Levante and Southampton met for the second time in the space of a week last night, with a league match at St Mary’s following on from last weeks cup encounter in Spain.
Levante steamed into the game, and looked to have gone ahead on 13mins. Jean Beausejour played in Argentine top scorer Alejandro Gomez, who slotted home. The linesman flagged though, and a magnificent piece of football went unrewarded.
The home side were ahead on 18mins however, Asamoah Gyan putting Gastin Ramirez through, and the Uruguyan finished, the ball going in off the post. It looked as though the Saints had doubled their lead on 37mins, but this time the flag was raised for Gaston Ramirez.
1-0 was how it stood at the break, so Parfitt made a change for Levante. Mate Simao went off, and the holding midfielder was replaced by the clubs yount player of the year and top scorer from last season, Clinton N’Jie. The change of personell also nessecitated in a change of formation. Going from a 4-2-3-1. to a 4-1-3-2. The extra man up top played swift dividends to. The visitors forced a free kick which N’Jie confodently swept home on 53mins. The game was level at 1 each.
That was the opening of the floodgates in terms of second half goals. On 61mins Juanmi finished off a Gaston Ramirez cross.
Clinton N’Jie was back in the goals again after 77 minutes. Robert Snodgrass fed the fleet footed striker, and he sent the ball home. 2-2, three second half goals, and still heartbreak to come for somebody.
That heartbreak came on 84 minutes, and the visitors were the victims. Juanmi laid it off for Tufan, who put his laces through the ball and thumped it home.
Post match, the Levante boss was pragmatic. He said “Southampton are a good side, one that should be going up automatically. Anythingless will be seen as failure to everybody outside the club, and to ther fans. For us to come here and play that well, I am delighted with my lads. Clinton particularly was different class, but I also thought that at times John Ruddy kept us in it with some top drawer saves. That said, so did the Southampton keeper, and if we had taken a point at least, I dont think that Southampton could have complained.”
“The stats show that Southampton had a bit more of the game, but that said, a side as good as Southampton at home would expect that. All in all, the only thing I am dissapointed about is that we didnt get a point.”
The next league match see’s Montpellier come to Spain, but not before the reserves entertain Torino in the league shield. Parfitt expects a few of the youth team to feature again, as they did against Southampton in the shield match last week.
On the subject of the youth side, they opened up their youth cup competition against German side Bayer Leverkusen. There was a huge number of scouts at the game to watch centre half Matt Miazga, although the American’s performance was a little dissapointing following the hype. To be fair to the player though, it was the first time he had played competitively for the club, and will surely only improve as time goes by.
The youth game finished 2-1 to Leverkusen, Tin Jedvaj scoring the winner twominutes from time. The star performer on the night for Levante was German goalkeeper Odisseas Vlachodimos. The young keeper made several tremendous saves, and will have John Ruddy keeping an eye on him for a first team position.