Southampton continued their good form with a comfortable home win over Burnley. After another summer of upheaval, Saints were expected to fall into mid-table this season, but their recent performances suggest that they can push the top clubs once more. The visitors suffered their fourth successive away defeat and never really competed with their established opponents, which will be concerning for their supporters. The promoted side failed to add enough quality over the summer and are now paying the price. Here are three things that we learned on Sunday…
Charlie Austin is finding form on the South Coast
Injuries ruined his first half of a season as a Southampton player and he started this season outside of the first eleven, but he is now a key man for Claude Puel’s men. He scored a brace to give his side another three points and he looks as sharp in front of goal as he did during QPR’s last season in the top flight. There were doubts about his ability to show that form consistently, but he has proven those to be incorrect. His movement and overall play was superb, showing that the decision not to replace Graziano Pelle wasn’t a mistake.
There will be concerns about his conversion rate as he did have a lot of shots during the match, but it is difficult to criticise a player that scored two goals. At the beginning of the season, Southampton struggled to score goals and the lack of a physical presence in the final third was one of the reasons for that. Austin can dominate centre backs and hold the ball up for to bring midfielders into the game. He has earned a long run in the Southampton team, with his next task to show consistency and stay there.