Brentford Away Lost 3 – 0
Next up, a visit to the Premier League’s newest arrivals, at the newest stadium of the traditional 92, tucked away between railway lines and more or less under an elevated motorway. More changes to Ralph’s line-up at Brentford, but they seemed to be in the search for a combination that gels rather than towards any great plan to get something out of the last game of the season where fans will turn up expecting a decent result. If there was a plan, it had to be to avoid throwing away a lead, e.g. against Palace and so many others, and to avoid going two down before the interval, as in the last two away fixtures: at least the first target was met, but in a sorry sort of way. Just as at Burnley, a promising first few minutes was followed by two home goals that changed the complexion of the game and rendered having the lion’s share of possession irrelevant. Only Southampton can’t have realised that Brentford like to go long to the far post from corners, or why else would only Diallo have been marking Toney from that position? It didn’t help that Diallo made such a mess of his task anyway, and Toney ended up being able to cross for Jansson to score from close range. Barely a minute had passed before it was 2-0, when defensive cover, clearly missing Romeu, opened up for Eriksen and then scorer Wissa to stroll through oh so easily. Such was the state of the Saints rearguard that it could easily have been more by the interval, but a Brighton-style comeback might have been possible had Adam Armstrong’s strike after Eriksen had lost possession been allowed to stand rather than being marginally offside. Both player and team desperately needed that goal as fresh legs off the bench failed to make much impact and ideas had seemed to run dry well before a third home goal settled things for good; Ajer‘s goal from his full back position could be described as ‘solo’ but it came at the end of a spell of Bees’ control met only by some tired looking defending. The manager’s post match comments have been increasingly incoherent of late, and (although it was difficult to tell) this time he seemed to be blaming his forwards. Really?
LSSC Man of the Match: Stuart Armstrong. Well, I don’t know really, so why not go with the BBC’s ratings? They gave Stuart 4.48 out of 10, while Brentford’s Christian Eriksen scored 8.63 – a stat that sums up the game better than most.