SHOT-SHY Barnsley were undone by Adam Lallana’s clinical brace as Championship leaders Southampton eased to a comfortable win.The first sniff of a Reds chance came in the fourth minute and it was created by lively wide-man Cotterill.
He charged his way to the by-line before dragging a cross back for Davies who just couldn’t squeeze his way past centre-back Fonte. There were muffled appeals for a penalty from one or two of the Barnsley players, but referee Mr Phillips was unmoved.
At the other end there was a minor scare as Lee found space in the box, but he fired harmlessly wide.
Otherwise Steele was enjoying a confident start to the game, and that was highlighted by a smart save from Lambert’s powerful drive. The effort was parried, and thankfully Lee wasn’t quick enough to react and pounce on the rebound.
In the 35th minute Barnsley came the closest any of the sides had managed thus far in the game.
Dawson was the orchestrator as he charged through the heart of the midfield before touching the ball to Cotterill, and the former Swansea man was unfortunate as his superbly-struck shot was palmed round the post by the fully-stretched Davis.
As is so often the case, however, the side looking more comfortable fell behind to a goal which came arguably against the run of play.
The Saints broke the deadlock in the 36th minute thanks to a smartly-worked goal from LALLANA, who pounced clinically from close range after latching onto a header back across goal from danger-man Lambert.
The confidence-fuelled Saints doubled their lead nine minutes after the restart with a straight-forward strike. Lee drifted past McNulty on the left and crossed in low for LALLANA who swept home clinically from close range.
There was some respite with the prolific Lambert then being replaced by the hosts, but the Reds were now looking like potential lambs to the slaughter.
The woodwork got in the Reds’ way with 17 minutes left. Just when the Saints were looking to wind down the minutes Done floated in a free-kick which substitute Rose leapt to meet superbly.