So’ton 4 – 1 Brentford

Southampton – in front of new owner Dragan Solak – hit four goals in a Premier League game for the first time this season as they thrashed Brentford 4-1 at St Mary’s.

In a game that was originally postponed because of a Covid-19 outbreak in the Brentford squad, Southampton wasted no time, going ahead inside five minutes as Jan Bednarek found space at the near post to glance James Ward-Prowse’s corner into the far corner from close range.

Only Norwich (15) have conceded the first goal in more Premier League games this term than Brentford (13), who have done so in 12 of their last 13 matches.

Brentford struggled to get going as Southampton continued to pin them back, but Thomas Frank’s side did find an equaliser in the 23rd minute courtesy of their first attempt on goal in the match. Bryan Mbeumo did brilliantly to dig out a cross and it was met with a fine volley from Vitaly Janelt to beat Fraser Forster.

Team news

  • Mohammed Salisu returned from suspension to bolster Southampton’s defence. Fellow defender Lyanco and midfielder Ibrahima Diallo were also recalled by manager Ralph Hasenhuttl, while forward Che Adams was named among the substitutes following an absence due to coronavirus.
  • Brentford made four changes to the team which beat Aston Villa 2-1 on January 2. Bryan Mbeumo was rewarded with a start following his hat-trick in the weekend FA Cup win at Port Vale, with Kristoffer Ajer, Shandon Baptiste and Vitaly Janelt also returning to Thomas Frank’s top-flight starting XI.

In an action-packed first half, Saints restored their advantage eight minutes before half-time following an unfortunate own goal from Bees goalkeeper Alvaro Fernandez. Ibrahima Diallo’s low shot rebounded off the upright before hitting the Brentford goalkeeper’s hand and nestling in the back of the net.

After the break, there was no stopping the hosts as Armando Broja stretched Southampton’s lead with a breakaway goal just four minutes into the second half. The Chelsea loanee raced clear from halfway following Oriol Romeu’s exquisite through ball before calmly beating Fernandez.

The hosts were now enjoying themselves as the club’s new owner watched on, and they put the finishing touch on an impressive victory when substitute Che Adams lifted the ball beyond Fernandez.

Victory sees Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side, who are now unbeaten in four league matches, move above Brentford and into 11th in the Premier League table. Meanwhile, it was a poor night for Frank and his side as the heavy defeat sees them move down to 13th.

Goals galore for Saints at St Mary’s… finally!

  • For the first time in 78 home league matches, Southampton scored 4 or more goals in a single Premier League game at St Mary’s, previously doing so against Everton in November 2017 (4-1).
  • Following tonight’s victory, Southampton have won eight of their last nine games (losing one), when facing a side for the first time in the top-flight.
  • Jan Bednarek’s opener was the fourth time that Southampton have scored in the first five minutes of a Premier League game this season (two of those scored by the Polish defender); the most of any side in the competition in 2021-22.
  • Five of Bednarek’s six Premier League goals for Southampton have been scored at St Mary’s, with four of those being assisted by James Ward-Prowse.

Saints alive! Hasenhuttl’s side impress in front of new owners

Ibrahima Diallo celebrates with team-mates after Southampton’s second goal, an own goal by Brentford’s Alvaro Fernandez

Sky Sports Oliver Yew:

“Dragan Solak was all smiles, and why not, as he witnessed his new team emphatically sweep aside Brentford.

“In what was the first game at St Mary’s since it was confirmed that Sport Republic had bought an 80 per cent stake of the club, Southampton put on a show for the new owner as the goals flowed freely for Hassenhutl’s side.

“Brentford had no answer for Saints’ free-flowing attack, which was admirably led by the impressive Armando Broja, who grabbed his side’s third.

“After a showing like that, the new Southampton owner will be wondering if it is like this every week at St Mary’s, but maybe he shouldn’t get too excited. The next visitors to St Mary’s… Manchester City!

“In contrast, there were Brentford fans heading for the exits early. They’d seen enough and you can’t blame them. It was a poor showing from Frank’s side, especially when they had the carrot of a win seeing them move back into the top half of the table.

“The defeat is Brentford’s heaviest top-flight defeat since May 1947, when they lost 0-3 at home to Blackburn.

“Now, Brentford, who are still 12 points ahead of the relegation places, face a difficult run of fixtures coming up with Liverpool, Manchester United and Manchester City their opponents in three of their next four league games.

“And Frank will be hoping his side can bounce back quickly and avoid getting dragged into a relegation scrap as we move into the business end of the season.”

What’s next?

Southampton travel to face Wolves at Molineux in the Premier League on Saturday; kick-off 3pm. Brentford visit Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday at 2pm.

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