Saints cruise past Newport to secure cup progression


A much-changed Southampton side cruised into the third round of the Carabao Cup with an emphatic 8-0 win over Newport County in Wales.

A first Saints appearance for Armando Broja was marked with a poacher’s finish early on, with Nathan Tella and Kyle Walker-Peters putting the visitors in a commanding position at the halfway stage.

It was more of the same after the break, as a Mohamed Elyounoussi hat-trick, a second for Broja and Nathan Redmond effort inflicted a heavy defeat on the League Two outfit.

After naming an unchanged starting eleven for the opening two Premier League matches of the campaign, only captain James Ward-Prowse and Jack Stephens remained in the line-up at Rodney Parade.

Chelsea loanee Broja was handed a debut, whilst Fraser Forster, Yan Valery and Elyounoussi made their first appearances of the season.

Looking to quieten a vociferous home support who were back at Rodney Parade for the first time in 17 months, the visitors tested Nick Townsend within the opening five minutes, when Elyounoussi’s powerful strike from range had to be parried away.

In response, Robbie Willmott’s cross almost picked out scorer in the last round Timmy Abraham in the middle, before Saints and Broja made it a dream start.

With just nine minutes on the clock the Albanian was first on the scene when Redmond’s strike could only be pushed back into the box by Townsend, instantly endearing the 19-year-old to the travelling faithful.

Causing havoc with their trademark high press, a turnover of possession saw Redmond fire a shot from the angle wide, when an unmarked Tella in the middle may have been a more viable option.

However, Tella didn’t have long to wait for an opportunity, as on 25 minutes the academy graduate latched onto Elyounoussi’s pass to race clear of the Exiles defence and coolly pick out the bottom corner for his first of the season.

Looking to kill off the tie before the halfway stage, Elyounoussi saw a snapshot from 12 yards pushed around the post by Townsend, before Walker-Peters and Redmond both squandered opportunities to notch a third ahead of the break.

But a third was to come, and from an unlikely source, as Walker-Peters grabbed his first goal for the club with a drilled strike from just inside the box that caught Townsend out at his near post.

With the travelling Saints support treated to three goals in front of them in the opening 45 minutes, they were equally jubilant when the net rippled at the other end of the pitch after the restart, as a fourth took just two minutes to come.

After Broja did all the hard work with a run into the box and shot that clattered off of the post, Elyounoussi was on hand to convert his first goal for the club as Hasenhüttl’s side turned on the style.

Having waited three-years for his first, the Norwegian had barely seven minutes to wait for his second in red and white, racing onto Ward-Prowse’s defence splitting pass to leave Townsend with no chance.

With the floodgates well and truly open, there was little opportunity for the hosts to attempt to batten down the hatches before a sixth was dispatched, Elyounoussi this time turning provider to Broja who notched his second of the night with a strike into the top corner before the hour-mark.

After three goals in a frenzied nine-minute spell, Hasenhüttl took the opportunity to freshen up his front line with 25 minutes remaining, ending a successful night for Broja and Tella by introducing Michael Obafemi and Shane Long.

Doing little to ease Newport’s backs to the wall stance, Saints were back on the goal trail on 69 minutes, as Redmond became the fifth scorer of the night with a drilled strike into the bottom corner.

Seemingly finished in front of goal for the night, Elyounoussi had the last word when he wrapped up a second half hat-trick deep into stoppage time after cutting in from the left, rounding off an impressive individual display.

Having been knocked out by lower league opposition at the same stage last season, Saints made no mistake a year on as Hasenhüttl displayed the squad depth at his disposal across the border.