Southampton: Tanswell hails Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Mohammed Salisu
Southampton duo Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Mohammed Salisu were hailed by journalist Jacob Tanswell for their performance in the 3-3 draw against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday afternoon.
The Lowdown: Vital point
The Saints managed to pick up what could be a vital point in the Premier League relegation battle after a gutsy second-half performance, coming from 3-1 down to level the game up at 3-3 in stoppage time, courtesy of a James Ward-Prowse penalty.
While Ruben Selles’ side still remain bottom of the table after the result, the manager will be delighted by the fight his players showed to claw their way back into the game against a team in contention to qualify for the Champions League.
Given that it was the first time Southampton have scored three in the Premier League all season, the likes of Theo Walcott and Che Adams deserve a lot of credit, however, Tanswell was also full of praise for the defence…
The Latest: Tanswell reacts
Taking to Twitter after the match, Tanswell lauded Maitland-Niles and Salisu for their performances, having struck up an unexpected partnership at centre-back.
The journalist said: “Forster and Ward-Prowse share a big hug at the final whistle. Both very good this afternoon Ruben Selles is serenaded by the Northam. A special mention to Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Mohammed Salisu, the makeshift CB pairing, who were excellent. #SaintsFC keep themselves alive.”
The Verdict: Promising signs
Selles was forced to reshuffle the pack in the first half, with starting centre-back pairing Armel Bella-Kotchap and Jan Bednarek both being withdrawn due to injury issues, in what could’ve been a huge blow to the Saints’ chances of getting anything out of the game.
However, Salisu and Maitland-Niles stepped up to the plate when needed, with the latter player looking particularly impressive, winning all four of the duels that he contested on the ground and in the air, and making five clearances, as per SofaScore.
The former Arsenal man also threatened down the other end of the pitch, winning the crucial late penalty to ensure that his side took something from the game, and Ward-Prowse made no mistake from the spot.
Salisu also had a solid game, displaying a willingness to put his body on the line by blocking three shots, the highest amount of any player on the pitch, while also making six clearances.
Both players have shown their manager they are worthy of keeping their places after the international break, with Southampton travelling to West Ham United in a real relegation six-pointer in their first game back.