Southampton rose into the Premier League’s top four by whitewashing rock bottom Sheffield United at St Mary’s Stadium this lunchtime.
Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men were convincing in victory, starting with Che Adams’ opener just after the half-hour mark. He pounced inside the six-yard box to produce a proper poacher’s finish before Stuart Armstrong bagged a second and Nathan Redmond came off the bench to add a third.
For now, Saints are sat in third place depending on this evening’s result at Leicester City – a defeat there and the south-coasters could only be behind Spurs and Liverpool.
Adams took many of the plaudits, rating out as the home side’s best player at 8.0 on SofaScore but another one of Hasenhuttl’s stars stood out in what will undoubtedly be an underrated display.
After all, they did keep a clean sheet, so the defence deserves plenty of credit too. None more so than the right-back.
Kyle Walker-Peters was heavily involved for the Saints, recording 82 touches throughout the 90 minutes he was on the pitch, only one other midfielder or attacking player managed more, also via SofaScore.
The £13.5m-rated dynamo won seven of ten duels, made 100% of his two dribbles, put in two tackles and even enjoyed a shot at goal.
He was also particularly accurate in his passing, making 87% of 60 attempts, which was even better than attacking playmaker Armstrong.
HampshireLive summed up his performance well, giving him an 8/10.
“Energetic from the get-go at St. Mary’s and a player who looks as if he will only get better and better with fans present. He was trusting in his teammates and crucial to a fine first-half performance.”
Walker-Peters is looking more and more like a fine piece of business by the Saints as he continues to star at right-back.
Industrious as ever, the 23-year-old has now started and played the full 90 in all 12 of their top-flight outings this term, and with continued showings like that, he’ll be a hard man for Hasenhuttl to withdraw in the future.