. The sustained pressure showed no signs of wilting and eventually in the 32nd saints scored. With the ball flying around the Walsall box Lallana ended up shooting for goal. The shot was kept out but Barnard was on hand to fire home from six yards.
Still Saints maintained the pressure. Walsall broke once with Kelvin Davis having to save a Julian Gray header before adding to the lead on 36 minutes. Otsemobor joined in an attack and his cross was met by Barnard who controlled the ball superbly before lifting it over the goalie and into the back of the net.
Still we continued the non stop attacks as half time approached. 2 minutes from the interval Lambert went close and then on the stroke of half time Hammond missed a double chance to add to the tally. Lambert fed Lallana who crossed for hammond to head in but he missed from 6 yards and then his shot was blocked before Barnard hit it over the bar.
H-T : 3-1
The second half was always going to be a bit less exciting but Saints still ran the show. On 51 minutes Puncheon tried bending one round the keeper but put too much on it.
On 61 minutes Saints netted the fourth. Lambert controlled another Otsemobor cross and then drilled a shot high into the net beyond the keeper. This goal gave the game the look of comfort that it deserved.
Even though Saints took their foot of the gas slightly there was never any danger of Walsall getting back into the game. On 64 minutes Papa Waigo came on for Lee Barnard who was given a welcome round of applause. Walsall made their substitutions and one of them Steve Jones almost made an immediate impact helping Alex Nicholls force Davis into a double save. Saints returned to the attack and Waigo gave Lallana a chance which he couldn’t keep down.Wayne Thomas came on for Radhi Jaidi with just under 20 minutes left. With the clock running down and Saints in total control Michail Antonio came on for Lambert with 7 minutes left.
Saints continued to control the game and in the 89th minute scored their fifth goal of the day. Lallana found Puncheon who in turn passed to Morgan Schneiderlin. He found Papa Waigo who sent a fierce pass across the box for Lallana to turn in from close range.
F-T : 5-1
No chance with the goal but he is so unsafe with crosses.
Big part in two of the goals and is converting the crowd onto his side.
Truly immense MOM.
A giant who did well today.
Has made LB his position. Another high octane show.
Is quickly gaining a following. Some of his work with Lallana was awesome.
Coming back to his best. Should have scored.
Yet another good game.
Adam missed a couple of good chances before finally getting a goal.
Lead the line well and is getting into a good partnership with Barnard. Scored.
did well again and scored his second brace in three games. Starting to look lethal in partnership with Ricky.
Came on for Lee Barnard in the 64th minute. made pass for Lallana’s goal. made good impact when coming on.
Came on for Radhi Jaidi in the 72nd minute. Did well in his cameo.
Came on for Ricky Lambert in the 83rd minute. not on for long.
Alan Pardew earned a 8 today. Hardly had to do a thing as he had them fired up and raring to go from the off.