Premier League six-pointers don’t get much bigger than Southampton’s game against Swansea City.
The two teams went into the game locked together on 33 points, with the Welsh side starting the night in the relegation zone – put simply, the stakes couldn’t have been much higher when it comes to Premier League survival.
With so much riding on the match at the Liberty Stadium, mind games were always likely to play a part, though we might not have predicted the extent to which Southampton’s plans were going to be toyed with.
The Swansea Marriott Hotel, where the visitors were due to stay before the game, cancelled their booking at short notice, forcing them to stay more than half an hour away – but it came back to bite the venue in a big way.
Southampton survived the disruption to win 1-0 through Manolo Gabbiadini’s second-half goal, meaning they’ll live to fight another day in the Premier League barring an unlikely combination of results on Sunday.
The only way they can now be relegated is if Huddersfield avoid defeat against one of Chelsea and Arsenal, Swansea beat Stoke City, Southampton lose to champions Manchester City and Swansea make up a 10-goal swing in the goal difference stakes.
It’s no surprise, then, that the Saints were willing to rub it in, and they did so in the only way they know how – with a creative social media post.
The club’s Twitter account had a brilliant take on over-elaborate transfer announcement last summer, but they’ve taken things to another level with – wait for it – TripAdvisor banter.
In the mocked-up review, an account named ‘WeMarchOn’ talks about needing to visit the Marriott for “an extremely important business trip” which was – thankfully for them – “extremely productive” despite the disruption.
Continuing the football-match-as-business-trip metaphor, they note that they don’t plan to return any time soon.
They might be made to look very silly if Swansea do the improbable and somehow turn things around on the final day.