Southampton were relegated from the Premier League as a 2–0 home defeat to Fulham ended the Saints’ 11-year stay in the top flight.
REPEAT OF THE FULL MATCH
Second-half goals from Carlos Vinicius and the returning Aleksandar Mitrovic sealed victory for Fulham as Marco Silva’s side showed their class and looked certain to finish in the top 10.
[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]
Southampton seldom threatened and Ruben Selles have now seen his side go 11 games without a win, apart from a miraculous finish to the season with two wins out of two and their goal difference all but confirm they finish bottom of the Premier League. .
The home fans vented their anger at the full-time whistle, chanting ‘you’re not fit to wear the shirt’ as Southampton’s players have been out of their depths for most of this season and they haven’t been helped by the constant management changes. and change of direction at the top of the club.
This is Sport Republic’s first full season in charge of new owners and they have issued a statement saying: “Our work starts today to get Southampton Football Club back to where it belongs… We understand that significant improvement is needed and at the end of the season we will announce our immediate next steps and provide details on how the club will proceed.”
Reasons why Southampton were relegated – Timeline of decline
- Previous owner Jisheng Gao did not invest in Southampton for almost five years before Sport Republic arrived as owners in January 2021. As a result, the team already lacked quality and experience, which Saints had already made up for in the past 18 months.
- Sport Republic then kept Ralph Hasenhuttl at the helm for too long as the rot started last season (one win in their last 13 games) and the Austrian coach was retained in the summer, despite many thinking it was the right time for everyone to part ways after he did a good job. Saints would have had more management options in the summer if Hasenhuttl had moved.
- They embarked on a risky strategy to attract young players and getting rid of a slew of experience with Fraser Forster, Nathan Redmond, Oriol Romeu and Jack Stephens (rental) all leaving. Romeo Lavia and Armel Bella-Kotchap worked well, but other summer signings Gavin Bazunu, Duje Caleta-Car, Sam Edozie, Joe Aribo and Sekou Mara have all struggled.
- When they fired Hasenhuttl in November, they chose an inexperienced coach in Nathan Jones who had never succeeded in the Premier League. That decision was based purely on statistics from the lower leagues and backfired spectacularly as Jones lost seven of his eight PL games in charge, managing to upset virtually the entire fan base and several key players with his abrasive nature.
- In January, they panicked and spent a lot of money on attackers Kamaldeen Sulemana, Mislav Orsic and Paul Onuachu, but didn’t really have a plan to use them in their system. Only Chelsea spent more than Southampton in January and Sport Republic spent a lot, but not well, in the last two transfer windows.
- When they fired Jones in February, they tried to hire Jesse Marsch but the deal fell through at the last minute and then they simply gave up and gave the job permanently to assistant coach Ruben Selles after he won his first game in charge, a 1–0 win at Chelsea.
- After winning two of his first three games 1-0, Selles put Saints in a very negative fashion and they just didn’t have the players to play that way. The recruiting strategy for many years focused on getting players who can hit high and then Selles asked them to sit back and try to keep the ball. The end result was 13 defeats by a one-goal margin over the season.
- Lack of leadership from top to bottom. This is something that usually happens when a team is relegated, but Sport Republic – led by Rasmus Ankersen on the football side, a man who worked wonders at Brentford and Midtjylland in terms of recruiting – has barely discussed their plans for Saints. Key leaders at every level of the club have left all season and on the pitch Ward-Prowse looked like a shadow of himself and Selles failed to instill faith in his tactics.
- Southampton needs a reset for the whole club and it could well be the best thing to happen to them since the Ronald Koeman era in 2016. Since he left and changed ownership, Saints have been treading water and this season a large number of mistakes, on and off the field, have been too many before handling them. They really deserved to be relegated.
Shameful end to Southampton’s Premier League stay
Only the ‘big six’ and Everton have been in the Premier League longer than Southampton’s 11-year stay and after four consecutive top eight finishes, European action, FA Cup semi-finals and a League Cup final over the past decade, as it has been ended this season has been nothing short of chaotic. From sacking Ralph Hasenhuttl to hiring Nathan Jones, sacking Jones eight PL games later and then appointing assistant Ruben Selles, Southampton have been everywhere this season. Sport Republic arrived as the owner of Southampton a year and a half ago and spent a lot of money on young talents to revive the team. It was a risky strategy. It didn’t work. Not at all.
Big questions need to be asked about the owner and those (particularly Rasmus Ankersen) who made the big decisions, but it all comes down to this: Southampton’s squad is not good enough and those who make the decisions at the top of the league club made bad decisions. An almighty rebuild will have to take place this summer and Southampton must regain its identity as a club. They have had faith in the youth for so long and they need to do it again, while also adding a more experienced squad, if they want to return straight to the Premier League. After giving the Premier League so much over the last 11 years it was sad to see Saints leave in this way.
Stars of the show; Player Ratings Southampton vs Fulham
Harry Wilson: Heavily involved in both goals and constantly threatening on the counter.
Harrison Reed: On his return to Southampton, he dominated the midfield and was involved in the first goal.
Southampton head to Brighton on Sunday 21 May. Fulham will receive Crystal Palace on Saturday 20 May.
How to watch Southampton vs Fulham live, stream link and start time
Kickoff: 10 a.m. ET
TV channel: Peacock
Online: Stream through Peacock Premium
Southampton vs Fulham live analysis! — By Joe Prince-Wright
FULL TIME – Southampton 0-2 Fulham – Saints’ relegation from the Premier League has been confirmed and it’s a sad sight at St Mary’s as most of the fans have already left. A great away win for Fulham, which looks set to secure a top 10 finish.
GOALLLL! Southampton 0-2 Fulham – Aleksandar Mitrovic with a brilliant header as he marks his return from suspension with a goal. Nice cross from Harry Wilson too.
Southampton’s Premier League status is set to fizzle out. They struggle to create something against Fulham.
CLOSE TO! Paul Onuachu heads over from the sixteen-meter area. Decent ball from Kyle Walker-Peters to find the big man at the back post.
GOALLL! Southampton 0-1 Fulham – After a good ball to Harry Wilson and he finds Harrison Reed, a lucky deflection falls straight to Carlos Vinicius and Fulham are ahead.
Carlos Alcaraz has the ball in the back of the net… but he was clearly offside. That got the home fans thinking.
The second half is underway at St Mary’s. Can the Saints save themselves from relegation? At least for now…
PEACE: Southampton 0-0 Fulham – 45 minutes past and apart from Lyanco’s goal line there hasn’t been much action on either side. Remember: Southampton must win this game to stay in the Premier League. They may only have 45 minutes left as a PL club…
OUT OF THE LINE! Lyanco heads away brilliantly as Wilson came in from the right and set up Reed and his pass found Willian at the back post. The Brazilian controlled and volleyed excellently towards goal, but his compatriot Lyanco was there to head when he went off the line.
Not much going on on either side, but Southampton fought back and Fulham didn’t get going in the final third. Bit of a stalemate in the sun, this.
VAR checks for a possible penalty for Fulham after the ball appeared to hit Lyanco on the arm in the penalty area. But nothing is given. The referee then stops Southampton from taking a quick throw when they had a chance to come through cleanly. The home fans are not happy.
Stuart Armstrong shoots to the left, but his cross goes straight for Bernd Leno in the Fulham goal. Again, better of the hosts.
Southampton’s first bit of forward play as Romeo Lavia clipped the ball over the top, but Theo Walcott was just offside and Antonee Robinson cleared it and removed the danger. Still, Saints may be looking for that long ball more often.
Fulham dominated possession early on and Southampton barely had a ball in the Fulham half.
Last Saturday, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak was involved in the coronation of the king. This Saturday #SaintsFC fan Rishi Sunak will be in the stands at St Mary’s at Southampton vs Fulham.
— Joe Prince-Wright (@JPW_NBCSports) May 13, 2023
KICK OFF! We’re sitting in the sun at St Mary’s. Can Southampton get the win they need to keep their hopes of survival alive for at least one more day?
Main storylines and players in shape to watch
Southampton are creating chances and had a good chance at Forest, but they just weren’t good enough on either side of the pitch and that’s why they’re bottom of the table. Carlos Alcaraz (20) and Romeo Lavia (19) are two young players who have been excellent for Saints, while James Ward-Prowse had a goal and an assist against Forest but has fallen short of most of his usually high standards. The season. The biggest problem was conceding goals as Saints let in 64, the third most in the PL.
Fulham have been a bit inconsistent in recent months, but they are still having a great season and most recently Willian, Tom Cairney, Harry Wilson and Carlos Vinicius have made appearances. The Cottagers are really good to watch and with Mitrovic available after serving his eight-match suspension it is likely he will make an appearance at Southampton, probably off the bench.
Southampton team news, injuries, line-up
OUT: Juan Larios (thigh), Mohammed Salisu (pelvis), Romain Perraud (surgery), Valentino Livramento (other), Armel Bella-Kotchap (hamstring), Che Adams (tapping)
Today’s team 😇
Here’s the side taking on #FFC in St Mary’s: pic.twitter.com/carLgfzWsP
— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) May 13, 2023
Fulham team news, injuries, line-up
OUT: Layvin Kurzawa (knee), Tim Ream (broken arm), Andreas Pereira (lower leg)
Our #SOUFUL starting eleven is here! 📋
Mitro is back in the squad. 🔥 pic.twitter.com/3Vkz1ydk2U
— Fulham Football Club (@FulhamFC) May 13, 2023
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