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24th Nov, 2016 | 7:52pm

Southampton player ratings v Sparta Prague: Van Dijk struggles

COMMENT By Harvey Byrne

Football Insider rates the Southampton players after their 1-0 loss against Sparta Prague in Thursday’s Europa League match at Generali Arena.

Fraser Forster 7 – Can’t be blamed for the goal and made some vital stops to prevent his side from going two behind.

Cuco Martina 3 – Cedric won’t have been worried with his display, as the Curcacao international showed why he was the second choice right-back with a number of poor crosses.

Maya Yoshida 6 – Looked strong in defence when called upon and did his job well.

Virgil van Dijk 4 – An uncharacteristic poor display for the Southampton star. Should have scored with a header from a corner late into the second half.

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Sam McQueen 6 – Made some good attacking runs in the first half, but was anonymous in the second half.

Jordy Clasie 6 – Struggled to get a hold of the game in midfield before being brought off for Charlie Austin.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg 5 – Almost made a costly error in the first half with a backwards header and looked lost in the midfield.

James Ward-Prowse 6 – Caused some trouble with his set-pieces, but Southampton needed more creativity in open play.

Nathan Redmond 5 – Failed to influence the game and lost the ball on numerous occasions with poor play.

Shane Long 6 – Didn’t get any joy upfront against a strong back line.

Jay Rodriguez 3 – The 27-year-old forward is a shadow of his former self following his anterior cruciate ligament injury in 2014 and struggled again on Thursday evening.


Oriol Romeu (for Pierre-Emile Hojbjer 55 mins) 6

Sofiane Boufal (for Jay Rodriguez 55 mins) 5

Charlie Austin (for Jordy Clasie 72 mins) 6

In other Southampton news, why this Liverpool outcast would be perfect for the Saints.