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26 Nov 2017

Austin Shines As Southampton Sink Everton In 4-1 Defeat [Highlights]

For all his ambition and loyalty, for all the words he has spoken about leading this rabble permanently, there was a look on David Unsworth's face after Southampton's third of four goals that suggested he might just be better off when the job goes elsewhere.
He looked tortured, utterly despondent at the sheer ineptness of this side, shaking his head and too angry to even bother leaving his seat for the usual shouts and waves. And why wouldn't he be? There was no surprise about what happened here because it is happening all the time.

The only question is whether the new guy is any better at solving the riddle of this expensive, gutless squad than the current one, who has now lost five of seven games as caretaker. On this basis, he might rather be caretaker at a maximum-security prison.

Two figures alone were telling about this second drubbing in the space of four days. One was that Southampton had scored only four goals from open play all season and here they doubled it. The other is that Charlie Austin, on his first start in the campaign, had not scored in open play since facing Everton a year ago today, and he headed both the second and third here.

The truth is, Southampton have been desperately unimpressive in attack this season and Everton made them look like Manchester City. Too good to go down? No chance.

They were weak before Dusan Tadic got this rout started, flattered to deceive when Gylfi Sigurdsson scored a beauty on the stroke of half time, and defended atrociously for Austin's two headers. When Steven Davis made it 4-1, it was the least either side deserved.

It might well be Unsworth's last game considering the club's belief that an appointment is 'imminent', but the next man might well have doubts after a loss that was about as bad as the hiding against Atalanta on Thursday.

For Southampton and Maurico Pellegrino, what a relief after winning one of their previous seven league games. They were excellent. If only they could face such pushovers every week.

In the first half, Everton were about as disjointed as at any period of their terrible season, even if they did avoid the usual walloping. That Southampton only scored once was a sign of their own struggles in front of goal; that Everton got out of the half level was barely believable given the weaknesses of their performance.

That was despite Unsworth making eight changes to the midweek side slapped for five by Atalanta, with only Jonjoe Kenny, Michael Keane and Kevin Mirallas retained.

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