Southampton earned their first win in 10 league matches with a 2-0 win against relegation-threatened Sheffield United on Saturday afternoon, with Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side well worthy of the three points at Bramall Lane.
A penalty from James Ward-Prowse gave the Saints the lead before Che Adams came back to haunt his old club by scoring a screamer to seal the points in the second half.
Truthfully, it could have been more comfortable for Hasenhuttl’s side, with Takumi Minamino and Nathan Tella guilty of big misses, but the Austrian will surely be relieved that his side were finally able to bring an end to their woeful recent form.
Whilst Tella is rightfully earning a lot of plaudits for his display, as he won the penalty in the first half and caused the Sheffield United defence all sorts of problems with his pace, it was arguably Stuart Armstrong who was the star performer against Chris Wilder’s side.
As per SofaScore, the Scottish international earned an impressive 7.4 match rating for his display, which was the best of any Southampton player, and the joint-best of any player from either side on the pitch. Tella, meanwhile, earned a 7.0 match rating.
During the 90 minutes, Armstrong played four key passes, which was the most of any player on the pitch (SofaScore), and he also picked up an assist for Adams’ goal as his chested lay-off was perfect for the former Birmingham striker to rifle home an incredible volley.
The former Celtic man was more than willing to run at the Sheffield United defence, as he completed two of his five dribbles during the game, more than the 1.5 dribbles per game he has averaged in the top-flight so far this season.
He was not just impressive from a creative point of view, however, as he also worked superbly with Kyle Walker-Peters down the right-hand side from a defensive point of view.
During his time on the pitch, the 26-year-old completed five tackles and made three interceptions, which is far more than the two tackles and 0.9 interceptions he has averaged in the Premier League this season.
Therefore, whilst Tella might be the name on a lot of Southampton fans’ lips after his promising display, it was arguably Armstrong who was the star at Bramall Lane, and Hasenhuttl will surely be delighted with the work he put in from both an attacking and a defensive perspective.
And, in other news… Leach confirms injury boost to “super-talented” gem, Ralph surely buzzing