Southampton fell to their eighth home defeat of the season against buoyant Brentford when a simple touch from Ivan Toney and a late goal from Yoane Wissa were enough to earn a 2–0 win at a rain-soaked St Mary’s side.
The weather reflected the gloomy mood on another damaging night for Ruben Selles’ side, who registered just one lackluster shot on goal, and was reminiscent of a team blighted by fear of relegation.
Recording their third away win of the Premier League season, Brentford found the net once in each half to secure maximum points, with Toney opening the scoring on 32 minutes and Wissa safeguarding victory with a goal from break in injury time of the second half.
Since the World Cup restarted, Thomas Frank’s side have scored the fourth most points in the division (22) and have lost fewer games than any other side.
Southampton’s home record, by comparison, remains the worst in the league, despite a vastly improved display that included a season-high 563 passes and a commanding 67 per cent share of possession as they lost Another chance to break clear of the relegation zone.
“We controlled the game the way we wanted… but in some situations we need to demand more,” coach Selles admitted after the game.
Brentford, who suffered their first defeat in 12 Premier League games at the weekend when they lost to Everton, move past Fulham to eighth in the Premier League table, one point behind Brighton and Liverpool.
- Southampton: Ruben Selles made two changes from a brave draw at Old Trafford, swapping Romeo Lavia and Theo Walcott for Ibrahima Diallo and Moi Elyounoussi respectively.
- Brentford: Thomas Frank made a similar change with Mikkel Damsgaard dropping to the bench to allow a first start from Kevin Schade.
How Saints stumbled upon the Brentford Clinic
Brentford are looking up. Southampton are looking over their shoulders. That was obvious.
Talisman Toney struck once again to give the Bees’ slim hopes of a place in Europe a boost, slotting the ball into the net from close range in the 32nd minute for his 16th goal in an already impressive season.
The corner routine, one of the few set-piece variations Brentford tried, saw Christian Norgaard dart towards the near post to launch Bryan Mbeumo’s delivery into the path of Toney, who used a combination of power and sheer determination to beat Kyle Walker. -Peters to the ball.
The striker continues to excite manager Frank, who said before the match that Toney was capable of partnering Harry Kane for England. In fact, since the start of last season, only Kane (37), Mohamed Salah (34) and Son Heung-Min (29) have contributed more top-flight goals than the Brentford striker in top flight.
“Ivan has done more than enough to give Gareth a headache in a positive way,” Frank reaffirmed after Toney’s latest reminder, less than 24 hours before Gareth Southgate is due to announce his squad for March internationals.
The hosts came closest with their lone shot on goal immediately after the restart, when Waker-Peters rushed into the box before clipping the ball past Che Adams, but Aaron Hickey was well placed to deflect the shot wide. the line.
Tempers frayed late, due to a sense of desperation from the home team, before Brentford ended the equalizer with a superb second when Wissa jumped the offside trap, latched on to a clever touch from Toney and placed the ball emphatically. beyond Gavin Bazunu.
Southampton: Bazunu (6), Walker-Peters (6), Bednarek (5), Bella-Kotchap (6), Perraud (6), Ward-Prowse (6), Diallo (5), Elyounoussi (5), Alcaraz (6) , Sulemana (6), Adams (5).
Substitutes: Lavia (5), Walcott (4), Bree (5), Onuachu (5).
Brentford: Raya (7), Henry (6), Mee (7), Pinnock (6), Hickey (7), Jensen (7), Norgaard (7), Janelt (7), Mbeumo (7), Toney (9), Schade (7).
Substitutes: Onyeka (6), Wissa (7), Jansson (6), Damsgaard (6).
Man of the match: Ivan Toney
Frank delighted with Brentford’s ‘recovery mentality’
Brentford manager Thomas Frank:
“I felt the rebounding mentality. I think we started the game very well and it was done well, with a lot of pressure. We created chances from set pieces, very dangerous there.”
“The second half got tough. Maybe in one season you can play seven or eight perfect games and then there are 20 where you can do better.”
“There are some where you really need to dig in, we did very well today. Iván got a goal and an assist. There was room to run.
“We are very happy with the away win and the clean sheet. We looked solid. I am very happy that we are back to winning ways.”
Selles: We need to work on our principles
Rubén Selles, Southampton coach:
“It’s frustrating because the game was in the details. We conceded a goal from set pieces. We controlled the game the way we wanted, in possession with a lot of pressure, we were dominant. But in some situations we need to demand more.
“We have to start working better on our principles to score goals. We didn’t have quality in the last third to make the difference. In the end we chased and conceded the second.
“We adjusted our playing place [in the second half], but we lost our momentum. We were not very clear with our principles, so we need to analyze and move on to the next one.
“We knew from the moment we took the team that it would be difficult. We have to stick to the plan. When there are games every three days, you have to learn through the games and today we learned the hard way possible.”
Analysis: Toney hard to miss
Laura Hunter from Sky Sports:
What else can Ivan Toney do to get Gareth Southgate’s attention? It is certainly Brentford’s trump card, adding another goal and an assist to their growing plethora of goal contributions this term. There’s no hint of season two syndrome with the Bees clearly comfortable in their surroundings, but you wonder if that statement would hold true in Toney’s absence.
His influence on this side is somewhat endearing, akin to a lovable rogue. He continues to stand out despite the threat of a lengthy suspension for alleged gambling violations looming over him. “Great character, great player for us,” Thomas Frank commented when asked about Toney’s inevitable impact.
He leads from the front, all the way around, acting as the trigger when Brentford rampages and pressures opponents, when they fall back into compact form, and particularly when they launch a hasty counter-attack. You can’t teach that, it’s instinctive, summed up perfectly by the striker’s smart move towards Yoane Wissa that closed out the game late on. He makes a compelling case. “A fantastic player to work with,” summed up Frank. Perhaps, in time, Southgate might feel the same way.
Opta: Toney is going from strength to strength
- Brentford have scored 18 goals from set pieces in the Premier League this season, the most of any team. Four of his last seven goals in the competition have come from set pieces (2x corners, 1x free kick, 1x penalty).
- Brentford’s Ivan Toney has scored against 17 of the 21 teams he has faced in the Premier League, and tonight it is his first against Southampton.
- Ruben Selles’ five Premier League games in charge of Southampton have seen just five goals scored (two for, three against), with the Saints conceding more tonight (two) than in their first four under him (one). .
brentford are next in action on Saturday March 18th, hosting leicester citystart 3pm, while fighting southampton have the chance to improve their league position at home to tottenham the same day, which is also a 3:00 p.m. kickoff