Ten-man Saints fall to heavy home defeat

By SFC Media time Fri 25 Oct Saints v Leicester City
Photo by Matt Watson
Fri 25 Oct 8PM
Premier League
Leicester City
Chilwell [10'] Tielemans [17'] Pérez [19' 39' 57'] Vardy [45' 58' 90+4'] Maddison [85']
Bertrand (12')
red card
Referee: Andre Marriner | Venue: St Mary's Stadium | Attendance: 28,762

Ten-man Southampton were on the receiving end of a rampant display from high-flying Leicester City, who took full advantage of their depleted hosts on a harrowing night at St Mary’s.

Things could hardly have started worse, as Saints found themselves a goal and a man down inside 12 minutes, and didn’t get any better thereafter.

After Ben Chilwell slid the visitors in front, Ryan Bertrand was dismissed by VAR before Saints had the chance to resume the game, with the defender penalised for a dangerous tackle in the build-up.

Further goals from Youri Tielemans and Jamie Vardy, adding to a first-half brace from Ayoze Pérez, left Leicester sitting pretty, 5-0 up at the interval at a rain-soaked St Mary’s.

Vardy and Pérez both completed hat-tricks after the break, while James Maddison struck a late free-kick as the heaviest defeat in the club’s history was confirmed.

Both managers named unchanged sides after positive results last time out – Saints having secured a point at Wolves courtesy of Danny Ings’s fifth goal in four games, and Leicester having seen off Burnley on home soil to move into the Premier League’s top three.

With torrential rain falling almost horizontally in the wind, captain Pierre-Emile Højbjerg opted to switch ends and attack the Chapel End in the first half.

Whilst a wet playing surface might be conducive to quick passing, the pitch was sodden to the extent that Yan Valery’s backpass nearly ground to a halt, forcing Angus Gunn into emergency action to clear just in time.

Hasenhüttl had called for a positive start, with Saints yet to score first at St Mary’s this season, but that run was about to continue as his team suffered a disastrous passage of play in the 10th minute.

After Bertrand’s touch just got away from him, the defender lunged in and caught Pérez with his studs.

With Leicester allowed to play on, Chilwell’s wayward low shot was diverted goalwards by Harvey Barnes, forcing a sharp save from Gunn, but the England left-back followed up to tuck in the rebound.

Worse was to follow, as VAR intervened to ensure Bertrand’s evening would come to a very premature end, leaving Saints a goal down and a man short with the best part of 80 minutes still to play.

By the 18th minute, the 10 men were 3-0 down. First Barnes’s cross found Tielemans via the toe of Valery, and the Belgian made no mistake with a low drive to beat Gunn down to his right from 12 yards.

Soon enough, Tielemans was turning provider for Pérez to drill a low shot inside Gunn’s near post that found the net via the keeper’s outstretched left hand.

Saints were stunned. Three down with seemingly no light at the end of the tunnel, the players showed courage to at least trouble the visiting defence.

First Ings pulled a high ball out of the sky and found Højbjerg, who released the marauding Valery – by now filling the void at left-back – but the Frenchman’s low shot was smothered by Kasper Schmeichel.

Then Ings lined one up from long range that whistled just over, but between those chances Leicester were inches shy of a fourth, as Barnes’s effort was grabbed right on the line by Gunn, who pounced on the loose ball after it squirmed between his legs.

Unfortunately, the Foxes would not have to wait long. Chilwell, the man who had got the party started in the away end, crossed to the far post where Pérez sneaked in behind Valery and finished emphatically on the half-volley, high into the roof of the net from six yards.

Still the first-half scoring was not over, as again Chilwell broke free down the left and crossed, before Barnes helped the ball on to Vardy.

No doubt itching to write his own name on the scoresheet, Leicester’s leading scorer took the opportunity, ruthlessly turning inside Maya Yoshida and rifling home number five in the final minute of a nightmare half.

What could Hasenhüttl do at the break? It can’t have been easy to find the right words, but the boss did opt for two substitutions.

On came defensive duo Jack Stephens and Kevin Danso, operating as full-backs, while Ings and Jannik Vestergaard were sacrificed.

Merciless Leicester continued to attack, as Gunn thwarted Vardy with an outstretched foot, but it was merely delaying further punishment.

Barnes chipped the ball over the defence for Pérez to complete his hat-trick before the hour mark, while Vardy headed home yet another Chilwell cross for number seven.

Saints showed character to keep Schmeichel honest, as the keeper fielded a James Ward-Prowse free-kick before keeping out Nathan Redmond’s rising drive, but this had long since become a damage limitation exercise.

Whilst a goal back proved to be beyond their team, the Saints supporters continued to urge them on in a show of defiance from the stands, even after Maddison’s curling free-kick nestled in the corner of the net.

Still there was time for Vardy to complete the scoring from the penalty spot after he was upended by Jan Bednarek, doing so with the very last kick of the game on a night that left St Mary’s in a state of shock.

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Head to Head Stats

Leicester City
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Angus Gunn (GK)
Jan Bednarek
Jannik Vestergaard
replace Kevin Danso (45′)
Maya Yoshida
James Ward-Prowse
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (C)
Ryan Bertrand red card
Oriol Romeu
Yan Valery
replace Stuart Armstrong (70′)
Nathan Redmond
Danny Ings
replace Jack Stephens (45′)
Shane Long
Che Adams
Sofiane Boufal
Alex McCarthy
Kevin Danso
Stuart Armstrong
Jack Stephens

Leicester City

Kasper Schmeichel (GK) (C)
Ben Chilwell goal
Jonny Evans
Ricardo Pereira
Çaglar Söyüncü
Harvey Barnes
replace Marc Albrighton (72′)
Ayoze Pérez goal goal goal
replace Demarai Gray (74′)
James Maddison goal
Wilfred Ndidi
Youri Tielemans goal
Jamie Vardy goal goal goal
Dennis Praet
Marc Albrighton
Hamza Choudhury
Danny Ward
Wes Morgan
Demarai Gray
James Justin
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