Assess which 9-0 defeat was the worst for Southampton
Southampton suffered the ultimate humiliation for the second time in two seasons as they were demolished 9-0 by Manchester United at Old Trafford on Tuesday night.
The Reds were relentless in their pursuit of goals and took full advantage of their personal advantage as the Saints sent off two men during the game, including debutant Alex Jankewitz after just 78 seconds.
This follows their embarrassing 9-0 loss to Leicester in October 2019, where Jamie Vardy and Ayoze Perez scored hat tricks against Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side.
But which of these heavy losses was the worst? Let’s rate both games and take a look.
Entering the match at Old Trafford, Southampton struggled. After a decent start to the season playing attractive football, Hasenhuttl’s side have achieved three wins in their last six games in all competitions, but only one win in their last eight Premier League games.
They were hit hard by injuries, with just 12 senior players in good shape heading into the trip to Manchester, and that certainly had a part to play in the result.
Before Leicester’s loss in 2019, form was probably worse. In the nine Premier League games leading up to this game, the Saints had won just two and lost three of their last four. They occupied 17th place in the table with just eight points and only out of the relegation zone on goal difference.
Overall, seven players have played in both games within a year of each other, not including goalkeeper Alex McCarthy and forward Che Adams, who were unused substitutes the first time around.
Against United, Southampton were forced to play two academy players early on due to injuries. With so many players away, it was a very changed side on the side that usually started and Hasenhuttl was forced to name five teenagers and two goalkeepers as part of his substitute bench.
In 2019, he didn’t have these issues. He played a 3-5-2 system and had his pick of first-choice players, which made that performance even more difficult to understand.
So that’s where we get to the bottom of the horrible performances – the red cards.
Southampton’s night was instantly made trickier thanks to the aforementioned red card for young midfielder Jankewitz after 78 seconds for a reckless and dangerous thigh challenge. What was more controversial, however, was the second red card of the evening for Jan Bednarek.
The Polish defender was sent off in the 86th minute for tripping Anthony Martial, but the contact was minimal and he is clearly withdrawing from the challenge in anticipation of the contact. That said, the penalty he conceded made it 7-0 in the 87th minute and they conceded two more in added time.
Against Leicester, Ryan Bertrand was sent off after 12 minutes for a stud challenge on Perez which the referee first let go and the Foxes scored on the advantage. VAR pulled it out and Bertrand was waved with the red card, so Southampton was hit twice as hard. After that they fell apart and were poor as Leicester increased the pressure.
A 9-0 loss is always bad, no matter what the circumstances or what happened before. But the most recent result is more understandable taking everything into consideration.
A hat full of injuries, a 78-second red card, a questionable second dismissal and playing against Manchester United at Old Trafford is a recipe for disaster and that’s what happened.
The loss to Leicester was more of an anomalous result due to bad mentality and the performance of individual players when the going got tough. Even in the loss to United, the Saints had a goal ruled out for offside and missed a goalkeeper by Adams.
Against Leicester however, they might as well not show up.