Southampton suffered a devastating last-gasp 2-1 defeat against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday night, but Saints fans were quick to praise Sofiane Boufal for the impact he made from the substitutes’ bench.
The Moroccan forward was dropped to the bench for the trip to the Premier League leaders as Mauricio Pellegrino opted for a more defensive line-up with the pacy duo of Shane Long and Nathan Redmond up top, but he came on to replace Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg in the 64th minute following Virgil van Dijk’s own goal just after the break.
The 24-year-old set up Oriol Romeu’s equaliser just over 10 minutes later, feigning to shoot from a cross to the back post before taking a touch to the byline and expertly cutting the ball back for his midfield teammate.
Southampton supporters took to social media to give their thoughts on Boufal, and while one labelled him an “absolute genius”, another went a step further by saying he “is twice, if not three times, the player Matt Le Tissier was”.
Here is just a selection of the Twitter reaction…
Still very proud of our performance last night. We should have played like that against Liverpool. Hope the players take some belief into the game this weekend. Also: Boufal makes things happen in big games too. Top-class. #saintsfc
— The Archers Road End (@ArchersRoadEnd) November 30, 2017
I must admit I criticised the lineup before the game. I have to give massive credit to Pellegrino because he set us up superbly to suit the match and it so should have paid off. Then he brought Boufal on, what an impact. We had more chances throughout the game to win. #SaintsFC
— Nathan Newington (@newington13) November 29, 2017
Boufal's touch was absolute class for our goal; looks like exactly what we've been missing for the last season or two #SaintsFC
— Alex ?⚪ (@saintsfc_alex) November 29, 2017
As if people are only now jumping on Boufal's band wagon. Touch, skill and vision that we've not seen for decades at our club. #Saintsfc
— Aaron woodford (@AaronWoodford) November 29, 2017
Boufal is twice if not three times the player Matt Le Tissier was, surprised it’s taking people this long to see this. #SaintsFC
— Max Harries (@mtharries) November 29, 2017
Boufal is so good. So good. Him and Austin have to start on Sunday. #saintsfc
— Chris Rann (@crstig) November 29, 2017
Boufal is an absolute genius. So talented ? #SaintsFC
— Gary Dabbs (@SaintDabbsie) November 29, 2017
Boufal not losing his head? Learning composure? Using experience? Applying that sublime skill? He is only going to get better. Loved him at Lille and backed him here. The most naturally skilled #SaintsFC have had since you know. Yep. CMFG ?
— Les' Lamborghini (@saintbannerman) November 29, 2017