Lallana Injury Scare Overshadows Southampton's 1-0 Victory over Reading

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Lallana Injury Scare Overshadows Southampton's 1-0 Victory over Reading
Christopher Lee/Getty Images
Saints fans will be holding their breath over Adam Lallana's knee injury for the next couple of days.

Southampton got a comfortable 1-0 victory at St. Mary's Stadium over Reading on Saturday. The win moved the Saints out of the relegation zone up into 15th place, but it may have come at a price.

Captain Adam Lallana was forced off the pitch after 40 minutes after sustaining a left knee injury. The injury happened when Reading's Jay Tabb was fouled by Jay Rodriguez and Tabb tumbled into Lallana's left leg. The leg appeared to hyperextend, and Lallana went down immediately.

Lallana would get up and walk off the pitch and to the dressing room on his own power, but with a noticeable limp. After the match, Lallana was seen in a knee brace and using crutches.

"We've got (Lallana) in a brace and he is on crutches at the moment," manager Nigel Adkins said after the match, according to Sky Sports. "That is standard procedure."

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Nigel Adkins will have a reason to be concerned if Adam Lallana is out long term.
Adkins continued, "(Lallana) has got a knee injury and what we will do is assess that over the next 24 to 48 hours and that will give us a better prognosis to how long potentially he will be out for. It could be short, it could be longer. We don't know so we won't guess at the moment."

Lallana isn't the only injury concern for Southampton.

Paulo Gazzaniga was left out of the squad with a late injury, reportedly to his shoulder according to PhysioRoom.com. Kelvin Davis played his first Premier League match since conceding six against Arsenal in mid-September, while Artur Boruc filled the backup role on the bench.

The game's only goal came in the 61st minute.

Rickie Lambert took a pass from the back line, controlled the ball and found Nathaniel Clyne on a run down the right wing. Clyne found Jason Puncheon making an inside run into the penalty area. Puncheon settled the ball with his left foot and shot with his weaker right foot, beating Reading keeper Adam Federici with a shot off the inside of the far post.

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Jason Puncheon (second from right) celebrates with Nathaniel Clyne, who set up his goal.
Despite the close scoreline, Southampton were rarely threatened. Saints maintained a 3-to-1 shot advantage (18-6) and had almost two-thirds of the possession with 65 percent, according to WhoScored.com. 

Southampton certainly could have had a more decisive decision. In the 34th minute, Saints had a potential goal ruled out when Maya Yoshida was ruled to have fouled Federici in a goal-mouth scramble. Replays showed Yoshida slightly bumped Federici while trying to get around a Reading defender before Puncheon won a back-post header that ended up in the net.

Federici also played his part in making a couple of good saves to keep the score close. Rickie Lambert had a curling shot in the 21st minute from the left side of the area that was heading far post that was well saved by the Australian keeper. Puncheon was also denied by Federici when his shot from outside the area toward the near post was deflected wide.

Reading did have one good chance right before halftime off of a corner kick. Sean Morrison won a header in the center of the penalty area, which went to Hal Robson-Kanu. Robson-Kanu headed toward goal, only to be foiled by the post as Davis was rooted in the goal.

The positive for Southampton is that they will have two weeks off to heal. Saints were scheduled to travel to Chelsea next Saturday, but the match has been postponed due to Chelsea's participation in the FIFA Club World Cup. No date has been announced for the reschedule.

Southampton will next host Sunderland on December 22 in another match Southampton will hope to collect the full three points from.

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