A win is a win: Benteke injured, Kozak scores and Guzan shines again

Well, that was a lot of things to a lot of people. For me, it was relief and worry all in one. We got the result and that was really the most important thing, but in my opinion, the football was poor.

We hit long, we didn't keep the ball enough and when we did we didn't seem to know what to do with it and to top it all off the possession was 35.8% during the 90 minutes. And, I don't think you'll find anyone that says we were not fortunate yesterday.


If it wasn't for Brad Guzan saving a penalty early on and then making quite possible the save of the month with a minute to go, then we would have lost.

But, we do have pace and we are always a threat on the counter attack. That was what Chris Hughton said after the game and it is something I fear is going to be said quite a lot about us this season, unless we figure out another way to play.

And we know we can, because towards the end of last season we started to play like that but yesterday and in the previous four games this season we've not had a plan b.

Key moments

Well, there is the 6th minute above when Guzan saved the penalty. Good shout for having it retaken as Guzan was within touching distance when Snodgrass actually took it.

In the 28th minute Benteke went off with what looks like a groin injury and he did look in pain. Now, I'm not a doctor but a groin problem could be quite serious. I'm not saying he is out for any length of time but it could be a few weeks.

Three minutes after Benteke was replaced by Kozak, he only goes to score his first goal for us with quite possibly his second touch. His first touch came after a great through ball from Weimann that resulted in Kozak shooting and the keeper saving, to Gabby who took the ball under controlled and passed to Kozak to score with his second touch.

Benteke Injured

Now, I'm just saying, but when your replacement, quite possibly in more ways than one comes on and scores within minutes, the optimism returns. Benteke might be out for a while, but we have a player that runs and knows where the goal is. It might not be so bad.

And with a minute or two to go, we have the save from Guzan I wrote about above. That save and the penalty save make him my man of the match even if he drives me mad sometimes with his distribution.

I watched Swansea play Liverpool the other day and their keeper plays short every single time and a player is always looking for it. When you do that, you keep the ball, which is usually an important factor in scoring goals and not letting them score. When you kick long it becomes a 50/50. We have to keep the ball.

Player news

Well, you know about Benteke, we just don't know for how long he is going to be out. But we also have news that Lowton was dropped yesterday. He is definitely not injured and yes, I could write rested so maybe that was an aggressive way of looking at it, but I fully expect him to be back soon.

Bacuna did a fine job in replacing him for the match yesterday but Lowton might be back for Spurs or even Manchester City. I think he just needed time to put his head in the right place and I also think Lowton is very much our right back for the future.

Also worth noting that Tonev started yesterday and there is promise. He had more shots than anyone else (something you have to do to score goals) and he was industrious. He is a winger and yesterday we didn't really set ourselves up to play that way, and he was asked to be more of an all round midfielder but if he gets a run and gets used to that way of playing, I do think we'll see him grow.

Rather that that having a little pop after 140 minutes of football this season which is what I was seeing on Twitter yesterday.

And that is about it. Helenius came on again, as did Sylla. Neither had too much time and both had a job to do. All in all a performance worthy of the win, because Guzan saved the penalty and the last minute opportunity, but we were fortunate while at the same time lacking something in the middle of the park.

In closing

There is still a way to go. We're still missing that player int he middle of the park we all knew we were missing with days of the transfer window open.

But Kozak looks good and we know we are going to get better and it's these games we should be winning and we did, so on a Sunday morning with three points in the bag and the knowledge that it will get better, I'm in a good mood.

And when you think that we are only three points off the only unbeaten team in the Premier League, who are currently fifth, it's not so bad. And when we get our passing and possession back to where it should be, we will be much harder to beat and we will score goals.