So sure was I that this would be a draw, I even managed to predict the correct scoreline in the pub sweep in the Rose of Denmark before the game. All the portents were there, Sam wins player of the month, Parkinson wins manager of the month, a returning Pardew, the divisions draw specialists. Yep, couldn't be anything other than a draw really could it?
I don't remember Pardew ever setting up a Charlton side to be as physical as the Saints were yesterday though? We were outmuscled occasionally, but never cowed. Everybody worked hard, and as the highlights last night showed, our second disallowed goal was not offside. I have been quite impressed with the standard of refereeing at this level, but yesterdays officials collectively had a shocker.
How we managed to pick up three bookings in the second half, when Southampton had not picked up a single one in the first half was beyond me. Their right back Harding, had obviously been told to "do a job" on both Sam and Shelvey if they ever strayed into his territory, and he went about his task with both vim and venom. He should not have been allowed to stay on the pitch, never mind escape a booking. Add to that, the same player hauling Sam down for a clear penalty that wasn't given, and Lallana escaping scot free after the handbags incident in the second half, which he started, and you have three incidents, which were but the tip of the iceberg, of poorly handled refereeing decisions.
On balance, a draw was a fair result, and unfortunately other teams will now have seen that the best way to try and stop Charlton, is to rough the team up a bit. The good news for Charlton fans, is that the team can handle it.