A full-strength Southampton side fell to a 2-0 defeat at home to Championship side Brentford as they were knocked out of the Carabao Cup at St Mary’s.
In the Saints’ first home game of the new competitive season, Ralph Hassenhuttl named a strong side to face the Championship promotion favourites, with just one change from the weekend’s defeat to Crystal Palace – youngster Nathan Tella made his full debut, replacing Will Smallbone. Meanwhile Brentford, having also lost on the opening day of their league season, could only name five substitutes, owing to a positive COVID-19 test in the squad leading to some players being forced to quarantine, in line with government restrictions.
It was a familiar story for Saints, who, despite dominating possession, were completely outplayed by the Bees.
Alex McCarthy, who put in some stellar performances towards the end of last season post-lockdown, started poorly and was booked early on for a poor challenge.
Despite this, Saints had the first real chance to take the lead – Golden Boot runner-up Danny Ings was played a great through ball by left-back Ryan Bertrand, but Ings fired just wide.
Shortly before half time, it was end-to-end play as Che Adams struck the post from close range, again after great play from Ryan Bertrand.
Brentford, however, were the ones to take the lead on 40 minutes as a routine set-piece saw Christian Norgaard score a header for the Bees from a corner.
Brentford could’ve doubled their lead just minutes afterwards as another error from McCarthy allowed Mbuemo to sweep round him, firing wide.
The away side did double their lead in stoppage time in the first half with former Chelsea man Jay Dasilva with a tidy finish to send them into half-time with a 2-0 lead.
The introduction of Shane Long was the last hope for Hassenhuttl, whose side have now lost two in a row for the first time since early March and have failed to score in two consecutive games for the first time under Hassenhuttl – the last time that happened was two 0-0 draws in the league in October 2018.
An uneventful second half meant it was the London side – who missed out on a Premier League promotion place last season having lost in the Play-Off final to rivals Fulham – who progressed to the Carabao Cup Third Round, where they will take on Premier League opposition in West Bromwich Albion.
Saints boss Ralph Hassenhuttl said,
We have to be very, very clear that at the moment, with the team we have, it will be very difficult to win games.
We were not quick enough at any part, not physically and not mentally. There is a lot of work to do.
The Saints now turn their attention to their first home game in the league, a tough fixture against Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday at noon.
FT: SOUTHAMPTON 0-2 Brentford (Norgaard 40′, Dasilva 45’+1′)
Southampton: A. McCarthy (booked), Walker-Peters, Stephens, Bednarek, Bertrand, Tella (Obafemi 84′), Ward-Prowse, Romeu, Redmond (Djenepo 71′), Adams (Long 84′), Ings. Unused Subs: Vestergaard, Smallbone, Vokins, Forster.
Brentford: Daniels, Dalsgaard (booked), Goode (booked), Bech Sorensen, Thompson (booked) (Henry 71′), Dasilva (Marcondes 71′), Norgaard, Baptiste, Mbuemo, Forss (Dervisoglu 77′), Fosu-Henry. Unused Subs: Pinnock, Zamburek.
Wessex Scene Man of the Match: Jay Dasilva (Brentford)
Referee: John Brooks