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Saints lose 1-0 to Norwich

Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

In a match some hoped would be a good start to the new year, Southampton fell to a late goal from Alex Tettey. This will be a short match report because, quite frankly, this game was dull.

There was big news before the match where Sadio Mane was benched for being late to a team meeting. I give props to Koeman for sticking to team rules, no matter the player.

Southampton had comfortable control in the first half, with 58% possession and 4 shots on target to Norwich's 0. Norwich did have the first big chance but saw a shot go wide. Shane Long was then in on goal, 1 on 1 with the keeper and was stopped.

We went to halftime not too bothered with a thought of Norwich scoring today. I was beginning to think a 0-1 win or 0-0 draw were the most likely results.

Then, the seemingly inevitable happened. A previously booked Victor Wanyama was sent off in the 73rd minute for a dumb challenge on a Norwich player. Three minutes later, Norwich would score and never look back.

After the goal, Ronald Koeman looked to three substitutes to change the game and hopefully fight for a draw.

The players to come on were Harrison Reed, Gaston Ramirez and Sadio Mane for Dusan Tadic, Jordy Clasie and James Ward-Prowse. They didn't change the outcome, however.

Not all of the blame, but quite a bit of it should be on the shoulders of Sadio Mane and Victor Wanyama. Two poor choices that hurt their team today.

Southampton didn't have a shot on goal in the second half, and only had one shot. Saints had nine corners compared to Norwich's four. Southampton also finished with 59% possession.

In the current table, Southampton sit in 13th. They are two points behind West Brom and one point up to victors, Norwich. Southampton are currently seven points from the relegation zone and nine points from 5th.

The need for a striker grows more apparent.

Next game for Saints is against Crystal Palace in the FA Cup on the 9th.