After signing a new contract to extend his stay as Southampton manager, we take a look at the most notable victories of Ralph Hasenhüttl's tenure so far...
5. Saints avenge Leicester defeat
11th January 2020
Arguably, the victory at King Power Stadium symbolised much more than just three points. All of the pre-match talk surrounded the haunting occasion of the reverse fixture, where Leicester had exposed Saints in front of their own supporters. However, having stuck by Hasenhüttl, Saints used the three months between the two fixtures to rebuild their identity and headed to the East Midlands in fearless mood. Lining up against a Foxes side who were second in the table at the time, the game was at deadlock after Stuart Armstrong had cancelled out Dennis Praet’s opener. Keen to exact revenge, Danny Ings struck nine minutes from time as he latched onto Ché Adams’s defence splitting through ball to fire past Kasper Schmeichel and become the Saints hero. It was a second successive victory at Leicester for Saints, who won there the season before thanks to an equally heroic performance with ten-men. You only get three points for any win, but this one had added significance for a resilient Hasenhüttl.
4. Christmas cheer at Chelsea
26th December 2019
The festive period brought plenty of joy for Saints, with three victories and a draw to their name from 10 days of work over Christmas. The most notable win of which came on Boxing Day as Hasenhüttl’s side headed to the capital to take on a Chelsea side embroiled in a battle to finish in the top four. Fresh from an impressive 3-1 win at Aston Villa five days previously, the Saints boss demonstrated his faith in his squad as top scorer Danny Ings was rested. Any eyebrows that were raised were soon restored to normal as Ings’s replacement – Academy graduate Michael Obafemi – silenced the Stamford Bridge crowd just past the half-hour mark. However, the best was still to come for Saints as an impressive display was rounded off with a goal of the season contender by Nathan Redmond. A flowing team move consisting of 15 passes was coolly finished off by the winger, lifting Southampton to 14th and putting them six points better off than at the same stage last season.
3. Pompey pummelled in the cup
24th September 2019
The third round Carabao Cup tie was Hasenhüttl’s first taste of the south coast derby, but the Austrian ensured his first mention in the Hampshire history books was one to be remembered. Heading to Portsmouth in search of a first win at Fratton Park since 1984, the Premier League outfit silenced their boisterous hosts with a professional performance that gave those in the away end, and indeed those who don red and white, bragging rights for the foreseeable future. A memorable brace from Danny Ings put Saints in a commanding position at the break, before the rout was completed late on as Cédric and Nathan Redmond piled on the Pompey misery to make it 4-0. A game Hasenhüttl “will never forget”, the emphatic victory ensured the first derby in seven years was truly one to remember.
2. Late drama sinks Spurs
9th March 2019
Saints sprung into spring at home with Hasenhüttl’s second top-six scalp of his early tenure. A victory which provided a huge boost to survival hopes - both in terms of points on the board and belief – it was a match that highlighted the newly installed never-say-die attitude, having initially fallen behind to Harry Kane’s first-half strike. However, securing consecutive home wins for the first time since December 2016 was confirmed thanks to some late drama. Yan Valery levelled the score inside the final quarter-of-an-hour, setting the stage for James Ward-Prowse’s iconic 25-yard free-kick which stole all three points in the 81st minute. The win lifted Saints to 16th in the table and gave them a two-point buffer on the bottom three with eight games left to play. Many will say this victory played a major part in securing top flight status.
1. Scintillating start at St Mary's
16th December 2018
They say you should start as you mean to go on, and Southampton’s dramatic 3-2 win over Arsenal in Hasenhüttl’s first home game, encapsulated all the traits that are now hallmarks of his Saints side. Taking the reins at St Mary’s for the first time, the charged atmosphere in the stands was matched by a now typically intense performance by those in red and white, fearlessly taking on their North London counterparts who entered the fray buoyed by the confidence of a 22-match unbeaten streak. Saints boasted a 2-1 lead at the halfway stage as two Danny Ings headers sandwiched Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s effort, before the Armenian levelled the score just before the hour-mark. Not to be deterred, and spurred on by an animated Hasenhüttl on the touchline, the hosts retook the lead for a third time when Charlie Austin converted five minutes from time to lift Saints out of the relegation zone, simultaneously producing the performance footprint that would go on to guarantee Premier League survival.