Brentford hammered sorry Southampton 3-0 in west London as the long unbeaten run continues for Thomas Frank’s side and the Bees are dreaming of Europe.
As for Nathan Jones and Saints, he has lost seven of his eight Premier League games in charge and they are rooted to the bottom of the table as the away fans turned against their manager throughout another very disappointing display.
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Ben Mee and Bryan Mbuemo each scored in a three-minute spell just before half time, then Mathias Jensen finished Saints off late on as the Bees eased to victory.
The win moves them on to 33 points for the season, while Saints remain on 15 points.
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Savvy Bees make most of Saints’ weaknesses
Brentford are very good at whipping in crosses and winning balls in the air. Like Dracula, Southampton do not like crosses. This did not seem to be a good matchup for Saints before this game and it went exactly that way. Thomas Frank’s side were ruthless when their chances arrived and Southampton’s jumbled defense gave them too much time to pick out crosses and then switched off to defend the players arriving to score. These were basic errors from Southampton and it’s the reason they are bottom of the league. These crosses and the chaos they cause before, during and after the ball is coming in is also why Brentford are pushing for European qualification. Southampton’s biggest weakness (crosses) is Brentford’s big strength and this turned into a very routine win for the hosts as the pressure continues to mount on Nathan Jones with six defeats in his seven Premier League games in charge. Saints aren’t cut off at the bottom, yet, but it is getting to a very precarious situation for Jones as new players have arrived but there has been no real improvement for Saints since Ralph Hasenhuttl was fired in November.
Nathan Jones blames himself as fans turn against him
Southampton manager Nathan Jones to BBC Match of the Day:”I’m really, really disappointed. First of all I’m disappointed for the fans. The biggest thing for me and I want to be brutally honest with this, I have let the players down. I have let the players down because I came into this club to do a job, I was recruited to do certain things and I don’t see my team in there. I have pandered a little bit, I have gone away and tried to accommodate what we have. I haven’t really put my own stamp on it and I should’ve by now, I really should have.
“I was recruited to do a certain job, to play in a certain way because my teams did really well. We defended the box, we were aggressive, front-footed, we put teams under pressure, we pressed, we counter-pressed really well. Statistically there weren’t many better than me. I’ve come here and gone away from that. I’ve got to get back to doing what we do really well. I won games and I’ve gone away from that. Whoever we played we’d go after teams. I’m not seeing that in my team now.
“I blame myself. I should be driving the standards. Everywhere I’ve been I’ve drove standards, I haven’t let anyone get away with anything. I’ve been on top of everyone. I’ve maybe got carried away that these are Premier League players and you have to give them this and that, but no more. Now I have to go back and to be me because that’s not good enough.
“The manager drives standards, I took plenty of accolades at my previous clubs and manager of the year and statistically one of the best in the country one of the most aggressive managers. On an absolute shoestring by the way. Pound for pound there wasn’t anyone else in the country competing like we did in terms of points per pound.
“I’ve gone away from that and I’m saddened. I should never have gone away from that. I’ve allowed certain things to happen, but that won’t happen anymore. I’ve tried to give people what they want, I’ve tried to really work with the players to give them a system that suits them. But it doesn’t suit me. It hasn’t suited me as a manager or why I was recruited to come here. I was recruited to be aggressive and on the front foot and we’re not that and that’s where we need to get.”
Stars of the show
Bryan Mbuemo: Scored one, set up another and picked so many holes in Saints’ defense. We talk a lot about Toney, but what a season the Cameroon international is having.
Ben Mee: Won everything in the air, scored a beauty of a header and held things together so well. One of the best signings of the season across the entire Premier League.
Brentford head to Arsenal on Saturday, Feb. 11, while Saints have a massive home game against Wolves on the same day.
How to watch Brentford vs Southampton live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 10 am ET, Saturday
Online: Stream via Peacock Premium
GOALLL! Game. Set. Match. Mathias Jensen heads home after another wonderful cross into the box, this time from Rico Henry. Southampton all over the place. Brentford 3-0 up and Jensen’s final touch was to score as he is subbed off.
At the other end Saints twice go close as Theo Walcott is twice denied and Che Adams is clattered into by David Raya.
A quick free kick catches out Saints and Salisu clears off the line. So close to a third as Ivan Toney reacted first.
Much better from Southampton but they need a goal soon to try and launch a massive comeback.
A good start to the second half for Saints, as their two new deadline day signings are on for their debuts: Can Paul Onuachu and Kamaldeen Sulemana get them back in the game?
GOALLL! 2-0 to Brentford. Mbuemo slots home. The Bees are buzzing and catch Saints on the counter. Two goals in three minutes for the hosts. Saints look stunned.
GOALLL! Right before half time Brentford take the lead. Ben Mee bravely heads home a brilliant cross from Mbuemo. 1-0 to the Bees.
Not much going on in west London. Saints happy to sit back and Brentford struggling to create chances on the counter.
An even game so far with Saints having a few chances early on and Brentford have caused problems with crosses into the box.
Key storylines & star players
Last time out, Brentford settled for a frustrating 0-0 draw with Leeds, but before that they rattled off successive wins over West Ham, Liverpool and Bournemouth with just one goal conceded in three games. Ivan Toney is 3rd in the Premier League with 13 goals, trailing only Harry Kane (16) and Erling Haaland (an absurd 25). After initially struggling to replace the creativity of Christian Eriksen (4 assists in 11 appearances last season), Thomas Frank’s side is firing once again thanks to Mathias Jensen (4 in 20), Toney (3) and Josh Dasilva (2) picking up the slack.
After losing 3-1 to Newcastle over two legs in the League Cup semifinals, Southampton return their attention to the ongoing relegation battle. Having won just one of their last nine Premier League fixtures (1W-1D-7L), Saints made four first-team signings to strengthen the midfield and attack. They brought in some experience (30-year-old midfielder Mislav Orsic from Dinamo Zagreb and 28-year-old forward Paul Onuachu from Genk) along with some youth and potential (a pair of 20-year-olds, midfielder Carlos Alcaraz from Racing Club and winger Kamadeen Selumana from Rennes).
Brentford team news, injuries, lineup
OUT: Pontus Jansson (thigh), Frank Onyeka (hamstring), Shandon Baptiste (adductor)
Your Bees line-up to face Southampton 🐝#BrentfordFC | #BRESOU | @BlueJeansNet pic.twitter.com/LibOhTWw4S
— Brentford FC (@BrentfordFC) February 4, 2023
Southampton team news, injuries, lineup
OUT: Valentino Livramento (knee), Kyle Walker-Peters (hamstring), Juan Larios (adductor), Alex McCarthy (ankle)
Loading in London… 🔋
Your #SaintsFC side to take on #BrentfordFC: pic.twitter.com/5Y4QBNRAWB
— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) February 4, 2023